Reivew: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Uvalama
AT A GLANCE
Owned by: Casa TresAmigos
Distilled by: Manuel “El Toro” Chacón in Bacanora, Sonora
Cooking: Horno (earthen pit oven)
Crush: Mechanical Mill
Fermentation: Natural fermentation
Still Type: Copper Pot
Flavored: Whole Uvalama Berries
Spirit Type: Flavored Bacanora
The agave spirit known as bacanora is named after the town of Bacanora in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Like many other spirits indigenous to Mexico, bacanora went though a period of prohibition. But, even after prohibition ended, bacanora was almost exclusively consumed locally. However in 2000, the Mexican government gave bacanora its own denomination of origin to protect its production as they had with tequila and mezcal.
Santo Cuviso is made in the town of Bacanora by maestro Manuel “El Toro” Chacón, a third generation bacanoro. El Toro, harvests mature cultivated agave angustifolia, also know as espadin in Oaxaca, and cooks them in a conical earthen pit oven. Once cooked, the agaves are milled and ferment naturally by wild yeast for up to 12 days. After fermentation, the must is double distilled in copper pot stills. Post-distillation, some of the blanco bacanora is mixed with a concentrated infusion of uvalama berry, a local Sonoran fruit. Once mixed the flavored bacanora is allowed to rest in 5 liter glass jugs between 10 and 14 days to allow the the spirit to settle . After this rest period the spirit is bottled at 45% ABV.
In April 2019, Santo Cuvios Bacanora Uvalama earned a Gold medal from the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits.
Nose: The nose is lovely with notes of blackberry fruit and phenols from the skin of the berry, layered on top of earthy vegetal aromas, and citrus.
Palate: On the palate the spirit is well structured and has a luxurious round body that is velvety on the tongue. The flavor is delicious and bursts with flavors of berry fruit, mixed with a slight woody stem character, not to dissimilar to grappa. The spirit dances across tongue and invites you to take another sip.
Finish: The finish is medium long with lingering notes of berries, light smoke and a hint of dry tobacco.
Conclusion: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Uvalama is a delicious festival of flavors and aromas that should be celebrated with friends and family. In Mexico, berry infused agave spirits are commonly shared at big life events and this spirit is perfect for your next wedding party, birth celebration, quinceañera, or gathering to celebrate life. While I am sure there will be a number of talented bartenders who will come up with creative ways to use this in cocktails, I suggest drinking it neat with others. Lastly, because of its fruity sweetness, I think the uvalama will pair nicely with a light bodied cigar. But however you drink it, enjoy!