Pal’alma is the export brand for Almamezcalera, the bottling label from Mexico City’s notorious “Indiana Jones of Agave”, Erick Rodriguez. Equal parts historian and adventurer, Erick travels to remote production sites all over Mexico sourcing unique agave distillates. Deeply committed to local traditions, Erick’s collaborators are all bona fide local legends in their own right. Working with just a single mezcalero per state, including several states (such as Nuevo León and Sonora) not currently acknowledged under the “Mezcal” Denomination of Origin, Erick bottles tiny batches of truly thrilling, uncertified “aguardiente de agave.”
Guerrero, in southwestern México, is at a height of 1870 meters above sea level. Papalote (Agave cupreata) is one of the most prevalent agave in the region, with wide elegant leaves (“pencas”) like a mammoth version of Agave potatorum (aka Tobalá or Papalométl). After 8-15 years, when the maguey reaches its maturity, the reproductive stalk (“quiote”) is cut (“capón”) to redirect and concentrate sugars in the plant’s heart for a further 3 years (!!). The resulting spirit is rich and expressive, with a lingering finish that can haunt the palate for hours. Approximately 400 liters produced.