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March 2017

We're really looking forward to our upcoming tasting and talk in Sacramento with Rion Toal of Maestros del Mezcal. Mestros is a cooperative of small producers from several regions in Mexico. This is the kick off of our Spirited Conversations series where we focus on a specific topic while tasting mezcal. The event will be held April 3 at Sacramento's newest agave spirits and Mexican craft beer focused restaurant and bar Cantina Alley. For tickets, check here.

[caption id="attachment_5813" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Sombra's new palenque[/caption] Just when we start really digging into the different ways to unpack the new NOM-70,  Sombra Mezcal founder Richard Betts published this incredible piece. It's a scoping piece of honesty and transparency from a mezcal brand. More than anything it's incredibly refreshing - if we all could engage on this level all of the time the world would be a much better place.

[caption id="attachment_5811" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] A mix of agaves[/caption] You may have noticed the term ensemble on some mezcals, it’s just like the dictionary definition, the second one after “a group of musicians, actors, or dancers who perform together.” The one that reads “a group of items viewed as a whole rather than individually.” As applied to the mezcal world the same holds true, a variety of agaves are harvested, roasted, mashed, fermented, distilled, and bottled together.

[caption id="attachment_5724" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] What category do these bottles fit in?[/caption] NOTE: I edited this piece slightly because a sharp eyed commenter noted that diffusors are explicitly allowed, a fact that I flat out missed while reading and translating the NOM. I'm going to be writing more about that in the coming days but for now I'm just updating this post with the relevant information. -- Max Garrone ---- Ever so quietly NOM 70 was passed into Mexican law on February 23nd. This after years of debate and discussion - a process that was unusual for its inclusiveness and for how the voices of the people impacted by the law are included in it. Now that we have a law it's time to figure out what it means. Here's the full text. Big picture:

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