Raicilla de Costa, Las Perlas
A regional niche within the mezcal category, Raicilla is produced primarily in the western Mexican state of Jalisco in micro-distilleries called tabernas, which are owned by families or communities. Old lore has it that producers used the term vago de raicilla to confuse the Spanish and thus avoid the heavy taxes and fines levied on local spirits in the New World. Raicilla translates to tiny root, or rootlet, and some believe the name of the spirit originates from the literal context of using the “roots” of the agave leaves, the piña, in production .
Las Perlas is distilled at Hacienda El Divisadero by 5th generation raicilleros, the Díaz Rubio and Dìaz Ramos families. The taberna is located near the village of Las Guásimas, about 30 minutes north of El Tuito, the largest town in the Cabo Corrientes municipality.
Agave / Sotol
Spirit Sub Type:
Las Perlas Raicilla is made from single-origin Angustifolia and Rhodacantha agave grown for over 12 years on hilly, coastal terrain. They are cooked in a stone-lined underground pit that is sealed with clay. After one day, water is added to create steam. The overall cooking time is approximately 72 hours.
The cooled agaves are then chopped using a combination of sledge hammers, machetes, and a mechanical chipper. These fibers and resulting juices are fermented in a large, masonry tank using wild yeast over 20+ days—an extremely long fermentation time. First distillation occurs in a small, stainless steel pot still, and a second distillation occurs in a smaller copper “Filipino” still.
The resulting Raicilla is both floral and vegetal, exhibiting undertones of green pepper and melon. With hints of salinity, minerality, and smoke, Las Perlas is a tremendously sophisticated introduction to the exciting world of Raicilla.
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