Presa Grande, Chacolo
The Partida family, led by Don Macario (pictured above), has been making their iconic ‘mezcales’ for five generations in Zapotitlan de Vadillo, Jalisco. However, despite being in Jalisco, they are not producing Tequila; and since the state is outside the protected Denomination of Origen, they cannot label their Mezcal as such. Yet they are renowned among mezcaleros and mezcal aficionados as some of the finest producers in the category. 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.
Perhaps most notably, all of the agave used to make Chacolo is harvested capón: the agave is castrated as it develops its quiote (reproductive stalk), thus concentrating the natural sugars back in the agave’s heart. Where most mezcaleros distilling busily in southern states like Oaxaca might capón for a matter of months, the Partida family keep the sugars concentrating with an epic 3-4 year capón.
With every step of the production process, they similarly take their time. From extra long fermentation in the cool depths of volcanic rock wells, to low-yield distillation in a Filipino-style still made in part from the hollowed trunk of a Parota tree, these ‘mezcales’ are made purely out of love, passion and tradition.
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The smallest release we’ve seen yet from Chacolo – just 32 liters distilled. Another subspecies of Agave Angustifolia, harvested at 10 years growth with 3 years capón (castration to concentrate sugar yield). Soft and lactic, like Roquefort or Camembert cheese, lightened with notes of cranberry and squash blossoms. Subtle and plump, yet with distinct acidity – a remarkable food pairing mezcal. 48.1% ABV