Brocha/Ixtero Amarillo, Chacolo
The Partida family have been making distinctive ‘mezcales’ for five generations in Jalisco. Since the state is outside the protected mezcal DO, they cannot label their mezcal as such, still their “destilados de agave” are renowned among mezcaleros and mezcal aficionados as some of the finest in Mexico. The family distills only ~2000 liters per year, using just one variety of Agave rhodacantha and twelve different subspecies of Agave angustifolia, which they have been collecting, cultivating and documenting for three generations.
All of the agave used to make Chacolo is harvested after 3-4 years capón: the agave is castrated as it develops its quiote (reproductive stalk), thus concentrating the natural sugars back in the agave’s heart. Fermented over 20-26 days in the cool depths of a volcanic well, the agave is distilled on a Filipino-style hybrid still made from copper and the hollow trunk of a Parota tree.
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This is a field blend of Brocha (Agave angustifolia) and Ixtero Amarillo (Agave rhodacantha), meaning that these agaves were harvested and cooked together, hand milled together, co-fermented, and then distilled. Not only are these agaves quite unique, the Partida family has harvested plants that are “capón” for more than 3 years, which far exceeds the industry standard. Capón describes an agave whose quiote, or reproductive stalk, has been cut, but the plant itself is left alive in the ground for the sugars to continue to concentrate. In this case, the result is a rich autumnal spirit with full of damp forest floor, soft sweet potato, toasted hazelnut and the rind of hard cheese.