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Raicilla, Estancia Distillery

In 2014, Rio Chenery left New York City for the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, with the hope of making a unique tipple. In the 1960’s, his Mexican grandfather, who worked for the Tecate beer company, stumbled across a rare agave spirit in the small mountain town of Mascota on a business trip and fell in love with it. The locals called it Raicilla, meaning “little root”, and over the years it became a family favorite. Fast forward 50 years and Estancia Distillery is founded with the vision of bringing this rare agave spirit to the world. Inspired by 19th century apothecary products, the bottle is hand crafted and made from old recycled Coca-Cola bottles. Raicilla (pronounced rye-see-ya) is an agave spirit rooted in folklore and tradition. With a 400 year history in Mexico, this artisan spirit highlights the floral characteristics of the Maximiliana agave. From the heart or “piña” of this agave surfaces a bouquet of light citrus and floral aromas that are joined by notes of hibiscus, beach plum, and pineapple. In comparison to its agave cousins, Tequila and Mezcal, Raicilla is considered the most fragrant and floral spirit in the agave family.

Spirit Type:
Agave / Sotol
Spirit Sub Type:

Tasting Notes

Estancia’s distillation process begins by roasting the agave piñas for 2 days in an adobe oven (similar to large pizza oven) to activate the natural sugars for fermentation. The agave piñas are then crushed before the juice and fibers are slowly fermented using wild aireborne yeast. The water used in fermentation is mineral rich water from a natural spring that seeps out of a volcanic rock in the mountain ridge above the distillery. This water is naturally aerated and contains the perfect levels of calcium and magnesium ions to ensure a rich and healthy ferment at the right pH. When the ferment is ready, it is double-distilled in copper alembic stills to create Estancia’s aromatic Raicilla.  They ferment in old Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels, collect the distillate in 20 liter glass carboys, and store  batches in stainless steel tanks.

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