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February 2018

Ok, not to be egotistical or anything but honestly we thought we had one of the best agave world April Fool's Day jokes, what with this little diddy from two years ago. But oh no, those pranksters over at Casamigos/Diageo skooled us on how to do some serious punk'd up shit and pity that poor writer over at Forbes that fell for it hook line and sinker.

There's a cool conversation getting underway on the Del Maguey website blog. Griffin Manos, a university student spent his summer between his junior and senior year doing an internship at the Vida palenque in San Luis del Rio in Oaxaca.  First, who knew you could do such a thing, and second, that is one dedicated student because making mezcal, as the post outlines, is no walk in the park. The post is from a long email Manos wrote to Ron Cooper about his experience and what makes this so interesting is that Ron will be responding to questions and ideas raised by the internship experience.

[caption id="attachment_7837" align="aligncenter" width="480"] [media-credit id=3 align="aligncenter" width="480"][/media-credit] The original Sin Maguey, No Hay Mezcal poster.[/caption] Come on, admit it, you’ve seen the iconic image. Did you ever stop to wonder where it comes from? This is a story about one of the most iconic images in the mezcal world. It involves quirks from across our contemporary culture ranging from intellectual property rights to the question of who owns traditional culture. It touches on so many  narratives of our era that it's a great snapshot of our time and the mezcal world.

The story of mezcal is one that deserves its own category of films. It has everything - gorgeous vistas full of saturated color, rich history full of myth and romance and opera-like drama with the incredible stories of the families that have been making mezcal for generations. The plot lines are limitless.

In goat shit, to be precise. Take a look at the video below where Craft Distillers' Ansley Coale introduces Mezcalero Special #4 with the full story on how you pull great aging characteristics from mezcal. It's a blend of espadín and wild bicuixe but it's also aged for six months in a pile of goat shit which, he claims, contributes to the balance in the mezcal. That's a tradition that I've seen in Michoacan and always thought was just an easy way of keeping the mezcal out of people's hands and out of the light so that it could rest but Ansley mentions another potential factor, heat generated from the manure.

[caption id="attachment_8022" align="alignnone" width="720"] [media-credit id=4 align="alignnone" width="720"][/media-credit] At the Mal de Amor palenque in Matatlan – words by Lila Downs.[/caption] Following on Del Maguey's 2017 sustainability tour, Ilegal Mezcal builds on that groundwork with a tour that directly addresses a lot of concerns people have about how brands are ramping up production to meet demand. This is a great move for transparency into their process.

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