ANNOUNCING PIERDE ALMAS +9: A MERGING OF FLAVOR AND HISTORY
It is the first Mezcal-Gin to reach the US marketplace. It was conceived and is distilled by Jonathan Barbieri at his house in San Francisco Tutla in Oaxaca. Mr. Barbieri offers this perspective on his new product: “Syncretism, the melding of customs and ideas that occurs when cultures collide – be it by war, migration or commerce – is one of the defining features of the history of distilled spirits. Having worked for years making Mezcal, which itself is the syncretic product of one of the most massive intersections of human movement in history, it seemed natural to segue into another centuries-old distilling practice: gin. Pierde Almas +9, therefore, is the product of a confluence of two great rivers in distilling history. A double-distilled mezcal – already a world-class spirit in and of itself – became the base in which the nine legendary botanicals of gin are macerated for 24 hours and distilled for a third time. The result, Mezcal- Gin, is a “fusionary first”. A true merging of flavors and history.I wanted to move away from the cool, turpentines of London styled gin and give the other ingredients a chance to come forth. This so-called democratization of the botanicals is really achievable using a mezcal base, because unlike a neutral grain alcohol base, mezcal lasts a long time on the pallet. So, as a highly volatile vehicle that unfolds slowly across your pallet, our 100% Agave Espadín carries the individual flavor protagonists with it and, instead of the juniper standing out as a soloist, we get a complex chorus of spices redolent of the Orient and Mediterranean Europe.” The nine botanicals in +9 are: (1.Juniper berries, 2.Coriander , 3.Star Anise , 4.Fennel Seed, 5.Orange Peel, 6. Cassia Bark, 7.Angelica Root , 8.Oris Root , 9.Nutmeg). Some of the ingredients are macerated with the Mezcal in the copper still pot for 24 hours, while others are hung in a large tea bag in the steam head, where they lend a delicate, floral finish. What else sets PIERDE Almas +9 apart? – The finish distillation is achieved in a “perfectionist-sized” 100-liter copper pot alembic. – Single, micro- batch production of just 200 liters per bottling offers exceptionally nuanced control. – First ever Gin based on Agave spirits – in this case, the world acclaimed Pierde Almas Espadín. – While most other gin-makers purchase their neutral grain alcohol from suppliers, Pierde Almas starts from scratch, beginning in the fields where it harvests only the finest select Agaves. – Pierde Almas insures quality every step of the way, from controlled pit-roasting of the Agave hearts, to 100% natural fermentation in wooden vats relying exclusively upon wild yeasts, through three distillations and the careful selection and balance of 9 legendary botanicals from around the world.+9 is bottled by hand. Being a sipping Gin, Pierde Almas +9 Mezcal-Gin unfolds on the palate layer by subtle layer, while it also lends itself to making splendidly idiosyncratic craft-cocktails.
Being engaged to a mescal aficionada with high tastes, I've had the opportunity to sample many different mescals. I've gifted her with several bottles of PIERDE ALMAS' offerings already, but this is our favorite by far. Of course it's not a fair comparison at all- Botanicals 9 is a gin built on a mescal backbone. This turns out to be an amazing combination- the smoky and very slightly sweet mescal combines with the botanical extracts to yield something completely different and delicious. I love this bottle and I hope it inspires other distillers experiment in this realm.