Del Maguey Pechuga Single Village Mezcal
by Staff

On the left you'll see what amounts to the basket production line for Del Maguey mezcals. Unbelievable, no? Talk about authentic- Ron Cooper, founder of Del Maguey, essentially went off into the rural, craggy regions near Oaxaca and sought out hand-made mezcal. He made some happy arrangements with the makers, hired local artisans

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to assist in production and the creation of the baskets that sheathe the bottles, and so forth.

Previously, our Charles Westbrook reviewed a number of Del Maguey mezcals and found that terrific. Recently we got him to taste Del Maguey's latest offering, Pechuga, the super rare mezcal of which there are but 156 bottles in the U.S. After much delay we got hold of the itinerant Westbrook and got him to email us his thoughts on Pechuga. Westbrook writes:

Pechuga- that's Spanish for chicken breast. Gadzooks, can you believe it: they use a chicken breast to make this stuff. The procedure goes something like this:

They take their double distilled Minero mezcal, and dump it in a still. They toss in "wild mountain apples and plums, big red plantain bananas, pineapples, figs, almonds, hazelnuts, and a few pounds of uncooked white rice. Next, a whole chicken breast, skin removed, bone structure complete, is washed in running water for about three hours to remove any grease. This is then suspended by strings in the atmosphere of the still and a 24 hour, third distillation is begun."

The result? A clear liquid that noses of basil, lemon, ocean, and fruit. It is almost scotch like in its smoky taste. And yes, in addition it's salty, very soft, and tastes a wee bit like chicken. (Rating****1/2)

Astonishing. After a few large belts of it I felt this incredible calm,and when I walked it felt like I had pillows tied to my feet. I also began pondering calling some of my former girlfriends, as I felt a stirring in...

Enough of that. You understand.

For availability, surf to Del Maguey's PECHUGA page.

Reviewed 11/1/01

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