Why we like it
Ensamble is Madre’s centrepiece. It’s a blend of Espadin and the rare, wild agave, Cuishe, which only counts for 1-2% of agave species. The lion’s share of the blend is crafted by Jose Ines Garcia Morales and his family in San Dionisio, with a little Cuishe supplied from the Vazquez palenque in Miahuatlán.
Agave Cuishe is part of the slow-ripening Karwinskii family, which also includes the Cirial and Tobasiche varieties. Due to the agave’s dense core and low water content, Mezcal made from Cuishe has a slightly tropical and earthy tone. This is picked up during the cooking; the piña is long and thin, increasing the surface area for the roasting process. As, unusually, the stalk and the piña are harvested and roasted together, Mezcal from the Karwinskii family is often said to have a firmer structure. As wild agave is a dwindling resource, for every plant harvested Madre replants it two-fold.
A departure from the overtly smoky Mezcal that abounds, the blend of sweet Espadin and piquant Cuishe is designed to be a perfect first taste for a new Mezcal drinker, as well as a great everyday sipper for the Mezcal aficionado. As the flavours unfold, you seem to taste something different with every sip: herbal and smoky notes, sage and minerals and sweet earthy fragrance. The finish is clean and lingering, underpinned by subtle smoke and floral flavour. Each small batch release is bottled in recycled glass and hand numbered.
“This Ensamble is made using Espadín and Cuishe agave, and serves rich tropical fruit and bonfire smoke notes that flow from nose to palate. Its alcohol content ups the intensity of those aromas and flavors, delivering a well-balanced experience and an approachable introduction to the category.” Vinepair (15 best Mezcal brands and best Mezcals for sipping 2022)