Mezcal, Cuishe, Rey Campero
Helmed by Romulo Sanchez Parada, this family collective in Candelaria Yegolé, Zoquitlán, chose the name Rey Campero, meaning “King of the Countryside”, to reflect the relationship between the landscape and those who work so tirelessly to harvest the magueys from this challenging terrain. Romulo and his family have some of the most diverse and productive agave nurseries in Oaxaca; Espadín and rare varieties of agave such as Tepextate and Jabalí are cultivated side by side. When they achieve maturity, some are allowed to flower and seed, while the rest are harvested and cooked a traditional oven underground, rested, then milled, fermented and distilled using one of three small copper pots, finally offering the delicious elixir which is Mezcal Rey Campero. These distillates express an unflinching translation of the terroir, the family, and the agave which comprise it.
The light-on-its-feet character of this mezcal belies the feisty Cuishe (Agave karwinskii) variety from which it was made. Tomatillo, ginger, fresh hay and orange zest dance on the palate as they might in the summer sun, followed by a delicate note of honeydew. An unusually bright and refreshing example from the often sultry Romulo.