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Reposado Mezcal

The intricate tapestry of Mezcal's history is intertwined with the cultural and spiritual fabric of Mexico. Mezcal, an ancient spirit distilled from the heart of the agave plant, boasts roots tracing back to the pre-colonial era. Indigenous groups like the Zapotecs and Mixtecs were known to produce a rudimentary version of the beverage long before the Spanish arrived. The term "Reposado," which means "rested," was later coined to describe Mezcal that has been aged in oak barrels for a period of two months to one year. The ageing process infuses the Mezcal with a unique amber colour and complex flavours, distinguishing Reposado from the clearer and often sharper-tasting Joven Mezcal.

Reposado Mezcal’s production is a meticulous process that cherishes tradition and craftsmanship. The journey begins with the harvesting of mature agave plants, primarily the Espadín variety, although several other types can be utilised. After the leaves are removed, the core or "piña" is roasted in underground pits lined with hot stones, imbuing the Mezcal with its characteristic smoky flavour. The roasted piñas are then crushed, traditionally using a tahona (a large stone wheel), to extract the juices and fermentable sugars. This mixture, known as the "mosto", is allowed to ferment naturally in open-air wooden vats. Once fermented, the liquid is distilled, typically in copper or clay pot stills. After the first distillation, the resultant liquid, commonly referred to as "ordinary," undergoes a second distillation to achieve the desired alcohol content and flavour profile. To qualify as Reposado, the Mezcal is then transferred to oak barrels where it rests and matures, absorbing flavours from the wood and undergoing chemical transformations that enrich its taste and aroma.

Over the years, the global fascination with Mezcal has seen the rise of several prominent brands that have brought Reposado Mezcal to the limelight. Del Maguey, with its Single Village Mezcal range, has been instrumental in showcasing the unique flavours that different agave varieties and terroirs can bring to the table. Mezcal Vago stands as another revered name in the Mezcal industry, lauded for its artisanal approach and the depth of flavours in its Reposados. Montelobos is a meticulously crafted brand that balances tradition with modern scientific understanding, ensuring both consistency and depth in their Mezcal. Lastly, Ilegal Mezcal, with its rebellious origin story of being smuggled into bars in the US, has today evolved into one of the most recognized Reposado Mezcal brands worldwide.

In essence, Reposado Mezcal stands as a testament to the rich history, traditional craftsmanship, and passionate producers of Mexico. As global appreciation for this spirit continues to grow, the tales and tastes of Reposado Mezcal will undoubtedly find their way into many more glasses around the world.

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