Karwinskii (Cenizo), Mezcal, El Jolgorio (BB)
Traditional mezcal forms an important part of rituals, ceremonies and festivities—known as “jolgorios”—in the rural and indigenous Zapotec villages of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Created by the Cortés family, El Jolgorio is widely acknowledged as one of the finest collections of agave spirits available. The ever-changing lineup of mezcales represent the most rare expressions the family bottles: wild, semi-wild and cultivated agaves, rare pechuga distillations, and small batches rested in glass for three, six, or as much as eighteen years before release.
From batch to batch, an individual variety of agave will generally be sourced from different mezcaleros, in different regions, reducing the pressure put upon any one community’s agave population and spreading the financial benefits among families all over Oaxaca – but the unmatched quality of El Jolgorio mezcales remains the same.
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Cenizo is a complicated term in mezcal. Translating loosely as “ashen,” the term is often applied to strains of agave whose leaves (“pencas”) have a grey hue to them, regardless of the botanical variety. El Jolgorio’s Cenizo is one such example, a subvarietal of the wide-ranging Agave karwinskii species.
However, under current Certification standards, the term has been confined for consumer clarity and now may only be used to apply to a northern variety, Agave durangensis, where the term is far more commonplace. This has resulted in El Jolgorio rebranding their Cenizo simply with the botanical name, Karwinskii, out of respect for the restricted nomenclature historically used by the mezcaleros.
Cenizo (karwinskii) is a special release from El Jolgorio, with intense aromas of green banana, peppercorn and fried peanuts balancing out its high proof. Offered in a distinctive black glass reminiscent of the black clay jugs mezcal was historically stored in, the opaque bottle accentuates the preciousness and singularity of the spirit inside.