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Since 2016, the Mal Bien label has brought to the US market a series of unique mezcals from across Mexico. This edition comes from producer Isidro Rodríguez Montoya, based in the village of Río de Parras in the state of Michoacán. The local variety of agave, A. Inaequidens, is locally referred to as “alto,” as is the mezcal made from that variety. Roasted for eight days, the agave then gets crushed by hand in wooden vessels. Contrary to many mezcaleros in Michoacán, Isidro uses a short fermentation—about eight days versus 30 days or more for other producers. He shortens the fermentation by adding a small amount of pulque to the mashed agave. The result is strikingly different from the cheesy funkiness of many Michoacán mezcals: clean and fruity, it’s driven by floral notes and minerality.