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Quiquiriqui Espadin tasting notes

  • Location: Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca
  • Agave: A. angustifolia – Espadin.
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Carlos Mendez Blas
  • Vintage: 2019
  • ABV: 41%
  • Tasting Keywords: Mezquite and orange peel.
  • NOM: O20X
  • Buy it today.


A Matatlan espadin with a wide cut of cane sugar complemented by lemon zest.


Soft, round body full of roasted mesquite accented with orange peel. It has a very mellow flavor profile that would be equally perfect in a cocktail or as an introductory mezcal.


Espadin is roasted underground, crushed with tahona, fermented with wild yeasts in wooden tinas, and then double distilled in copper pot stills.


As Quiquiriqui’s California distributor Ian Adams of Merchants of Thirst told me, “I wanted to drink an espadin in this style. I’m tired of people constantly competing for the highest ABV. This is smooth, sippable, and works incredibly well in a cocktail.” It’s known as “la casa” or house mezcal and, as the Quiquiriqui flagship, it was designed to be affordable and approachable without “sacrificing clear provenance.”

The Merchants of Thirst logo

This mezcal was designed with the bar in mind from the ground up. The maestro mezcalero, Carlos Mendez Blas, gets more volume out of each distillation run by making a wider cut and clearly is balancing that with a lower ABV without sacrificing too much flavor.

The larger liter bottle size is deceptive, it’s not designed to be different, it’s designed for ease of use and economy. It has a screw top for quick access and the size means it’s cheaper to ship which keeps the per bottle cost down. The ABV is tuned to 41%, just above your standard margarita tequila but with masses more flavor.

The bat skeleton on the inside of the rear label is distinctive and a functional symbol of the critical pollinating role that bats serve for agaves. Ian thinks that “They really are the unsung heroes of the night, that’s why they’re on the inside of every label.”

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


  • Jaqueline
    April 6, 2021

    How does one become a “Mastro Mezcalero”?

    • Susan Coss
      April 6, 2021

      This is a great question! It could be said this is a modern term applied to the mezcalero which can signify the maker of the mezcal or the person who oversees the process, a manager per se. There is no formal program to attend to receive this title like one would a masters degree or lawyer or doctor. It is seen as a title of respect.


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