Master Mezcalero: Silverio García Luis & Epifania Gómez Mejía
Agave Varietal: Espadín
Scientific Name: Agave angustifolia
Town / Municipality: Rancho Blanco Güilá, Santiago Matatlán
Fermentation: Natural, Open-Vat Fermentation in Wood
Still Type: Copper Alembic
Butterscotch, black tea, banana, and roasted maguey. A little sweet, a little creamy. Savory, spicy, and peppery, in a way that reminds us of smoked meats and Texas style barbecue. Followed by lingering, resonating notes of ash and soft smoke on the palate.
ESPADIN (Agave angustifolia):
Espadin is the most common varietal of agave used in mezcal production. It is indigenous to most mezcal-producing regions and adapts well to cultivation. Depending on the terroir and climate, Esapdin typically takes 5-7 years to mature, which is considered fast in the world of agaves.
Espadin piñas come in a variety of sizes, and can weigh as much as several hundred pounds. The agave is easy to work with. Subject to the hand of the maker, Espadin can yield a wide variety of flavors and profiles, depending on the climate, time of year at harvest, production style, altitude, and countless other factors.
Do not underestimate Espadin. Despite the fact that Espadin is the most “common” agave varietal used for mezcal production, and often less expensive than other varietals, it makes some of the best and most interesting mezcals. As a friend in the trade once said, Espadin mezcal is never “just an Espadin.”
While Erstwhile Mezcal is known for its forte in small-batch artisanal mezcal made from wild, more “exotic” varietals of agave, we are extremely proud and stand 110% behind our signature Espadín mezcal.
In fact, we challenge you to find a better-tasting Espadín. That is how confident we are about our Espadín, though of course reasonable minds can differ when it comes to matters of the heart.
Who is the producer that crafted Erstwhile Mezcal’s signature Espadín?
Meet Silverio García Luis and Epifania Gómez Mejía, a producer family of Zapotec heritage based in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca.
Counting Silverio and Epifania, there has been at least three generations of mezcaleros in the García family.
Epifania did not grow up in a mezcal family, but learned the ropes and became a mezcalera of her own right after marrying into the García family. She was recently recognized as a Woman in Mezcal in the January 2020 edition of El Mezcal, an online publication by the Mezcal Regulatory Council (Consejo Regulador del Mezcal).
The legacy and craft of artisanal mezcal production have deep roots in the García family. Silverio and Epifania learned the craft from Silverio’s father, renowned master mezcalero Lorenzo Antonio García (Don Lencho, as he is commonly known).
In February 2016, The Mezcal Regulatory Council recognized Don Lencho as a Cultural Treasure of Mezcal, a remarkable and rare honor reserved for the few master mezcaleros who are known for excellent mezcal and have preserved the virtuosity of artisanal mezcal production for at least 60 years.