Xicaru Mezcal: Everything You Need To Know
by Ellie Balderson
This article is about Xicaru mezcal, and its origins. To get a better understanding of this fabulous spirit, we then look at the flavor and the various types of mezcal Xicaru that are available to enjoy.
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In Zapotec, "xicaru" means "beautiful".
The name reflects what founder Fernando Santibañez desired, which was to share his artistic creations. He used his grandmother's recipe to make small batches of Xicaru mezcal in Matatlán.
His creations inspired the creation of modern-day Xicaru mezcal, including a couple of other variations. This mezcal is an artistic expression.
It derives its smoky flavor from the cooking of the agave in a conical stone oven on ocote and mesquite, woods native to Oaxaca.
After cooking, the agave is tahona-mashed then naturally fermented in an open vat made of pine. After fermentation, it is double distilled in a copper alembic. It’s filtered and blended precisely.
Types of Mezcal Xicaru
Xicaru Mezcal Anejo Espadin
This mezcal emulates the 100% Agave espadin used to make it. It has a natural smoky flavor that it gets after cooking the agave on a conical stove.
The old-age methods used to make it give the mezcal a substantial body and pure appearance. Its final aroma is natural and robust; mosquito, ocote, and agave.
The front palate has earthy characteristics that give way to rich citrus and vegetal agave notes for a clean distinctive finish. These qualities get a smoky complement without affecting the delicate balance in Xicaru.
Xicaru Mezcal Silver Espadin 102 proof
Xicaru Silver 102 honors the traditions of master mezcaleros who liked high-proof mezcals. It has a bolder and more robust look from its small cut at the heart of the distillate.
A narrower cut is made from the heart where there is more alcohol, smoke, and maguey concentration. Xicaru silver makes use of mezcal production methods from the old generations.
A crisp, high proof aspect that dominates the nose and palate then gradually softens the rich, vegetal, and smoky notes of traditional artisanal mezcal. A warm and lasting finish can be experienced.
Xicaru Mezcal Reposado Espadin
Just like the Xicaru Silver, Xicaru Reposado is made with one hundred percent espadin agave, cooked in the same kind of conical stove oven using ocote and mesquite woods.
After the tahona-mashing, it goes through natural fermentation and double distillation then ages. The aging takes about two to four months. Xicaru Reposado rests on medium toasted American Oak barrels.
Aging in a barrel creates a straw color and the sweet notes that complement the traditional mezcal’s unique characteristics.
The palate softens the smoky, herbal taste of the mezcal with the delicate tinge of caramel and vanilla. The beautiful flavor finishes cleanly and smoothly.
Xicaru Mezcal Anejo Espadin
They get the Xicaru Añejo by combining mezcal traditions and those of barrel aging. Xicaru Añejo gets unique characteristics from this process.
It is traditionally made from 100% Maguey Espadin and rests for a year in a medium toasted American oak barrel for an 86 proof. To keep it from aging, used barrels are employed.
The higher proof keeps the essential characteristics of the mezcal intact
Allowing the mezcal to age patiently turns it into a more concentrated, fuller, and complex mezcal. Notes of oak and vanilla, together with flavours of sweetness, delicately balance with the maguey and smoke.
Xicaru is a whole new kind of mezcal but likely not far off the mezcals you are used to.
It took an artist to make it and it takes a true mezcal fan to appreciate it.
What makes Xicaru expensive?
Mezcal is different from tequila when it comes to how they are produced and the agave used to make them tends to be pricey. Most of the time it costs more than even top-shelf tequilas.
The high price comes from the fact that the plants used to make mezcal take a very long period of time to reach their peak.
Take A Sip Of Xicaru Mezcal And Enjoy
If you have not tried this mezcal then you are missing out on a whole new experience. It is one to enjoy. You should be able to find one that will resonate with you.