Small batch wonder
Ron Cooper of Taos, New Mexico, loves Mezcal. He loves everything about it from the choice agave plants used to the local “palenques” (distilleries) brewing up this sacred elixir. “Maguey” is the Aztec word for “agave”. So he established Del Maguey about ten years ago, spending his days searching the back roads of Mexico discovering the small family farm distilleries making Mezcal with local flair. He bottles up their local spirit and sells these small batch artisanal releases to a grateful public.
If you drive up into the mountains above the State of Oaxaca you will crest a ridge and enter a small valley. The entire valley sits at about 1 mile in elevation and has one small town in the center — Chichicapa. Faustino Garcia Vasquez has proudly made his handcrafted Mezcal there for decades from local espadin agave plants. Previously it has not been available anywhere else but here. This is production “old school” style, so each batch has variation that cannot be avoided. But the intense flavour and aroma of 7 YO Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal are something that you just can’t get elsewhere.
Tequila is made in one specific region from one type of agave. Mezcal can use several agaves and can come from anywhere in Mexico.