Mezcal Agave Macho – an interview

Palenque Casa Don-Roman San Isidro-Guishe

Palenque Casa Don-Roman San Isidro-Guishe

Mezcal Agave Macho is new mezcal brand in Europe. While the tequila category is much larger, the many new mezcal brands arriving in Europe are quite often more interesting. The products are better quality wise and the brands smaller and with a better connection to to the farmers and producers.

Mezcal Agave Macho is definitely an interesting brand. High quality products and great focus on innovation as well. TequilaList has made an interview with world wide brand manager Oliver Grimme of Mezcal Agave Macho.

Who are  you and what is your background?

My name is Oliver Grimme, I am a naturalized Mexican Citizen of German descent. I arrived in Mexico in 1993 after business stints in Singapore and the United States, working there for an international steel trading company. I decided to make a change, leaving the company in 2002 and started as an independent art consultant and later ventured into real estate development.

In 2018 I threw myself out for the first time by having Tequila 777 created and exported to Europe. Unfortunately, this noble business fell victim to the pandemic restrictions and after the first year it was financially no longer sustainable.

When did you start working with Mezcal Agave Macho?

This year, after living 30 years in the world´s most hospitable country, I relocated and took up a new project by bringing the best of Mexico to the continent that saw me grow up. For me, Mezcal is the noblest of all of the amazing Agave Spirits the country offers.

Last March I teamed up with Maestro Mezcalero Don Roman Rosendeo who is at the helm of the Mezcalera Casa Don Roman. His daughter Ivonne Garcia is handling the day to day business at the Palenque. Luis, his son, runs the marketing and brand development department. I am the worldwide brand manager.

The name… Mezcal Agave Macho, what is that about?

The name Mezcal Agave Macho is referencing that only ripe Agave plants are selected for the Mezcal production. The blooming of the Quiotes indicates that the Agave plant developed its highest sugar levels and also marks the end of its life cycle. This photosynthetic process converts the Agave into a mother plant. Upon cutting, its nutrients remain in the heart of the Agave, it dies and converts into a ´Macho´. This is the way to ensure continuous quality.

Three generation of Maestros Mezcalros.jpg

Three generation of Maestros Mezcaleros. From right to left: Don Luis Felix, Don Roman Rosendo and Luis Roman Garcia.

What are the plans for Mezcal Agave Macho?

After a successful first shipment over the summer our business plan for 2024 calls for trimester shipments to Europe. Some have called the idea ambitious, I believe it to be workable because I know that we have a top quality Mezcal and that we can guarantee constant deliveries to our import partners. The Mezcalera in its current form started operations in 1997. Currently Mezcal Agave Macho is exported to 5 different countries and we are about to enter 2 more markets by the beginning of the new year.

Mezcal Agave Macho is a sip Mezcal. It´s alcohol graduation of constant 40% allows the consumer to consciously savour the Agave feeling to its fullest extent. We are offering a pure Espadin variant plus four ensembles of Espadin and a wild Agave. Nothing aggressive, all with a good taste persistence. The black and white biodiverse soil of San Isidro Guishe / San Luis Amatlan in the Southern desert of Oaxaca is full of minerals, ideal nutrients for the Agaves, and the Palenque is fortunate enough to have its own fresh water well which is crucial for the production of a quality Mezcal.

Where do you get your agaves from?

Due to the vast extension of the Palenques territories (3,500 Acres or 1,400 hectares) Mezcalera Casa Don Roman usually harvests all Agave varieties from their own territories. It is important to point out that only Agaves at the peak of their ripeness are selected for Mezcal production.

Mezcal Agave Macho is produced in San Isidro Guishe, in the area of Los Amatlanes, in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca.

There, on 1,400 hectares a well organized ranch serves as a collective of five small Palenques that have been producing Mezcal together since 1931. The overall production capacity is set at 50,000 liters a month. In line with respected Mezcal traditions and in order to achieve the highest quality Mezcal the cocked Agaves are first crushed and then the fibers are fermented naturally for 7 to 10 days in natural pine vats. Only pure water from the Palenques own natural spring well is used in the process. The Mezcal is then double distilled in copper stills.

Mezcal Agave Macho

Mezcal Agave Macho

How do you see the future of the mezcal category in relation to the current growth in the market?

For me the investments that big beverage conglomerates took into Mexico’s Tequila producing companies is a double sword. By making Tequila available on a global level it helped to improve its image as a drink (and Mexico as a country) that will surely give you a terrible hangover. Almost everybody I know at some point went through such an experience in the 90s. These days well marketed, quality Tequila brands go hand in hand with recognised Whiskeys and Cognac brands.

On the other hand the romantic aspect of the traditional production processes were in many cases overwritten by industrial standards. As for Mezcal such a ‘takeover’ is surely on the mind of investors and if this materialices on a larger scale the famous artisanal production flair of Mezcal will clearly be in danger.

As for Mezcal Agave Macho … sure, there are many Mezcal brands trying to break into the markets but as long as the focus is on quality, taste and consistency, as you yourself experienced during the tasting, there will always be customers ready to try something new.

What kind of products are you producing?

Mezcalera Casa Don Roman produces special editions such as a 3 year aged Espadin Añejo and a very special ensemble of 70% Tepeztate and 30 % Jabali called Guishecuanti.

The latter references the mystique of the Agaves used for this particular Mezcal. Imagine all the forces of nature and human energy that have flown through a Tepeztate Agave of 20 years plus of age. We are speaking about 1/4 of a human life cycle.

There was also a special small batch of Espadin created for Novembers ¨Dia de los Muertos¨ and now the Palenque created a Christmas edition Mezcal with the freshest ingredients from the region, cinnamon, tejocote (similar to wild grown small apples), brown sugar piloncillo, pineapples, jamica lower and sugar cane.

The Mezcal Agave Macho Line, crafted by Mezcalera Casa Don Roman, consists of five Ensembles that are created with a common base of 50% of an Estate grown Agave plus 50% of a rare wild Agave. They each have an alcohol content of 40% which allows the consumer to consciously savour the Agave Sensation on mouth, palate and finish. Mezcal Agave Macho is a sip Mezcal.

  1. Estate Agave Espadin,8years of age.
  2. Ensemble Estate Agave Espadin, 8years of age and wild Agave MadreCuishe (13 years).
  3. Ensemble Estate Agave Espadin, 8years of age and wild Agave Tobala (10 years).
  4. Ensemble Estate Agave Espadin, 8years of age and wild Agave Tepeztate (20 years).
  5. Ensemble Estate Agave Espadin, 8 years of age and wild Agave Cuishe (12 years).

The ages of the Agaves are certified by the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal / Comercam.

Contact informationi for Oliver Grimme of Mezcal Agave Macho:

Instagram: mezcal_agave_macho


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