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El Rey Zapoteco Cuishe Tasting Notes


  • Location:  Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca
  • Agave: Cuishe / A. karwinskii
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Familia Hernandez Escobar
  • Batch: E-0124
  • Bottle: 001
  • Vintage: 2019
  • ABV: 45%
  • Tasting keywords: Pine, candy cane, rock sugar.
  • NOM: O71X
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A good wife of a freshly opened dill pickle jar which rounds into freshly chopped sugar cane.


A very light body with flavors of pine, candy cane, and rock candy make for an unexpectedly fun tasting experience.

Method / Background Notes

One of the older family owned brands in the business dating back to 1960, a completely different era in the mezcal world, Rey Zapoteco seems to have threaded the needle and come out the other side as an artisanal brand which cultivates its own agave and has a stand out product to show for it. Every expression in this line is marked by a very light hand: The mezcals have low viscosity and are very expressive telling you a continuous story of the maestro’s distilling philosophy.

These karwinskiis were wild harvested after 15 years of growth, roasted underground, milled with a tahona, fermented in tinas, and twice distilled in a copper alembic.

Some of the karwinskiis that go into El Rey Zapoteco. Photo by Marlene Lange.

Max co-founded Mezcalistas with Susan way back in 2012. Before that he was a journalist at Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.

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