Real Minero Sierrudo Mezcal
Made from a lighter hued subspecies of the massive Agave Americana, which typically takes from 18 to 25 years to mature, this Real Minero Sierrudo Mezcal is a true rarity. Two decades ago, the variety was nearly extinct; it is thanks to the efforts of mezcaleros with a preservationist perspective, like the Angeles family in Santa Catarina Minas, that we can enjoy it today
From the Angeles Carreno family in Santa Catarina Minas comes the brand Real Minero, helmed by fourth-generation mezcal producers Graciela Angeles Carreno, and her brother Edgar. Graciela is considered one of the thought-leaders in the field, conducting extensive scientific and historic research into agave and mezcal. She employs several botanists who work with the brand to maintain a nursery and laboratory dedicated to protecting, preserving, and studying the plants, vigorously champions social justice and economic and labor issues within the mezcal industry, and funnels a portion of proceeds into creating the first library in the rural mining community of Santa Catarina Minas. Yet, it is as deeply rustic and culturally historic as mezcal production can get.
Roughly translated as “royal miner,” the brand is exemplary of the Minero style of mezcal which can only be certified from Santa Catarina Minas, specifically. Minero implies a production method otherwise referred to as en barro or en olla; distillation occurs in handmade, clay pots using a carved, wooden spoon suspended on string to collect condensed distillate. Much of their agave is broken down after cooking by hand-mashing with massive, wooden bats—like a mortar and pestle of overwhelming size.
These countryside methods have not changed in hundreds of years. Renowned for the quality, clarity, and unique character of their Minero mezcal, as well as for their deep integrity and conservationist agricultural practices, Edgar and Graciela simultaneously represent a rich, cultural history and the best way forward into the future of mezcal.