Mezcal is a distillate produced with a plant called Agave.

There are many species of Agave, ~ 200 species,

~ 30 are used to produce mezcal,

yet, only 12 species account for ~ 99% of certified mezcal*.

 

Learn about the 12 principal agaves to appreciate mezcal…

12 AGAVE REGIONS

Browse to explore the principal agave regions, examine its differences and special characteristics

Espadín

A. angustifolia

Verde

A. salmiana

Cenizo

A. durangensis

Ancho

A. cupreata

Tobalá

A. potatorum

Azul

A. tequilana

Verde

A. scabraa

Cuishe

A. karwinskii

Coyote

A. americana oaxacensis

Jabalí

A. convallis

Pichumel

A. marmorata

Mexicano

A. rhodacantha

Maguey Espadín
A. angustifolia

'Espadín' Region

Area where maguey 'Espadín' ( A. angustifolia) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Espadín' info

  • ~86% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘espadín’ (a. angustifolia). Its popularity among mezcal fans comes from its easiness to drink, among mezcaleros due to its high yield.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to the province of British Columbia in Canada.
  • 1 to 2m height
  • June to August (Flowering season)
  • 6 to 8 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • 30-1770 meters above sea level

Maguey Verde
A. salmiana

'Verde' Region

Area where maguey 'Verde' ( A. salmiana) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Verde' info

  • Less than 1% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘verde’ (a. salmiana). Pleasingly floral, it is unique among mezcals because it is usually not smoky, due to its production process.
  • Distributed over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to Germany.
  • 1.5 to 2.5m height
  • April to June (Flowering season)
  • 12 to 16 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • 300-2400 meters above sea level

Maguey Cenizo
A. durangensis

'Cenizo' Region

Area where maguey 'Cenizo' ( A. durangensis) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Cenizo' info

  • ~2% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘cenizo’ (a. durangensis). Durango produces mezcal with several agave varieties, yet 'cenizo' is the local favorite.
  • Distributed in Mexico over an area roughly equivalent in size to the state of New York in the USA.
  • 0.7 to 1.8m height
  • March to May (Flowering season)
  • 10 to 12 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • 650-2560 meters above sea level

Maguey Ancho
A. cupreata

'Ancho' Region

Area where maguey 'Ancho' ( A. cupreata) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Ancho' info

  • ~3% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘ancho’ (a. cupreata). It is a mezcal known by its sweetness and complexity. The mezcal of choice in Guerrero and Michoacán.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to the state of Washington in the USA.
  • 0.7 to 1.8m height
  • March to June (Flowering season)
  • 10 to 12 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • 650-2560 meters above sea level

Maguey Tobalá
A. potatorum

'Tobalá' Region

Area where maguey 'Tobalá' ( A. potatorum) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Tobalá' info

  • ~2% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘tobalá’ (a. potatorum). Revered by many aficionados and mezcaleros in Oaxaca - where most mezcal is made in Mexico.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to the state of Illinois in the USA.
  • 0.3 to 0.5 m height
  • September to November (Flowering season)
  • 10 to 12 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • 300-2600 meters above sea level

Maguey Azul
A. tequilana

'Azul' Region

Area where maguey 'Azul' ( A. tequilana) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Azul' info

  • Less than 1% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘azul’ (a. tequilana). Perhaps the most famous of mezcals as it is the agave used for tequila, for some it is even better in its artisanal form.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to the United Kingdom.
  • 1.5 to 2m height
  • May to July (Flowering season)
  • 8 to 10 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • 300-1585 meters above sea level

Maguey Verde
A. scabraa

'Verde' Region

Area where maguey 'Verde' ( A. scabraa) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Verde' info

  • No liters of certified mezcal were produced in 2019 with ‘verde’ (a. scabraa). An astounding mezcal that is nowadays available only in small batches locally.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to the province of New South Wales in Australia.
  • 1 to 2 m height*
  • March to May (Flowering season)
  • 10 to 12 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • 500-2500 meters above sea level

Maguey Cuishe
A. karwinskii

'Cuishe' Region

Area where maguey 'Cuishe' ( A. karwinskii) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Cuishe' info

  • ~2% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘cuishe’ (a. karwinskii). It is a mezcal with unmistakable identity, the favorite of many enthusiasts.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to Ireland.
  • 0.6 to 1.5 m height
  • 10 to 12 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • August to October (Flowering season)
  • 400-1500 meters above sea level

Maguey Coyote
A. americana oaxacensis

'Coyote' Region

Area where maguey 'Coyote' ( A. americana oaxacensis) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Coyote' info

  • Less than 1% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘coyote’ or some other variety of agave americana. An adaptable agave that lives in varied ecosystems, produces very interesting mezcals that vary in their flavors.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to the state of New Mexico in the USA.
  • 1.5 to 2.5 m height
  • 8 to 10 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • February to April (Flowering season). Agave americana var. oaxacensis rarely flowers, reproduction occurs through bulbils
  • 0-2325 meters above sea level

Maguey Jabalí
A. convallis

'Jabalí' Region

Area where maguey 'Jabalí' ( A. convallis) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Jabalí' info

