Fidencio Mezcal Pechuga
Fidencio Mezcal Pechuga is 100% Estate grown Agave Espadin, is unaged, and 45.4% 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 – The Agave for the Clasico are roasted in the traditional method. The oven is a stone lined earthen pit. A fire of Encino, the local black oak, is lit in the pit, which heats up the stones. When the fire goes out and the stones are hot, the Agave is piled in the pit and buried. After three days the smoky maguey is ready.
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. The Agave fiber is kept and used in distillation to extract maximum flavor.
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. This is the point in the process where the Pechuga becomes unique. Undiluted Clasico is returned to the still for a third distillation. Along with the Mezcal, we add our traditional mixture of fruit: quince, apples, bananas, pineapple, and guava. A whole chicken breast (skinned and washed to remove fat) is hung from the cap of the still. The chicken breast is said to soften the intensity and round out the flavor of the Mezcal. All of the fruit used is from the mountains of Oaxaca and must be harvested during the very short quince harvest. Pechuga is produced over a short period of time at the end of each summer. The fruit will create unique expressions from year to year. The 2010 vintage was delayed 6 weeks due to rain, the most in decades.
Fidencio Pechuga Mezcal is available in limited quantities, approximately 75 cases (6 bottles) are produced each year.
Photo by Tequila.net