Details

  • Location: Miahuatlan
  • Agave: Bicuixe
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Hermogenes Vasquez
  • Vintage: April 2016
  • Quantity: 200 liters
  • ABV: 46.9%
  • Tasting keywords: green, fresh cut brush, herbal
  • NOM: Uncertified
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Nose

Hermogenes’ bicuixe has an intensely herbal nose. It’s like someone was cutting the sage brush on the California coast.

Taste

This one creeps up on you. Front of the mouth it’s very light but develops into mild agave and sugar cane flavors through some minerality and a bitter tail. It’s a refreshing contrast to all those one note Miahuatlan mezcals and gives you an idea of just how broad the spectrum is for bicuixe.

Max Rosenstock, one of the founders of Neta, mentioned that Hermogenes was the only mezcalero among those that distill for Neta who would talk about flavors. Hermogenes described this one as tasting like “cactus fruit.” I can certainly taste ripe tuna.

Method

The bicuixe was harvested during a full moon. Rosenstock has said that Bicuixe is “the definitive Miahuatlan agave for me” but we’re lucky to have as much of it as we do because when espadin was introduced in the 80’s it displaced many native species. Fortunately mezcal lovers have tuned into this flavor set and farmers have been planting it aggressively.

Aside from all the tools and processes the big aspect of this mezcal is time, it rested after roasting underground, then dry fermented after being hand chopped with machete and then run through a mill. The distillation was in a standard copper still: It was run through twice but using a slightly different method called “común macizo.” Rosenstock told me that in this case it “refers to a select cut from the first round of distillation. It is separated and used to mix down the heads and hearts of the second round distillate. It’s an older technique now falling out of favor. Hermogenes says that adjusting between the different parts of the twice distilled liquid makes a cleaner and smoother mezcal.”