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A form of mezcal unique to the western mountains and coast of Jalisco, raicilla (meaning “little root”) has been quietly produced for hundreds of years. While the state is of course known for the Goliath industry of Tequila, raicilleros have arguably been producing this agave spirit since before the Spanish conquest.
Maestro raicillero Alfredo Salvatierra begins production by roasting Agave maximiliana for 2 days in an adobe oven, similar to a large pizza oven. The agave is milled, then fermented in oak vats and amphora clay, using wild yeast and volcanic spring water from a mountain ridge above the distillery (or “taberna”). The results are distilled twice, using traditional copper and steel pot stills, then rested in glass and stainless steel before bottling.
Maximiliana is known for its herbal and floral characteristics, and Estancia leans into this with a heady bouquet of cracked black pepper, sweet and savory green herbs, delicate hibiscus, beach plum, pineapple skin and soft goat cheese that lingers on the palate like plate of crudités.