Mezcal Vago Tobalá
The Mezcal Vago Tobalá is made by Aquilino García López at his palenque in Candelaria Yegolé, Oaxaca (16°29'41.36"N, 96°18'38.69"W). It is made from 100% Agave Tobalá.
The Agave Tobalá is the most coveted in all agave. It is a small, difficult to cultivate agave, and has very distinct flavor characteristics. There are many references to the prized Tobalá in Oaxacan culture. Its Latin name is Agave Potatorum.
Aquilino’s Tobalá is made from 100% wild harvested Agave Tobalá sourced by family friends at the headwaters of Yegolés Rio Quichapa. That region of San Pedro Mártir Quiechapa is around 6000 ft with mountains full of wild agave rising steeply out of town. The Tobalá from that area typically take 8 to 10 years to mature. The Tobalá piñas for this batch were quite large for Tobalá, and express a different terroir than the region where it was made. This mezcal is a great representation of cooperation between different mezcaleros in different towns along the same river corridor.
The Tobalá mezcal is twice distilled in a copper alembic still. It is clean, bright, and subtle with floral undertones and hints of green tropical fruit.
ABV for Mezcal Vagos first batch of TobalEa was 52.1%.
Producer: Aquilino García López.
Location: Candelaria Yegolé, Oaxaca
The still (palenque) is on Aquilino’s ranch where he lives full time. He and his father moved it to its current location 15 years ago. It has moved around from nearby locations over the years. He believes his family has been making Mezcal for at least five generations. Aquilino and his son Mateo do nearly all of the work themselves.
The fermentation vats are made of pine and hold up to 1000 liters. The cooked agave and water ferment from the natural airborne yeasts in the air. No additional ingredients are used to make the Mezcal other than agave and water.
Each batch ferments for around a week. This varies depending on the ambient temperature at the time of fermentation. Aquilino distills his fermented mash before all of the sugar has fermented. This is sooner than other Mescalero’s’ techniques. He uses six fermentation vats. Aquilino has an alembic copper still that has a 250-liter capacity. He makes all the separations (cuts) by smell and taste. All of Aquilino’s mezcals are twice distilled. Aquilino’s Mezcals have a definite style. Bright, clean and bold without too much smoke. They have less bottom end (tails) than other mezcal lines, due in part to his “narrow” cuts on the still. This really lets the subtle notes of the agave shine through on the front end of the palate. All of Aquilino’s mezcal goes through a simple sediment filtration through a tubular cellulose filter before bottling. The bottling is done by hand in Oaxaca City. The very light filtration is the only way the mezcal is affected between when it was made on the palenque and how it ends up in the bottle.