Ay ay ay ay … Cielito lindo en un vaso! One sip of Alipus Mezcal Santa Ana del Rio transforms any Whiskey or Cognac drinker into a lover of this little pretty heaven in a glass.
You think that you know what traditional craft distillation looks like? So did I… until I was introduced to the real artisans of Los Danzantes from Oaxaca, Mexico. Holy frijole these guys are rockin’ it “old school” using methods that put others to shame. In the desert mountains of Oaxaca they hand-harvest a blend of 12-year old agave’ plants by machete and roast it for three days in wood-fired pits to caramelize the natural sugars. They press grind the agave’ hearts under a mule-turned stone mill to extract the golden juices and pulp-ferment it in wooden barrels with natural, local, Oaxaca yeasts. They even transfer the yeast from batch to batch—just like making fine sourdough bread—so that the best yeast from the best batches is the one that is used again and again.
It is an amazing, time-consuming, artistic dance of perfection. In fact, the name “Los Danzantes” translates as “The Dancers,” and they have earned that name in spades. They produce a variety of fine Alipus branded Mescal liquors separated by the family and village that produced it and subtle differences in the blend of agave’ plants that make up each batch.
The Santa Ana del Rio from Alipus is hand crafted by Don Eduardo Hernandez and his family and it the best of the entire Alipus group. Theirs is agave’ grown at the highest elevations in the most mineral-rich soil. This Mescal sparkles with traditional craftsmanship. And no details are missed. You get an agave’-forward, herbal Mescal with a lush mouth feel and a hint of smoky, roasted spice. If you like Mezcal—even if you don’t—you have to try this amazingly crafted “heaven in a glass.”