Santos Juarez is cradled between the mineral rich volcanic landscape of southern Jalisco and a great wealth of fruit trees typical of the low deciduous forest. Pomegranate trees, mango, noni, mamey, pumpkin guides, chile, pitaya and many other things grow close to where the agaves of Santos lives. Over the 7,10, 15, or 25 years that takes the 11 varieties of maguey to grow, they absorb these natural components. Banana or corn leaves cover the conical underground oven where the maguey roasts for 3 to 5 days with mesquite firewood.
After this process, it is uncovered and crushed with wooden or metal mallets directly on the rock floor where the fermentation vats are, or as they call it: Peñas de Piedra Negra. It is probably the oldest method of fermentation for mezcales. Creating this hole is an arduous task. Manually compacted dirt and stone so that the ferment does not seep into the earth.
Spring water is added from the biological reserve of Manantlán to begin the natural fermentation that will take around 18 days. Fermentation proceeds naturally, without any type of accelerator. Wild and endemic yeasts are responsible for the process. That is why it takes so long to ferment. At the end of the fermentation, the tuba (as the juice resulting from the fermentation is known) is removed and passed to the stills where the bagasse (the rest of the cooked agave fiber) is also added. It is a discontinuous process of very small proportions. The stills are hand-made tools, made of a hollowed-out trunk of parota tree and with a copper bowl base. These tools allows great precision and effectiveness, even though they are hand crafted.
Mezcal made with maguey Alineño and Cimarrón (A. angustifolia) Maestro Mezcalero: Santos Juárez. Community: Tolimán, Jalisco. Roasting: Conical stone underground oven (3 days). Grinding: By hand with wooden mallets on rocks. Fermentation: Underground volcanic rock (18 days). Water used for Fermentation: Springwater. Distillation: Filipino type still of internal condensation with copper and parota. Alcoholic Richness: 47 % Alc./ Vol. Alcoholic Richness Adjustment: Puntas y colas. Liters produced: 550 lts. / Year: 2018