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Erstwhile Mezcal Tepeztate-Tobalá Ensamble 750 ml

44% ABV | 88 Proof |  Oaxaca, Mexico

$118.99

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Erstwhile Mezcal is an importer based in Brooklyn, New York. We specialize in artisanal and ancestral mezcal. Yes, we sell mezcal. But we always aspired for Erstwhile be more than just a mezcal brand. Our founders created Erstwhile to be a platform for the core values and social missions that we believe in: Mezcal education. Promoting and helping small producers to export for the first time. Women representation and empowerment in the mezcal industry. Transparency in who we are as individuals, and in every aspect of how we do business. We set ourselves apart from others in several ways. First, the small producers we work with are independent family businesses.  They are Erstwhile’s partners, not employees. We pay our producers fairly. We do not ask them for exclusivity or discounts.  We care about our producers’ economic empowerment and put our money where our mouth is.  We seek out small producers who are interested in exporting out of Mexico, but do not have the means to do so on their own.  We help them get certified and licensed for export. We feel good about the fact that we help our producers clear these hurdles from the get-go, independent of their work with us in the future. Unlike family-owned brands, we are not encumbered by loyalty to any particular family.  When you support Erstwhile, you support not just one but all the family producers we partner with. Second, we are committed to transparency.  Look at the back label of every Erstwhile bottle: it gives full disclosure of where you can find our partner producer in Oaxaca and buy directly from the source if you so choose.  Talk to us in person.  Read our website, product pages, blog posts, newsletters, social media.  We are proud and open about who we are, who our partner producers are, and every aspect of how we do business. Third, we are committed to mezcal education, both as teachers and as students.  That is why Erstwhile takes a curatorial, rotating approach when deciding which mezcals we want to bring you.  We bring you not one but a variety to showcase mezcal’s infinite nuances: different agave species, different flavor profiles, different producers,and different production methods. Our vision and commitment to you: keep on discovering kickass distillations by small family producers who want to grow through export; promote these producers and their mezcals; introduce them to you and to mezcal lovers all over the world.  We do not sacrifice excellence to maximize profit or convenience. We commit the Erstwhile name if and only if it is an excellent or extraordinary mezcal. No matter how small the volume. No matter how cumbersome the logistics. Erstwhile is a woman-owned, woman-operated business. We support fellow women in mezcal production and all aspects of the mezcal / wine & spirits industry whenever possible.
A true blend of 50% Tepeztate and 50% Tobalá, two agaves that are dramatically different in personality.  This Tepeztate-Tobalá Ensamble is Tepeztate forward, meaning you will likely taste the green, vegetal, and drier notes of the Tepeztate first, before it expands into the Tobalá’s sweeter fruit notes and rounder body.
TOBALÁ (Agave Potatorum) is the Yoda of all agaves.  It is small and cute, but fierce and wise.
Tobalá is a small broad-leafed agave that grows best in rocky craggy soil in shady areas at high altitude. It takes about 12-18 years to mature, depending on climate, terroir, and other factors.
Perhaps due to the high altitudes where it flourishes, Tobalá typically yields a highly approachable yet sweet, mellow, floral mezcal with round mouth feel.  Tobalá can be cultivated and has been cultivated with some success.  Nonetheless, partially due to the long time it takes to mature, most Tobalá mezcals in the market today are prepared from wild agaves.
TEPEZTATE (Agave Marmorata), an unusual slow growing agave, is most often found on rocky ledges and hillsides.
Tepeztate has a very distinctive erratic broad leaf structure, and can weigh as much as several hundred pounds. It cannot be cultivated on a large scale, and takes roughly 25 – 30 years to mature.  As a result, nearly all Tepeztate mezcals available in the market today are made exclusively agave plants harvested in the wild.
Mezcals made from Tepeztate can be funky, and often have a highly vegetal, earthy, and herbaceous quality. Tepeztate is also known as Pichomel, Pichorra, or Pizorra in some regions of Mexico.
Master Mezcalero: Juan Hernández Méndez
Tasting Notes: A true blend of 50% Tepeztate and 50% Tobalá, two agaves that are dramatically different in personality.  This Tepeztate-Tobalá Ensamble is Tepeztate forward, meaning you will likely taste the green, vegetal, and drier notes of the Tepeztate first, before it expands into the Tobalá’s sweeter fruit notes and rounder body.
A verdant, precise and clean combination of grass and rainwashed limestone on the nose. Pear, green pepper, peppercorn and minerals on the tongue. Tempered by the smooth caramel notes and hint of smoke from the Tobalá.
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