EZdrinking

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary.

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary. EZdrinking is a drinks blog by Eric Zandona that focuses on distilled spirits, wine, craft beer and specialty coffee. Here you can find reviews of drinks, drink books, articles about current & historical trends, as well as how to make liqueurs, bitters, and other spirit based drinks at home.

Filtering by Tag: Agave Angustifolia

Review: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Anis

AT A GLANCE

  • Owned by: Casa TresAmigos

  • Distilled by: Manuel “El Toro” Chacón in Bacanora, Sonora

  • Agave: Angustifolia

  • Cooking: Horno (earthen pit oven)

  • Crush: Mechanical Mill

  • Fermentation: Natural fermentation

  • Still Type: Copper Pot

  • Flavored: Whole Star Anise Pods

  • Spirit Type: Flavored Bacanora

  • Strength: 40%

  • Price: $90+/-

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.

TASTING NOTES

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.

Santo Cuviso Bacanora Anis Review | Tequila Aficionado Sipping off the Cuff

Reivew: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Uvalama

AT A GLANCE

  • Owned by: Casa TresAmigos

  • Distilled by: Manuel “El Toro” Chacón in Bacanora, Sonora

  • Agave: Angustifolia

  • Cooking: Horno (earthen pit oven)

  • Crush: Mechanical Mill

  • Fermentation: Natural fermentation

  • Still Type: Copper Pot

  • Flavored: Whole Uvalama Berries

  • Spirit Type: Flavored Bacanora

  • Strength: 45%

  • Price: $90+

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.

TASTING NOTES

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!

Santo Cuviso Bacanora Uvalama Review | Tequila Aficionado Sipping off the Cuff

Review: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Blanco

AT A GLANCE

  • Owned by: Casa TresAmigos

  • Distilled by: Manuel “El Toro” Chacón in Bacanora, Sonora

  • Agave: Angustifolia

  • Cooking: Horno (earthen pit oven)

  • Crush: Mechanical Mill

  • Fermentation: Natural fermentation

  • Still Type: Copper Pot

  • Spirit Type: Bacanora

  • Strength: 45% ABV

  • Price: $88

The agave spirit known as bacanora is named after the town of Bacanora in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Like many other indigenous spirits, 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 and name like 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, the spirit 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 unaged spirits more refined. After the rest period the spirit is bottled at 45% ABV.

In April 2019, Santo Cuvios Bacanora Blanco earned a Gold medal and named Agave Spirit of the Year from the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits.

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose has a fantastic aromas of fruit, citrus and a bright green vegetal note. As the spirit warms, the aroma opens and develop into notes of hard aged cheese or even a salty Oaxacan cheese.

Palate: On the palate the spirit is smooth and elegant with just a touch of sweetness. Then the flavors explode with wonderful notes of fruit and green agave.

Finish: On the finish, the bright fruitiness lingers with a somewhat dry ashy character the serves as a nice counterpoint to the fruit. Again, as the spirit warms in the glass, the finish transforms into chocolate caramel!

Conclusion: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Blanco is simply outstanding and if you are a fan of artisanal mezcal or you have tried other bacanoras then do yourself a favor and go find a bottle or ask your local liquor store to order one for you. The spirit is packed with flavor, complexity and it is extremely well balanced. Words alone cannot do this justice so go tastes some fast.

Santo Cuviso Bacanora Blanco Review | Tequila Aficionado Sipping off the Cuff

Review: Miel de Tierra Espadin Mezcal Artesanal

AT A GLANCE

  • Owned by: Miel de Tierra

  • Distilled by: Don Hector Mateo in Santiago de Matatlán, Oaxaca

  • Agave: Espadin

  • Cooking: Horno (earthen pit oven)

  • Crush: Tahona

  • Fermentation: Natural fermentation in pine vats

  • Still Type: Copper Alembic Pot Still

  • Spirit Type: Joven Mezcal Artesanal

  • Strength: 40% ABV

  • Price: $55

Miel de Tierra Espadin Mezcal Artesanal is distilled by maestro mezcalero Don Hector Mateo in Santiago de Matatlán, Oaxaca. Don Hector harvest the agaves once they’ve reached maturity, between six and eight years old. Once harvested, the agaves are cooked in an earthen pit oven, and then crushed with a three-ton tahona before being fermented in open air pine vats by wild yeast. After fermentation, it is double distilled in a copper alembic pot still, proofed to 40% ABV and bottled unaged. According to the brand, Miel de Tierra shares a portion of the profits from every bottle sold in helping to conserve wild honeybees in rural Mexico.

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose has a classic aroma of artisanal mezcals from espadin, with light floral notes intermixed with earthy aromas of smoke.

Palate: On the palate, the mezcal delivers with a wonderful and bright flavor of herbaceous lime gently supported by the smoke.

Finish: The mezcal finishes incredibly smooth without any of the burn that you sometimes find in more rustic unrefined mezcals.

Conclusion: Miel de Tierra Espadin is a great introduction to the classic aromas and flavors of Oaxacan mezcal distilled from espadin. At 40% ABV the mezcal has solid flavor without any burn and shows the skill of the maker. This is a very tasty mezcal that can please those who already enjoy the category and can serve as a perfect introduction for those interested in tasting what the hype about mezcal is all about.

For more information watch my review with Mike Morales on Tequila Aficionado’s Sipping off the Cuff.

Miel de Tierra Espadin Mezcal Artesanal Review | Tequila Aficionado Sipping off the Cuff

Review: Los Vecinos del Campo Espadin Mezcal Artesanal

AT A GLANCE

  • Owned by: Sazerac Co.

  • Distilled by: Casa San Matias in Oaxaca

  • Agave: Espadin

  • Cooking: Horno (earthen pit oven)

  • Crush: Tahona

  • Fermentation: Natural fermentation in pine vats

  • Still Type: Copper Pot Still

  • Spirit Type: Joven Mezcal Artesanal

  • Strength: 45% ABV

  • Price: $30

Los Vecinos del Campo Espadin Mezcal Artesanal is made by Casa San Matias, a co-op that consists of 10 mezcal families in the central valley of Oaxaca. The agaves are cooked in an earthen pit oven, and crushed with a tahona. The must, fibers and all, is fermented in open air wooden vats by wild yeast, and then double distilled in copper pot stills. After distillation, the mezcal is proofed to 45% ABV and bottled unaged.

TASTING NOTES

Nose: Initially the nose starts closed with just a faint hint of alcohol. The aroma slowly opens up with a light note of espadin mixed with three smell of a burning campfire without the smoke.

Palate: On the palate the mezcal is very powerful. It starts bright and sweet with a strong vegetal character which then transforms into a savory salty flavor like Parmesan cheese.

Finish: The finish is very long with a lingering smoke character and the flavor of salty cheese like Oaxacan quesillo.

Conclusion: Los Vecinos del Campo Espadin is a nice mezcal with good body and structure that will work particularly well in cocktails. The mezcal starts and finishes strong but it falls flat in the mid-palate. Because of that, this espadin will show best in drinks like a Mezcal Negroni, Mezcal Margarita, or a Oaxacan Old Fashioned rather than sipping neat.

For more information watch my review with Mike Morales on Tequila Aficionado’s Sipping off the Cuff.