Mezcal is known for its mystifying qualities and connection to Mexican ritual and mythology. The heritage of mezcal goes back almost 500 years and is embedded in Mexican tradition and folklore. Our mezcal is a gift bestowed by Mother Nature, grown wild high atop the mountainside in Guerrero, Mexico. It is distilled from the WILD CUPREATA agave plant and is 100% handcrafted by the Maestro Mezcalero, using a family recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation. This cupreata agave variety offers a smooth taste with a distinguished consistency, producing a rich and lightly smoked mezcal flavor with elegant herbal and citrus notes. The entire process is vigilantly supervised by the Maestro Mezcalero to produce one of the purest spirits in the world—a spirit that delights the palet with its complex and intriguing flavor and mystical experience.
Mezcal was the first spirit to be distilled in the Americas. During colonial times the Spaniards banned the production of mezcal in order to promote the sale of their imported beverages. And so began the underground production of this illustrious Mexican spirit. After Mexican Independence in the early 1800s, mezcal could at long last be distilled in the open and has continued to this day to be handcrafted by small-scale producers. Those producers who have kept the long tradition of the natural production of mezcal alive are devoted to preserving its artisanal nature. The production of mezcal is a beloved adventure by the Mexican Mezcalero.
Our expert Maestro Mezcalero supervises each part of the Tres Papalote® Mezcal production. His extensive knowledge of the process has been passed on from generation to generation.
The cupreata agave plant can only be found in the mountains, traveling by foot or on donkey, and must reach a specific maturity before it can be cut, which is approximately seven years. Once the agave is brought down from the mountain on carts, the pina (the heart of the plant) is then extracted by the Master Cutter, placed in a large fire pit in the ground and roasted.
When the Maestro determines that the agave is sweet and tender, it is then crushed by a large stone wheel attached to a central axle that is pulled around a circular stone wheel by a horse or a donkey. During this process the sweet sap from the pina is extracted and when the specific consistency is reached, it becomes ready for fermentation.
The agave is then placed in aged wooden barrels, allowing the natural fermentation process to take place. The barrels are carefully guarded so that the proper temperature is maintained.
Following fermentation, the final step is distillation. The liquid is distilled two to three times and during this process it is carefully monitored by the Maestro Mezcalero. He uses a bamboo straw to count the pearls (the little bubbles that rise to the top of the liquid), and carefully checks their size and concentration to determine the alcohol and acidity level with astounding precision. The delicate balance of acidity and alcohol content is what creates the smooth elegant taste of Tres Papalote® Mezcal.
It was our intention to create an exciting bottle decoration chosen from the renowned Chicano art collection of Cheech Marin. The image on the bottle comes from a glass sculpture skillfully crafted by the artists Elinar and Jamex De La Torre. The brothers moved from Guadalajara, Mexico to California in 1972. Jamex started glass lampworking in 1977. He attended California State University at Long Beach under scholarship; he received a BFA in Sculpture in 1983. Einar started to work with glass in 1980; he also attended California State University at Long Beach. They are respected in the Chicano art community as innovators in their chosen art form. The figurine on the Tres Papalote® bottle has been inspired by a glass sculpture from Cheech’s art collection. It embodies the colorful and fun loving sense of freedom which is the essence of the Tres Papalote® Mezcal experience.