Abdias De La Luz Rodriguez
Master mezcaleros in the hills east of Volcano Popocatépetl have been using bull hides as fermentation vessels for centuries.
After a stint in the USA as a gardener, Abdias returned to his homeland of Puebla to study liquid wisdom from his aging father.
Years later, Abdias works with bull hides, a tree trunk still neck and other techniques his ancestors applied to craft Luneta's Papalometl + Cimarron.
To start, he gathers mature wild agave Cimarron (a. marmorata family, known in other regions as wild tepeztate), which takes 20 to 25 years before it is ready to harvest. While Abdias works with numerous heirloom varieties of agave, they are mostly cultivated in his garden and fields like the Papalometl that is part of this ensemble. Wild marmorata, known locally as Cimarron, is one of the only wild agaves that Abdias and the local producers use in his town in Puebla.
Once Abdias and his team gather, they sculpt the cimarron + papalometl & they roast the hearts in an underground earthen oven for 4 to 6 days using local volcanic rock fueled by mesquite and encino wood.
Fermentation and milling:
Unlike many mezcaleros, Abdias ferments the cooked agave hearts twice in bullhide sacs with potable water. The first time around, he ferments them whole. He and his team then rise with the sun and smash the whole fermented hearts by hand with wooden mallets. The crushed agave is then put back in the bullhide sacs for another round of fermentation.
Heated over a carefully tended fire, the fermented agave is distilled in a copper still. The second distillation is conducted in a still made of a stainless steal pot and a coral tree trunk neck.
The hearts, heads and tails are then mixed to yield a balanced blend. Abdias keeps his mezcals still proof, this expression comes in at 45% abv.