An extremely distinct uncertified mezcal from a young talent in the Oaxacan mezcal world. I talked to the the founders of the Balancan brand in another article about the details of this project.


  • Location: Santa Maria Ixcatlan, Oaxaca
  • Uncertified
  • Agave: Papalome (most likely tobala)
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Amando Alvarado
  • ABV: 46
  • Vintage: 2016
  • Lote: PA001 491/600 bottles
  • Buy it today


Amando’s papalome opens with an almost raicilla like fermented butter funkiness. 

Tasting Notes

The flavor starts with a funky savoryness, like spiced beef jerky that has a long elegant tail to it. Not that it feels that way, this bottle left my mouth really fresh with an effervescent sting of alcohol. It has almost no viscosity, is lean, balanced, and suave.


Amando does everything by hand in a very traditional fashion. His wild papalome is roasted underground, hand mashed, and then fermented in cow hides before being distilled in clay pots.


He’s not even thirty but has already spent more than half his life distilling. Clearly lessons learned working with his father have stuck because this bottle demonstrates incredible fealty to pre-industrial mezcal production techniques. Who knows how long he’ll continue in this vein but seek this one out so that you can taste a different era.

This is another demonstration of an uncertified mezcal which is quite a little trend. Amando has distilled for quite an array of distributors and labels including Erick Rodriguez’s Almamezcalera line. Currently he appears in the Cinco Sentidos line under the Papalometl label.