Sombra Mezcal

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All tequilas are mezcal, but not all mezcals are tequila and this is a good thing! As a producer of mezcal, the town of Tequila had acquired a certain notoriety...

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All tequilas are mezcal, but not all mezcals are tequila and this is a good thing! As a producer of mezcal, the town of Tequila had acquired a certain notoriety by the early nineteenth century. Based on this, the Mexican government created an appellation of sorts around the area of Guadalajara and Jalisco which today defines Tequila. The good news here is that there are 5 states and 2 additional territories which can still lay claim to Mezcal. The result is an amazing array of artisan spirits which still reflect the long, distinguished and authentic history of agave spirits in Mexico. Regretfully, much of what has been known as mezcal outside of Mexico has been cheap, poor quality, and often had a worm in the bottle. The worm, of course, was a marketing gimmick and it masked the chemical taste of poorly-produced mezcal. In stark contrast to this sad production, is Sombra, made from organically farmed, high altitude agave that are expertly distilled in the traditional method. Sombra is a testament that world class agave spirits do exist outside of Tequila.Heading south from Oaxaca, along the Pan American Highway and then a ways further on winding dirt roads will bring you to the small villages of San Juan and San Luis del Rio. The mountains are high and the valleys are narrow and hot with very steep slopes full of the espadin agave - the genetic mother to the blue agave. It's here in these pueblos, at elevations of up to 8,000 feet that the agave for Sombra are grown and the spirits distilled. The Rio Hormiga Colorada (Red Ant River) flows through it all. We believe that elevation is key and have found the higher we go in the Sierra, the more elegant the resultant spirit.The espadin agave plants are planted by almost everyone in small village garden plots until they are about two years old (and two feet tall). At this time they are uprooted, their leaves are tightly bound and the roots are cut off. They are left in the shade to heal for about fifteen days. Next they are transported to the outlying hills where they are transplanted and left to grow. After another four to ten years of little more than weeding a few times a year, they are harvested.After harvesting, the agave hearts (pinas) are placed in a rock-lined conical pit (palenque) about twelve feet in diameter and eight feet deep. They are laid over hot rocks that have been heated with an intense oak fire. A layer of banana leaf mats covers them, followed by a layer of earth. They bake this way for two days, absorbing flavors from the earth and oak. After baking, the pinas are removed and crushed by a circular millstone pulled by a horse. The crushed and roasted agave is placed in wooden vats where 10% village water is added to facilitate fermentation (the ONLY component other than roast maguey in Sombra) which is done all with wild yeasts. It takes about eight days to ferment. The mezcal solids and liquid (tepache) are then transferred to a copper still that is heated by wood fire, vaporized and condensed. The first distillation takes about three hours and the second distillation about seven hours.All of our bottles are hand blown from recycled glass found in Mexico making every bottle truly unique. The labels peel off easily to be ready for your homemade juices, syrups, water or whatever your heart desires.We hope you enjoy our celebration of the Oaxacan culture through lifting your spirits with Sombra. Our mezcal has endless application for ways to enjoy, we encourage you to have fun experimenting with it behind the bar, at home and in the kitchen. We would love to hear your stories, feel free to send them in any time!. Smoky and intense aromas of roasted earth and charred vegetables. Smooth and silky in the mouth with light peppery spice and smoky flavors underneath vegetal and herbal flavors. Robust and rustic. Liquor

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