Fidencio Mezcal Joven
Fidencio Mezcal Joven is 100% Estate grown Agave Espadin, is unaged, and 40% alcohol volume.
Enrique Jimenez is a fourth generation mezcalero and the creator of Fidencio Mezcal.
Harvest – At Fidencio Mezcal all of our agave is at least ten years old. We practice biodynamic farming; always harvesting in the new moon. The phase of the moon during harvest has a profound influence on the flavor of mezcal. A new moon harvest will result in a more delicate mezcal and a full moon harvest will tend to have a more robust flavor. During harvest, the farmers remove the long, sharp leaves and separate the body from the roots. At this point the agave is referred to as a piña because it resembles a very large pineapple. The piñas are then trucked to the palenque (distillery).
Roast – At the palenque, the piñas are split by hand with an ax into four to eight pieces, depending on the size. The split piñas are placed in our Radiant Heat Oven and roasted for three full days. Enrique’s oven is unique in the world of mezcal; its neutral heat allows for a pure expression of espadín, with out the influence of smoke that is typically found in other mezcals. Hence the phrase Mezcal Sin Humo, or with out smoke. Why Roast? Fermentation requires simple sugars. The agave is loaded with complex sugars that are broken down during the roasting process.
Crush – The roasted piñas are removed from the oven and brought to the grinder to be crushed. The grinder is a large stone wheel made out of cantera rosa (rose quartz). Hitched to the wheel is Rocio, the trusty steed that powers the grinder. As Rocio makes his rounds, the roasted piñas are crushed, releasing the sweet agave juice. This liquid is called aguamiel or honey water.
Wash – The crushed agave is mixed with water three times then removed from the liquid. The agave is then discarded. The liquid containing water and aguamiel is then put in the fermentation vats. Fermenting with out the agave solids limits the methanol production. This step results in a smoother and more elegant Mezcal.
Ferment – After the wash, the mash is placed in fermentation vats. The vats are made from pine and do not have a cover. With the help of the indigenous, airborne yeast, the magic of fermentation proceeds. This usually takes six days to complete but will vary depending on the air temperature.
Distill – The fermented juice is pumped into our alembic (pot still) and twice distilled. It is then evaporated and collected. With each pass through the still, we separate the heart (corazon) of the distillate from the head (cabeza) and tail (cola), which are not used for mezcal. At this point we have mezcal that is at batch strength. Water is then added to bring down the final alcohol level to 40%, or 80 proof. We now have Fidencio Joven, ready for bottling. Why separate? Different parts of the fermented agave juice evaporate at different temperatures. The impurities are found in the beginning and end (head and tail) of the distillation cycle. Only the corazon is used in the final product.
Photo by Tequila.net