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Agave Varietals Types Brands

The Mezcal category encompasses all Agave spirits and can be made with any species of Agave with enough sugar for distillation, though most is made from five main varietals. True Mezcal comes from only nine states in Mexico, with over 70% produced in Oaxaca. Distillers typically produce Mezcal by first baking the Agave piña, or hearts, in earthen pits before distillation. This process gives Mezcal its signature smoky flavor.

Agave Map - Mezcal

Agave Varietals

Though there are dozens of Agave varietals, most Mezcal is distilled from these five:

Espadín
Far and away the most prevalent Agave varietal in Mezcal, and also highly versatile in the flavors it yields from distillery to distillery.
Tobalá
Bats and birds spread the seeds of this wild varietal to rocky, shady areas, leading to a plant that is both rare and difficult to reach. The Mezcal it produces is usually most complex and fruit-forward.
Tobaziche
This species is found in multiple regions, each with completely different flavors and local names. It tends to make a Mezcal with a savory, herbal flavor.
Tepeztate
This varietal needs at least 30 years in the wild to mature, producing an aromatic, flavorful Mezcal that is rarely seen.
Arroqueño
This Mezcal is prized for its delicious combination of flavors. Often when it’s finished it will have floral or vegetal tastes with a background of spicy, dark chocolate to complement it.

Types of Mezcal

Within the various varietals of Mezcal, there are still more variations to understand when helping consumers match with their own ideal Mezcal. Each bottle of Mezcal will be labeled with information on how the liquid was made, and with what.

Type I
This Mezcal is made from a base of 100% agave. Alternatively, the label may say “100% agave.”
Type II
Includes at least 80% Agave, the remainder made up with other ingredients like cane sugar which will alter and usually diminish the Agave flavor.
White/Blanco/Silver
Normally aged for two months or less and producing a clear spirit. “Dorado” Mezcal is white Mezcal with color added.
Reposado
Aged between two and nine months in wooden barrels.
Añejo
Aged a minimum of one year, but often up to three years.
Extra Añejo
Aged more than three years.
Joven
A young Mezcal, aged less than a few months or not at all.
Pechuga
This Mezcal is distilled with grains, nuts, fruits and a raw chicken breast hung above the still which releases vapors and steams the meat, imparting a full-bodied flavor to the mezcal.

Mezcal Brands

Breakthru Beverage is proud to bring the best mezcal and tequila brands straight from the heart of Mexico to your shelves. Smoky, sweet, hot and velvety, these spirits capture the full range of flavors that the versatile agave plant has to offer. From the lowlands to the highlands, our portfolio has something for all spirits lovers.

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