NETA Mezcal Tequilana - Candido Garcia Cruz

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This remarkable batch of Tequilana is one of the oldest remaining productions of Don Cándído García Cruz, and one of the last in which he used a stone wheel mill to macerate the cooked agave. While the maestro no longer remembers exactly how many piñas went into the oven, he estimates it would have required around 20 capón and guía magueys to fill two of his 1,200 liter-capacity sabino woods vats. Although Tequilana and Espadín express distinctly different flavors and aromas, they both yield relatively equal amounts of fermentable sugars. As such, Cándido’s preparation of this batch followed an established recipe used in his productions of Espadín, implementing similar resting and fermentation times. Cándido recalls resting the freshly harvested uncooked piñas for eight days before roasting with mesquite wood for another eight-day period. After cooking, Cándido allowed the piñas four days to cool before mashing them with an ox-drawn stone mill. The juices and fibers were collected and added to the Montezuma cypress tanks. The dry fermentation in the tinas lasted about 48 hours until the temperatures and aromas dictated the need to water. After the addition of around 600L of well water in each vat, the guarape was left to ferment for another 10 days. Adjustments in the final composition of the batch were made with a select mix of the contents of the second round of distillation until the appearance of a stable, honeycomb-esque cordón cerrado; in accordance to Cándido’s years of expertise.