Destilado Ancestral de Papalome, Balancan

Destilado Ancestral de Papalome, Balancan

Balancan Spirits is a line of distinctive and uncertified agave distillates (“destilados de agave”) from all over Mexico. Each release in the collection represents traditional methods endemic to its place of origin. From rawhide fermentation to tree trunk distillation, many of these methods are labor intensive and unique enough that they are simultaneously educational & thrilling while vulnerable & vanishing. In limited batches sourced from tiny rural producers, Balancan endeavors to explore a sense of place and heritage with every bottle – from the land, to the agave, to the hands of the individual artisans.

Spirit Type:
Agave / Sotol / Pox
Spirit Sub Type:
Destilado de Agave

Tasting Notes

In the mountains of Ixcatlán, near the border where Puebla meets the northwest of Oaxaca, Agave potatorum can be found growing in the wild. More commonly known as Tobalá, the local dialect refers to the agave as Papalome, from the Nahuatl word papalo meaning butterfly, due to the distinctive shape of its leaves. Tiny, uncertified agave distillers still practice their traditional art in these mountains, and the second release from Balancan highlights Amando Alvarado, a young man generations deep in the heritage of mezcal. Amando harvests Papalome, roasting it in a traditional earthen oven before milling it by hand using machete and mallet. The agave is then fermented in bull hide, hung like a hammock between posts, before finally being twice-distilled in a traditional clay pot. Ancestral indeed.


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