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Rey Campero means “King of the Countryside”, a name chosen to reflect the relationship between the terroir, the agave, and the family that harvests it, as well as the character and bravado this mezcal displays in the glass! This family collective in Candelaria Yegolé, Zoquitlán, is helmed by maestro mezcalero Romulo Sanchez Parada. Romulo learned how to make mezcal from his father and worked in the palenque until age 20. Today, he and his family have some of the most diverse agave nurseries in Oaxaca, including rare varieties like jabalí and tepextate grown alongside staples like espadín. Some of the fully mature agave are allowed to flower and seed, while the rest are harvested, cooked in a traditional underground oven, rested, then milled. After fermentation takes place, the agave is distilled in one of three small copper stills.
Espadín comprises over 96% of Oaxacan agave, making it a blank slate for the mezcalero to express their unique style. (Somewhat akin to judging a pizzeria by their plain slice, espadín is often a great way to explore a mezcalero’s terroir and methods.) Rey Campero’s espadín is a showstopper, opening with earthy aromas of loamy soil, tree bark, and damp forest floor. On the palate it is loaded with expressive fruit, a creamy texture, and bold green herbal tones lifted with hints of citrus zest and pepper. A delicately sweet finish and well integrated smoke lend complexity and elegance to this bold, distinctive espadín.