A rare Cuishe Mezcal with big, bold flavors that deserves a place on every Mezcal-lover’s top shelf.
Brooklyn-based Erstwhile Mezcal was founded in 2017 by Yuan Ji — an antitrust lawyer with a longstanding interest in social entrepreneurship and commitment to pro bono service — and Kevin J. Brown, a purveyor of antiquarian maps. They share a passion for the small batch production of exemplary Mezcal still produced in the tiny villages and family farms of central Mexico. Their mission is to discover, curate, and connect these fine Spirits with fellow lovers of the agave arts.
As the name indicates, Erstwhile Cuishe Mezcal is made from Cuishe agaves. They provide a nutty, earthy aroma over a spicy palate. The flavors are popular, but this agave is notably hard to cultivate so they must be sustainably harvested in the wild. That alone makes Cuishe Mezcals hard to find. Distilled in a copper alembic stills and bottled at 45% ABV, Erstwhile Cuishe Mezcal is big on the palate with spices, peppers, and fruits.
Cuishe agave plants (agave karminskii) are tree-like and look like short Joshua Trees with thin spears. Fairly unique is that the stalks are often roasted and fermented with the piñas.