Tasting Box 2: Agave Road Trip Edition!
10 heritage agave spirit expressions made up of
5 flights of 2 expressions each with
2 live virtual tasting opportunities with box curators
“This isn’t Dalton from Maguey Melate writing in third-person anymore. This is Lou, writing in first-person, telling you — or maybe warning you — my Agave Road Trip co-host Chava Peribán and I have taken over Maguey Melate’s second tasting box. So … if you expected things to be done in the usual, orderly fashion, apologies in advance. You’ll want to strap yourself in. Expect a bumpy ride.
Agave Road Trip-in-a-Box: The Introduction
Agave Road Trip-in-a-Box — Flight 1 — Miles Apart
Agave Road Trip-in-a-Box — Flight 2 — Worlds Apart
Agave Road Trip-in-a-Box — Flight 3 — Un/Aged
Agave Road Trip-in-a-Box — Flight 4 — How You Cut It
Agave Road Trip-in-a-Box — Flight 5 — Heads & Hearts
16 in stock
What is it?
It’s the tasting kit that launched 177 comments on Smoked Agave!
No, but really … what is it?
One of the things Chava and I get most excited about when we’re on the road is doing comparative tastings that help to illustrate something about the process of making heritage agave spirits. This is a set of five flights of two spirits each, and each of those flights has a purpose:
1. Miles Apart
We’ve heard people reference “terroir” when they talk about agave spirits made using heritage methods. That’s the point of this flight: where a spirit is made will affect the final flavor. This is two expressions made from agave potatorum (think tobala) from two communities: one from Emanuel Ramos in Miahuatlan, Oaxaca; the other from Sebastian Aguirre, around 100 miles away in San Jose Rio Minas.
2. Worlds Apart
Kind of the same as the above but … (a) made from sotol, not agave, and (b) separated by 800 miles. Catalina Lopez Velasco is just down the road from Sebastian (above) in Yutanduchi de Guerrero, Oaxaca; way up north in Nombre de Dios, Durango, you’ll find Gilberto Roldan.
We stick around up north for this third flight, from Mariano Vazquez. Mariano follows his family tradition and ages his agave spirits in wood. He’s provided us with two versions of his cenizo spirits: one unaged and the other aged in virgin oak.
4. How You Cut It
Now, each of these flights is meant in some way to illustrate the impact on flavor and aroma that can be made by any one of the maestro’s 400 decisions. But this flight is, I think, the doozy. These are two cupreata expressions by Patricio Garcia of Xulchuchio, Guerrero. Or … really, they are one expression. They literally came from the same fermentation and distillation. The only difference is how Patricio mixed back together the components of the distillation — the heads (puntas), hearts (cuerpo), and tails (colas) — to achieve a specific flavor profile.
5. Head and Heart
For the wrap-up, Noel Negrellos Ortega in San Luis Atolotitlan, Puebla, provided us with an agave marmorata spirit (finished, with his mix of heads and tails with the heart) as well as a sample of the straight heads (puntas), to give you a sense of how the heads affect the finished mix.
What else do you need to know?
The warning: Label corrections
Hey, I said it was going to be a bumpy ride, right? I made a couple of screw-ups on the labels. Me, Lou. Not Chava, not Dalton. And we only discovered my screw-ups after everything was printed and packed. So when you order this kit … expect to also receive — separately, by USPS mail, so be patient — an Agave Road Trip-in-a-box patch kit.
The other warning: Two online tastings
Chava and I will be hosting a couple of online tastings of this kit for folks who don’t like to drink alone. Expect one in late February, the other mid-March. We’re going to attempt to coax some of the people who made these spirits to join us, too, so that they can correct my errors live.
Final warning: Mezcalero Interviews, Photos, and More (or lack of)
We’re not nearly as good at this kind of documentation as the Maguey Melate crew. But we’ll be giving them GPS coordinates for the producers here, where we have them. Do not expect edited mezcalero interviews like the first tasting box.”
Agave Road Trip co-founder