  • Less than 1% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘jabalí’ (a. convallis). One of the most difficult agaves to convert into mezcal, it is rare and appreciated by those who have tasted it.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to Iceland.
  • 1 to 1.5 m height*
  • 10 to 12 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • June to August (Flowering season)
  • 1000-2000 meters above sea level

Maguey Pichumel
A. marmorata

'Pichumel' Region

Area where maguey 'Pichumel' ( A. marmorata) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Pichumel' info

  • ~1% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘pichumel’ (a. marmorata). Known in Oaxaca as Tepeztate, it has a cult following. Great mezcals, whose minerality set them apart from the rest.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to the Netherlands.
  • 1 to 2 m height
  • 25 to 35 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • March to May (Flowering season)
  • 340-2112 meters above sea level

Maguey Mexicano
A. rhodacantha

'Mexicano' Region

Area where maguey 'Mexicano' ( A. rhodacantha) grows in Mexico. Brown fading represents density of plants in an area.

'Mezcal' Denomination of origin

Area where a distillate produced with an agave can be legally labelled as mezcal.

Political Boundary

'Mexicano' info

  • Less than 1% of all certified mezcal produced in 2019 was made with ‘mexicano’ (a. rhodacantha). Another mezcal that has its own followers, all in love with the flavor complexity of a very rare mezcal.
  • Extends over an area in Mexico roughly equivalent in size to Spain.
  • 1.7 to 2.5 m height
  • 10 to 14 years (Life expectancy / maturity)
  • May to July (Flowering season)
  • 1400-2200 meters above sea level

12 LEGENDARY MAESTROS

Let us introduce some of the best mezcaleros, that we have met in the principal agave regions

'Leo'

'Che'

'Ventura'

'Chícharo'

'Aarón'

'Don Lupe'

'Gil'

'Don Catarino'

'Ángel'

'Tucho'

'El Güero'

'Don Francisco'

Maguey
'Espadín'
Online Store

'Leo' Hernández

  • 1 / ~ (500 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Espadin’
  • ~ 20 years’ experience
  • 5th generation
  • Sierra del Sur, México
  • San Baltazar Guelavila, Oaxaca
Maguey
'Verde'

Online Store

'Che' Hernández

  • 1 / ~ (30 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Manso’
  • ~ 25 years’ experience
  • 2nd generation
  • Central High Plateau, México
  • Santa Isabel, San Luis Potosí
Mapa del maguey Cenizo en Mexico
Maguey
'Cenizo'

Online Store

'Ventura' Gallegos

  • 1 / ~ (40 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Cenizo’
  • ~ 20 years’ experience
  • 2nd generation
  • Central High Plateau, México
  • Nombre de Dios, Durango
Maguey
'Ancho'
Online Store

'Chícharo' Obregón

  • 1 / ~ (300 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Ancho’
  • ~ 15 years’ experience
  • 3rd generation
  • Sierra Madre Occidental, México
  • Mazatlán, Guerrero
Maguey Región Tobalá
Maguey
'Tobalá'

Online Store

'Aarón' Robles

  • 1 / ~ (200 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Tobalá’
  • ~ 15 years’ experience
  • 1st generation
  • Sierra del Sur, México
  • San Pedro Totolapam, Oaxaca
Maguey
'Azul'
Online Store

'Don Lupe' Pérez

  • 1 / ~ (100 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Azul’ (D.O.)
  • ~ 20 years’ experience
  • 1st generation
  • Sierra Madre Occidental, México
  • Tzitzio, Michoacan
Maguey
'Verde'

Online Store

'Gil' Roldán

  • 1 / ~ (20 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Verde’
  • ~ 20 years’ experience
  • 4th generation
  • Central High Plateau, México
  • Nombre de Dios, Durango
Maguey
'Cuishe'

Online Store

'Don Catarino' Hernández

  • 1 / ~ (100 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Cuishe’
  • ~ 50 years’ experience
  • 1rd generation
  • Sierra Madre del Sur, México
  • San Jerónimo Taviche, Oaxaca
Maguey
'Coyote'

Online Store

'Angel' Cruz

  • 1 / ~ (20 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Coyote’
  • ~ 10 years’ experience
  • 5th generation
  • Sierra Madre del Sur, México
  • Sola de Vega, Oaxaca
Maguey
'Jabalí'

Online Store

'Tucho' Hernández

  • 1 / ~ (20 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Jabalí’
  • ~ 20 years’ experience
  • 5th generation
  • Sierra del Sur, México
  • San Baltazar Guelavila, Oaxaca
Maguey
'Pichumel'

Online Store

'El Güero' Ortega

  • 1 / ~ (50 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Pichumel’
  • ~ 20 years’ experience
  • 3rd generation
  • Sierra Madre Oriental, México
  • San Luis Atotlotitlán, Puebla
Maguey
'Mexicano'

Online Store

'Don Francisco' García León

  • 1 / ~ (40 <) mezcaleros that work with ‘Mexicano’
  • ~ 40 years’ experience
  • 3rd generation
  • Sierra del Sur, México
  • Miahuatlán, Oaxaca

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