This is Sin Gusano’s third release from partner and supplier Fortunato Hernandez.
Madrecuixe Chichicapam is one of the first distillations from Fortunato’s new family-owned palenque, built during the global pandemic in 2020.
Fortunato had previously used the community cooperative palenque to distil his home-grown agave.
These maguey madrecuixe (Agave Karwinskii) were among the first roast in a newly dug earthen pit – the heritage solution for breaking down the carbohydrates in the plant to fermentable short-chain sugars.
After a four-day roast, the agave was chopped by hand with a machete before being mashed by horse-drawn tahona. The sweet mash was then open-air fermented for four days, with the addition of local well water, before being double-distilled in small copper alembiques.
Fortunato consistently turns out crowd-pleasing batches with pleasing and balanced profiles. This one offers orange, jasmine and vanilla on the nose, with a relatively heavy dose of smoke.
On the palate those orange tones have become oilier, like the twist of rind that gets sparked with a lighter and served with a negroni. It opens in the glass and the smoke dissipates somewhat to leave just the sweet roasted maguey and a hint of coffee in the un-fussy finish.