Surnamed El Brujo, or “one that works black magic”, maestro mezcalero Guilhermo Serrano followed the footsteps of his father, and his grand-father before him, and learned the craft of Mezcal at a tender young age. The process hasn’t changed, the land is ever the same and the harvest has been equally fruitful generation after generation.
So, what makes his Mezcal different? Nobody is quite sure.
Some say that El Brujo's hands were made to handle the maguey like no one else. Some say his sense of smell is so developed that he can instantly pick-up the scent of a perfect roast. And some believe that Mayahuel, the Aztec goddess, favored his craft and gifted him with this “je ne sais quoi” that makes his mezcal the finest, most treasured mezcal in Oaxaca.
Somewhere between the abrupt, hazardous hillsides of Santiago Matatlán, amidst endless fields of Agave Espadin, sits the simple, clean and tranquil palenque of Guilhermo Serrano.
It is a busy day at the Palenque and the strong scent of burning coal has already filled the air.
Espadin takes up to a decade to fully mature and el jimadores are collecting the maguey that is ready to be harvested. By stripping the spiky blades of the fruit, they extract the piña, the heart of the agave. Every single one of them will yield ten bottles of mezcal.
The bare agaves are thrown into earthen mounds where they will cook for 3 days atop burning coals. It is this very underground roasting process that gives mezcal its smoky and intense aromatic flavor.
The cooked piñas are then taken to the tahona, where Castaño, the brown stallion has already been mounted. By pulling the heavy stone-wheel around in a circle, he will crush the roasted fruits until they transform into a dark mash.
The brew is then left to ferment and the resulting liquid is distilled, twice, in vast copper stills.
The result is a concoction of rich earthy tones and savory smokiness, an expression of the distinct terroir-driven flavors of master mezcalero Guilhermo Serrano and the magnificence of his exceptional craftsmanship.
How does he advise you to drink it?
“Mezcal is like a lover. You must kiss it, gently,” he told us between two small neat sips. “Best is to drink it right here, in Oaxaca, under a starry sky and the distant sound of fireworks; because there is always a celebration happening somewhere in Mexico. And then, you wake up with a smile, to the sound of unsynchronized church bells and Antonio Aguilar.”
Mezcal truly is best sipped here in Oaxaca. But if you cannot make the trip, we've got you covered.
One sip of our mezcal will instantly take you there.