Don Fede Collector’s Box
This limited edition (only 144 ever made, 98 being released now) set contains some of the very last batches Federico Alva Ibañez made before passing away in March 2021 at the age of 97. We call Don Fede the Godfather of Puebla mezcal as he has been a mestro mezcalero since 1940 and nearly everyone in his town descends from his teachings. Learn all about Don Federico here complete with interviews.
375 mL – Espadilla (Mexicano)
375 mL – Cupreata
100 mL – Tobala
1 screen print art from La Pistola
1 mezcalero collector’s card
Complete with interviews from March 2020
$10 donation to a charity providing toys in his community
$10 donation to have his daughter reassemble his still for sales made in March 2022
$1 to SACRED to replant agave
$1 to FGL to support women education in rural Oaxaca
11 in stock
About this box and the legend behind these spirits
For those new to Melate who are unfamiliar with Federico Alva Ibañez, he is a legendary producer who we somewhat jokingly claim is the Godfather of San Nicolás Haujuapan, Puebla mezcal. Besides producing delicious spirits despite being blind and 97 years old, he was a leader in his community by providing numerous generous donations and sharing his wisdom on life. You can learn more by watching his interviews here.
A few weeks before Don Fede passed, we received our second and final order from the maestro containing 40 liters of Tobala, 60 liters of Cupreata, and 100 liters of Espadilla (Mexicano). It’s not quite what we requested, but it was what he produced before abruptly stopping to take care of his wife. Needless to say, we were grateful to receive whatever arrived. As it would turn out, it’s essentially believed to be the last batches Don Fede would ever produce although we can’t personally guarantee this.
It was an online Taste & Chat back in November or December of 2020 when a club member mentioned how much they enjoyed his spirits and a few others enthusiastically agreed. That prompted us to place this order the next day and we received it two months later in February. We never intended on making a collectors box as Cesar and I joked that Don Fede would surely outlive both of us, but after Federico passed away a few weeks later, we saw an opportunity to honor him in a more formal way.
Although it was clear we now had an extra valuable batch of mezcal in our bodega, it didn’t seem right to extra-profit from the family’s loss. We asked the family if they would like some liters returned to celebrate with, but nothing came from our offer. The decision was made that any additional markup on the boxes would simply go to the charity providing toys to the kids in his community, many of which have never received a toy ever before.
The collector's box comes complete with a limited edition screenprint from our friends at La Pistola.
February 14th would have been Don Federico’s 98 birthday and March 10th marks one year since he passed away. In March of 2022 we featured his daughter Alicia in our club and April 2022 is when we are committed to working with Cesar in donating toys to a charity in his community. It seems like a fitting time to offer this collector’s box one year in the making.
Featured offer for March only:
Supporting Alicia and resurrecting Don Fede’s still
When I arrived in Puebla for the interview with Don Fede's daughter, I was expecting to see the second distillation being poured into Don Fede’s old still which he had passed on to Alicia as his final wishes. Unfortunately, this was not the case and Alicia sadly explained that the legal owners of the land in which his still lied made the immediate decision to tear down the still upon his passing.
Alicia became visibly upset recalling the story and her surprise over the matter, taking a moment to regain her composure. Her goal is to reassemble the still and place fermentation vats in her 15 foot by 10 foot back yard, but she can not afford the expense at this time and therefore must rent, at a family rate, the means for production. We asked how much to rebuild the palenque and learned it would only be 600-800 dollars.
We took this moment to ask her permission to present her our collector's box concept and asked for her blessing to sell the box, donating part of the profits to the local charity. She was honored but also saddened as she had not seen a photo of her dad in some time. Spontaneously, we threw in that we can donate $10 of every box sold in March to help rebuild her father’s palenque on her land.
We were able to make 154 collectors boxes. A few of them went to Cesar and the Alva family. Of the 144 exported, we will only be releasing 98 boxes to honor Don Fede’s 98th birthday. The rest we plan to keep for the next decade.
For any box sold in March, we will donate an additional $10 to Alicia in hopes that we can sell them all and donate 980 dollars to help rebuild the palenque and 980 dollars to the toys charity. The price includes the artwork from La Pistola, and the donation to Alicia, toys charity, SACRED, and FGL.
Club members can use their free shipping and 10% club discount. If you aren’t a club member, this might be the perfect time to sign up and apply these discounts, even if only for one club box. For anyone who is a serious mezcal collector, this is something you will definitely want to hang onto and pass down.
Note: Understanding this story is quite personal, we received full permission from Alicia to share it and promote this collectors box.
|Dimensions||5 × 5 × 5 in|