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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Is it really mezcal?[/caption] What is a mezcal? Who can label their bottles with the word "mezcal"? Those are the existential questions that bedevil this industry. For a second there we thought that they were more or less settled, even if you didn't like the result, with NOM 70 this past spring. But now a new struggle has emerged between one faction that argues that the term should be applied to those who have a claim to tradition. But the profound irony of their stance is that "mezcal", per the new NOM definition, now means less 'traditional product' than 'anything goes.'

The Mexican Industrial Property Institute known by it’s Spanish language acronym IMPI recently expanded the number of states that belong to the mezcal appellation. IMPI added the three states of Estado de Mexico (the state that surrounds and includes Mexico City), Morelos, and Aguascalientes. That means that the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal, the CRM, which is the Mexican semi-governmental body which regulates mezcal, can now certify mezcal producers in those states as legally producing mezcal.

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