This K&L exclusive is rare agaves that were roasted, mashed, fermented, and distilled together. Sierra Negra is an Agave Americana, akin to Arroqueño, but with a shorter lifespan (12-15 years) and thinner leaves which have a distinct black spine running up and down their edges. It grows wildly, but is also cultivated by a select few intrepid souls. Alberto Martinez, producer of this incredible mezcal is one of the few distillers left in Santa Catarina Alborradas. The altitude is about 6,500 feet above sea level at the distillery and Alberto's fields are a 30 minute hike into the mountains on the other side of the canyon from the palenque easily reaching upwards of 7000 feet. This batch was distilled from 13 pinas of very old cultivated Sierra Negra. Roasted for nearly a week of acacia leaves and oak before grinding with wooden mallets. Fermentation is slow in this cool climate and in addition to spring water, Alberto adds tepehuaje bark to the sunken stone tanks. This nitrogeon rich ingredient helps jump start fermentation, which takes 5 days, and is a crucial element to the Alberto's incredible product. His wife harvests and extracts the bark by hand in the distillery. The distillation is done in small clay pots and this batch yielded a miniscule 135-liters of exceptional spirit in April 2019.
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