Mal de Amor is located in “Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, Mexico” and is completely family owned. It is not just a distillery; on the grounds the Hernandez family runs an authentic Oaxacan style restaurant on the main road departing Oaxaca Centro.
The agave used for production at Mal de Amor comes from a variety of different lands in Oaxaca which allows for a rich diversity in expressions to include different terroir. Portions of the family owned land is used to maintain the sustainability of agave for future generations.
The Maestro Mezcalero is Armando Hernandez. Armando is a 3rd generation Maestro Mezcalero. He grew up making mezcal with his father, learning the techniques handed down from his grandfather. Armando and his family are native Oaxacan people known as Zapotec.
The agave is crushed by a horse-pulled tahona after being slow roasted underground for 4-5 days
The fermentation is done with wild yeast in open air (completely natural fermentation) which takes between 5-10 days
The stills are around 250 liters and are heated by direct fire. Everything is double distilled (copper pot distillation) then rested in glass anywhere from 6 months to 4 years. This allows for the flavors to really come out after some settling.
Mal de Amor is a sustainable responsible brand and pleased to share their passion and family legacy with the US.
You can visit them on the web at https://www.maldeamor.com/
Batch 1 Expressions can be found here
Drinkhacker Reviews for Batch 1
Rarely imported to the US, Mal de Amor has been cultivating this agave to sustain its future. It has taken 15-18 years to mature. With a slightly longer roasting time (5 days) and rested 3-6 months in glass. Bottled at 46% alc.
Citrus and mint with fresh berries.
Mal de Amor has dedicated land strictly for growing Jabali as it likes to grow on cliffs and in the mountains. This area is 4 hours away from the Mal de Amor Palenque. Jabali takes about 15 years to grow creating very small yields. This expression has rested in glass for 3 months. Bottled at 48% alc.
Juicy fruit and citrus flavors sprinkled with fresh peppers.
This one really hits home, it’s citrus with a bite, has a long finish, and has a smell of earth – like potted soil. Bottled at 45% abv, this expression is a gentle reminder of the passion for the terroir that goes in to each and every bottle of Mal de Amor.
This beauty is a massive tropical fruit bomb with smoke enhancing the symphony of exotic flavors dancing around on your tongue. Bottled at 45% abv
2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Gold
Reminiscent of a relaxing day of fishing and spending time with nature, this expression brings smoked salmon and a bit of saltiness, lots of mineral tastes round it out – a season of memories captured in a glass. Bottled at 45% abv.
Liquor.com – 7 New Mezcals to try today 5/5/22
“Made in Santiago Matatlán at a 100% family-owned palenque, Mal de Amor offers a range of expressions, from cuishe to barríl to several ensambles, and including such rarely seen varietals as sierrudo, which takes up to 18 years to mature. Horse-pulled tahona crushing, open-air fermentation for five to 10 days, and double-distillation in direct-fire pot stills ensure that every batch meets the standards for artesanal labeling. Resting the mezcal in glass for a minimum of six months, and up to four years, allows the spirit’s flavors to meld and mellow, creating an elevated cohesiveness that retains plenty of character. “
This expression, bottled at 45% abv, is Light and fruity, teasing the palate with gentle smoke and drawing you in for the next taste.
- Madre Cuishe/Coyote Verde (Karwinskii/Americana)
- Jabali/Tepextate (Convallis/Marmorata)
- Cuishe/Tobala (Karwishkii/Potatorum)
- Cuishe Tepextate (Karwinskii/Marmorata)
Keeping in tradition, the ensambles are based on the historical method of production of using agaves that are ready for harvest on the land vs doing single varieties. The ensambles also have unique taste profile as the different agaves can also taste very different from each other which creates even more depth when cooked, mashed, fermented, and distilled together.
This agave is the youngest of the Americana agaves distilled, around 12 years which is the same for Madre Cuishe. This expression like all Mal de Amor ensembles is cooked, fermented, mashed, and distilled together then rested in glass for over 2 years. Bottled at 47.4% alc.
While not overly sweet, you will find lots of strawberries and raspberries mixed with an ashy menthol creating a perfect balance.
Tepextate takes around 18 years to mature and Jabali 15yrs. This expression is rested in glass for 3 months. Bottled at 48% alc.
Smoked salmon with an ashy overtone from the smoking complimented with fruit on the side for dessert.
Cuishe (Karwinski) agave varietal that takes 12 to 15 yrs to mature is cooked, mashed, fermented, and distilled together with Tobala (Potatorum) which takes around 12 yrs to mature to create an ensamble. Bottled at 47% alc.
The Cuishe is bold and very grassy which mixes nicely with the citrus and fruit taste of Tobala
2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Double Gold
An ensamble of Cuishe and Tepextate (Marmorata) with Tepextate being around 18 yrs old at maturation, again mashed, cooked, distilled, and fermented together. Bottled at 47% alc.
Grassy straw with smoked salmon on the tepextate and a bit of a fresh pepper taste to it.