MEZCAL REVIEW: BOZAL Guias de Calabaza ($99)
by Andrew Chalk
FROM THE WIRES:
Bozal Introduces Guías de Calabaza Sacrificio Mezcal
A unique, vegetarian expression produced in the Sacrificio style, Guías de Calabaza makes its debut on the heels of Bozal’s strong 2020 brand growth, and ahead of Cinco de Mayo
SONOMA, Calif. (March 23, 2021) — Bozal Mezcal, a wildly refined label made from indigenous Mexican agave, today announced the debut of its first vegetarian Sacrificio mezcal, Guías de Calabaza, from Río de Ejutla in Oaxaca.
A single maguey expression made from 100% Agave Angustifolia (Espadín), Bozal Guías de Calabaza (SRP: $99 and 47% ABV) is complex and aromatic, with bright top notes of citrus peel and orange blossom, complemented by herbal notes of mint and eucalyptus. The chepiche – a sunny short-lived perennial herb used in Mexican cooking – used in the final distillation shows through on the palate, rounding out warm vegetal flavors imparted by the pumpkin stems and plantains that were substituted for the traditional meats used in most Sacrificio style mezcals.
Sacrificio expressions follow an age-old mezcalero tradition of making sacrificial mezcal in small batches for personal consumption as well as for fiestas with locals and neighbors. The distillation process is famous for its typical involvement of meat proteins, as seen in Bozal’s three original Sacrificio expressions, Jamón Ibérico (pork), Pechuga (chicken) and Borrego (lamb). Bozal’s Guías de Calabaza is unique in that it follows the 200-year-old traditions while eschewing the protein.
The production for this limited expression is seasonal and takes place at year-end. The agave is first crushed by a stone tahona wheel moved by a bull, baked in earthen pit ovens, fermented and then distilled. During the second distillation, pumpkin stems, in addition to seasonal fruits and grains harvested from the local market, are suspended inside the bottom of the still in a basket. Local produce includes pineapple, plantains and oranges, along with pumpkin seeds and chepiche.
The Espadín agave that goes into the Guías de Calabaza, known as the genetic Mother of the Blue Weber Agave, is unique in itself, chosen for its wet earth and rich smokey character to complement the fruit and floral notes on the finish. Meant to be enjoyed with food, the Guías de Calabaza would pair beautifully with charred bell pepper and grilled sweet potato fajitas.
Bozal Mezcal is produced by 3 Badge Beverage Corp, a Sonoma-based négociant established in 2015 by fourth generation vintner, August Sebastiani.
“We are thrilled to introduce our first vegetarian Sacrificio,” said Sebastiani. “Keeping up with the ever-growing demand for top-quality mezcal has afforded us opportunities to experiment with new expressions that can appeal to a new audience of mezcal enthusiasts. We look forward to continuing to bring incredible new mezcals to market like this Guías de Calabaza.”
Bozal experienced impressive growth in 2020, closing the year up by 40% over the year prior and leading the 3 Badge portfolio overall. With the addition of Guías de Calabaza, Bozal has now featured 19 unique mezcals made from 15 wild varieties of agave indigenous to Oaxaca, Guerrero and Durango.
Bozal Mezcal’s lineup is characterized by exotic and intense flavors, with rich earth tones and savory smokiness. Though the profiles of each mezcal in the portfolio change drastically from the type and maturity of the agave and the production method, the tactile earth-tone ceramic bottles never fail to impress with their rustic, artisanal design. Alluding to the traditional terra cotta copitas used for drinking mezcal, the brown, or marrón, ceramic bottle of Guías de Calabaza signifies the Sacrificio production style while the green strip label signifies a vegetarian production.
Bozal Mezcal is nationally available for purchase via the 3 Badge wholesale tier, and consumers can visit bozalmezcal.com to discover Bozal vendors in their area.
About 3 Badge Beverage Corporation
Established in 2015, 3 Badge Beverage Corporation is a négociant representing an innovative portfolio of terroir-driven wines and craft spirits from around the globe. Headquartered out of a historic, refurbished fire station in Sonoma, California, 3 Badge is led by fourth-generation vintner August Sebastiani. Named for his grandfather’s volunteer firefighting service badges, 3 Badge is built upon a philosophy of exceptional craftsmanship and commitment to place. 3 Badge Mixology offers Benjamin Chapman Whiskey, La Pivón Vermouth, Uncle Val’s Gin, Kirk & Sweeney Rum, Pasote Tequila and Bozal Mezcal, while 3 Badge Enology includes Gehricke Wines from Sonoma, Tree Fort Wines from the Central Coast, Cedar + Salmon wines from the Pacific Northwest, and Guinigi from Italy. Additional information can be found at 3badge.com.