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Currently only 9 of Mexico's 32 states are allowed to produce. Oaxaca, Durango, Puebla, Guerrero, Michoacán, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, and Guanajuato. Upwards of 90% comes from Oaxaca, with Durango placing a distant second place, the remaming seven states contribute around 1% combined.



Uses high tech equipment such as autoclaves and diffuses (for roasting), stainless steel fermentation vessels, and continuous column stills.


Limited to traditional and much more rudimentary processes. Roasting takes place only in pit ovens, while fermentation can take place in a range of vessels including wooden tanks, hollowed-out stone or tree trunks, and animal skins.


Forget fancy copper or stainless-steel stills, Mezcal Ancestral distillation exclusively uses clay pots brought to temperature by fire.


Before exploring the different agave varieties its important to consider that the production methods play a much more important role in the spirits final profile than the variety of agave used

Two producers could, for example use the exact same variety but end up with completely different flavors

Other factors that influence the final flavor profile include: the ambient yeast (that carry out fermentation), the conditions in which the agave plants grew, from soil type to altitude. Much like wine, the beauty of mezcal is the spirits ability to express Terroir

The agave genus contains some 200 species, of which 40-50 can be used for mezcal production (per CRM). These varieties are often referred to using non-scientific common names, which adds further complications.

In some instances, one variety may have a range of different common names across the country, while in others, different states may use the same common name but in reference to different varieties

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