Producer Mezcal, the mezcal brand from Oaxaca recently announced the launch of their newest expression, Arroqueño, which joins the Tepeztate and Ensamble expressions launched in late 2021.
Arroqueño is a wild-grown variety agave native to Oaxaca, famous for its long maturation time, massive size, and increasing rarity. Producer Mezcal’s expression of Arroqueño derives its distinctly complex flavor profile from a variety of factors, including variations in the plants’ maturity stages, terpene compounds resulting from fluctuations in weather conditions and the effects of terroir over many years, and the preferred cooking and fermentation methods employed by Santos. There are only 800, 750 ml-sized bottles available in the U.S. market.
The Arroqueño (agave oaxacensis) is grown, harvested, crushed, fermented, and distilled entirely in Ejutla La Noria Sec. 13 by maestro Juan Pacheco Santos. After harvesting plants averaging upwards of 17 years in age, the split agave hearts are roasted for 72 hours in a traditional horno (earthen oven) using huamuchil wood. After resting for a brief period, the agave is crushed using a traditional bull-pulled stone tahona wheel, then goes on to ferment for 8-10 days in cypress wood (sabino or ahuelhuete). Once the fermentation process is complete, the liquid is distilled using a refrescador, a distillation method which allows for two distillations during a single pass through the still.
“We achieve creative expression of terroir using a mix of traditional methods, starting with slowly cooking the agave hearts whole, allowing for wood smoke to circulate evenly and build caramelization and enhancement of the agave’s flavors,” says Arroqueño’s maestro mezcalero, Juan Pacheco Santos. “Additionally, the palenque’s open-air fermentation vessels are surrounded by fruit trees, which contribute natural yeast strains and pollen to the mash, resulting in added nuance to the final mezcal.”
As a central tenet of their production philosophy, Producer Mezcal is passionate about supporting and investing in the community infrastructure and individuals who contribute toward crafting their artisanal agave spirits and curbing the environmental impact on its native Oaxaca as it relates to harvesting rare, wild agaves such as Arroqueño.
“Each expression of Producer Mezcal tells the story of the maestros who carefully craft each mezcal,” says Carlos Sada, Head of Operations for Producer Mezcal. “In the same way a musician, painter, or photographer capture emotion through art, our mezcals are a medium through which the maestro can creatively express the story of Oaxaca.”
GSN’s Remarks: A single sip, and you are transported into the heart of Oaxaca. Wood fire, sweet agave, slight fruitiness and a mineral terroir that comes from the water that brings this spirit down to proof. One of the most authentic tasting mezcals that we’ve enjoyed over the years. The flavors of each element are in total balance with one another, with the end result being a smooth and vibrant tasting experience. One of the key elements is the open air fermentation, which inevitably brings a unique touch to every batch. Very well done, and a testament to the skills of maestro mezcalero, Juan Pacheco Santos. GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Producer Mezcal