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Country of Origin: Mexico
Location: Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca
People: Arik Torren & Amy Hardy, Owners | Enrique Jimenez, Mezcalero
Viticulture: Practicing Biodynamic
Fidencio Mezcal embodies the tradition and creativity of Oaxaca. With four generations of knowledge and the finest estate grown agave, Fidencio is a unique mezcal that is pure agave. Using 100% biodynamically grown Espadín agave let to mature at least 10 years. Our first release, Fidencio Joven is a small batch, artisanal mezcal that is roasted with out wood. The flavor is a balance of fruit, agave and spice. The feeling is smooth and clean.
The Fidencio story has two parts: the history of Fabrica de Amigo del Mezcal and Fidencio Spirits. Fabrica de Amigo del Mezcal is the name of the distillery that produces Fidencio Mezcal. Fidencio Jiménez, the namesake for Fidencio Mezcal, started making mezcal over 100 years ago when he moved to Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca. He began to live the life of a Mezcalero, learning from peers and by trial-and-error. He worked closely with his son Enrique to perfect their craft and to pass down their knowledge to the next generation. In those days, even the equipment was from the land: clay pots for fermentation, distillation & storage and river reeds for tubing.
When Isaac Jiménez, Fidencio's grandson, became the mezcalero, there were a number of technological improvements that were adopted. In the 1930's the introduction of copper greatly improved the efficiency and safety of the still. In 1943 the Pan American Highway came through Oaxaca and left its mark on mezcal. The first major impact was on transportation which became faster and cheaper. Around this time oak barrels replaced clay pots for storage. This resulted in the second major impact of this time: aging. In those days, a batch of mezcal was loaded on a truck and sold, town by town, sometimes taking months to sell through a batch. As the mezcal spent time in the oak barrels, it took on additional characteristics, and it was good.
Enrique, always the innovator, dreamed of a mezcal that was the purest expression of espadín. In 2006 Enrique branched out on his own and began construction of a new distillery and a dream. This new distillery was designed from top to bottom by Enrique and incorporates all the features found in traditional mezcal palenques, all except for one, the radiant heat oven. This oven is the first of its kind in Oaxaca and is the defining force behind the creation of Fidencio Mezcal.
Fidencio Spirits founders, Amy Hardy and Arik Torren, met ten years ago tending the bar of one of NYC's great restaurants. They shared a passion for wine and food and became fast friends. A few years later Amy was traveling through Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca and came across Villas Carrizalillo, a beachside hotel that was in disrepair. Since then Amy and her partner, Edward Mitchell, have transformed "The Villas" into one of the finest hotels on the Oaxacan Coast.
Men's Journal: 15 Best Mezcals to Buy Now
Serious Eats: The Serious Eats Guide to Mezcal
Serious Eats: Meet & Drink: Arik Torren, Fidencio
Liquor.com: The Best Mezcals for $40 or Less
Twitter: @FidencioMezcal, @FidencioArik
Fidencio Mezcal Facebook
Flickr: Arik Torren