The Sazerac Company, in close partnership with Casa San Matias, just released two new expressions of Los Vecinos del Campo Mezcal to accompany the first expression released at the end of 2018. The newest expressions are named Ensamble No. 1 and Tobala, and join Espadin, which launched last fall.
Ensamble No. 1 is made using 90% Espadin, 5% Barril and 5% Madrecuishe agaves. It is described as a well-mannered mezcal with aromas of chamomile, dill pickle and roasted agave, with some delicate but tangy fragrances of green tea, hemp, palm frond, green pea and black pepper. Tasting notes for this mezcal note black pepper, honey and soy sauce with a low degree of oiliness. Ensamble No. 1 is 90 proof and is available in 750 mL bottles at a suggested retail price of $55.
Tobala is made using 100% Tobala agave. Earthy aromas with floral undertones and wafts of citrus zest meet the nose. Tasting notes call out a sweetness in the mouth followed by powerful tropical fruits like mango and custard apple, with a spiced tongue-tingling finish. Tobala is 92 proof and is available in 750 mL bottles at a suggested retail price of $100.
Ten families of mezcaleros in the Valles Centrales of Oaxaca produce Los Vecinos del Campo Mezcals. They have been utilizing traditional methods to create rich agave spirits for generations. The name Los Vecinos del Campo is a nod to these families and their communities, as it translates to “Neighbors of the Field.”
The mezcaleros use locally grown, hand-harvested agave and slow-roast the agave hearts, or piñas, underground to create these sultry, smoky-sweet artisanal mezcals. The piñas are crushed using a stone molino, then naturally fermented in wooden vats, and, finally, double distilled using copper pot stills.
Carmen Villarreal, CEO and owner of Casa San Matias, has had a strong connection to Oaxaca since her college years when she was moved by the kindness of the people there while working on community-focused social work projects. While in Oaxaca she learned the importance of supporting communities and is adopting those learnings to offer well-paid jobs, promote values and invest part of the profits from the work these communities do into projects related to their wellness, like health and education.
“We have received a very positive response since launching Los Vecinos Espadin, and are thrilled to announce the release of Ensamble No. 1 and Tobala,” Megan Hurtuk, marketing director for Los Vecinos said. “Our partnership with Carmen and the families in Oaxaca has only just begun and we’re very excited for what the future holds.”
Ensamble No. 1 and Tobala have already begun garnering acclaim, receiving high accolades from expert panels. Both were “Highly Recommended” by F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, and Tobala was honored at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge as a Finalist and deemed “Excellent-Highly Recommended.”
Since its launch, Espadin has also received a number of awards. Most recently it received Double Gold at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and was honored as “Excellent, Highly Recommended” at the 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge where it also received a Great Value award.
All three Los Vecinos expressions are now available in select markets across the United States. For more information on Los Vecinos, visit www.losvecinosmezcal.com.