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 Star Anise Pods
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 did 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, harvest mature cultivated agave angustifolia, also know as espadin in Oaxaca, and cooks them in a conical earthen pit oven. Once the agaves are cooked, they 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 star anise and then it is allowed to rest in 5 liter glass jugs between 10 and 14 days. This rest period allows the spirit to settle which is a well know practice for making spirits more refined. After the rest period the spirit is bottled at 40% ABV.
In April 2019, Santo Cuvios Bacanora Anis earned a Double Gold medal and named Best Flavored Bacanora from the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits.
Nose: Like with the other Santo Cuvios bacanoras, the aroma on the anis is really fantastic, full of earth and fruit, layered with notes of smoke and aromatic aromas of anise and fresh fennel. The aroma is light and herbaceous without the overpowering black licorice smell that can be off putting to some drinkers.
Palate: On the palate the body is rich and luscious, with an elegant medicinal character pairs really well with the underlying agave flavor.
Finish: The finish is long with a strong earthiness and light notes of anise that linger on the tongue.
Conclusion: Santo Cuviso Anis is a fantastic spirit that is delicious and shines in a number of settings. The herbaceous character of the anis lends itself to being an excellent digestive after a large meal. It also shows well in a hot toddy as the weather starts to turn cold. The anis can also be used as a absinthe substitute in a Sazerac or an number of classic cocktails adding a slight smoky character. The nice thing about this spirit is that it has enough agave character to please fans of bacanora and artisanal mezcal, but at the same time, drinkers unfamiliar with those spirits will find this very approachable and enjoy its beauty.