In Mexico, 75% of the 211 species of agave that exist worldwide grow. There is a record of the use of 25 of them for the production of mezcal. Benefited from an exceptional geographic and climatic situation, Oaxaca has the highest number of endemic magueys, with 11 species.


Scientific name: Agave angustifolia
Years to maturity: 8 
Artisanal production: 10 kilos per liter
Also known as: Espadín, Dob-Yee
Fun fact: It is the most widely-grown and adapts well to different weather conditions
Tasting notes: Smooth and light. A herbal flavor with a citric tone and mineral touch

Scientific name: Agave karwinskii
Years to maturity: 13 
Artisanal production: 20 kilos per liter
Also known as: Cuixe, Bicuixe, Barril, Largo, Cuishi, Cirial, Tripón, San Martinero
Fun facts: Its scientific name is in honor of the German geologist Friedrich Von Karwinsky who lived in Oaxaca between 1827 and 1832
Tasting notes: Semi-dry and mineral. Consisting of citric tones and herbal freshness sensation

Scientific name: Agave Iyobaa
Years to maturity: 12
Artisanal production: 20 kilos per liter
Also known as: Blanco, Castilla, Cenizo, De pulque, De rayo, Sierra negra
Fun facts: It is the rarest and scarcest of the mezcal agaves 
Tasting notes: Elegant and velvelty. Floral tones and a nutty after taste of dried fruits

Scientific name: Agave marmorata
Years to maturity: 25
Artisanal production: 25 kilos per liter
Also known as: Tecolote, Maguey de caballo, Curandero
Fun facts: Known as the “black truffle” of mezcal, due to the number of years needed for it to reach maturity and the flavors which consequently follow
Tasting notes: An intense presence with a spicy character. Earthy, with herbal and sweet notes

Scientific name: Agave potatorum
Years to maturity: 12 
Artisanal production: 15 kilos per liter
Also known as: Papalómetl, Biliá, Chato, Monte
Fun facts: : The most famous of the wild agaves. Used in communities as digestive and diabetes remedies
Tasting notes: Fine and delicate. Floral, with fine velvety notes of honey and rosita de cacao

Scientific name: Agave convallis
Years to maturity: 25 
Artisanal production: 50 kilos per liter
Also known as: Cuche, Lobo
Fun facts: It is the most difficult agave to distill, with the lowest production and requires the most years to mature
Tasting notes: Intense and robust flavor. Aromatic herbal character with spicy touches and of granny’s home remedies

Scientific name: Agave karwinskii
Years to maturity: 12
Artisanal production: 12 kilos per liter
Also known as: Tobasiche, Barril
Fun facts: It is a subspecies of the Karwinskii agave, it grows tall and in small leaves
Tasting notes: Sweet with strong notes of quince and anise

Scientific name: Unclassified 
Years to maturity: 12 
Artisanal production: 12 kilos per liter
Also known as: De lumbre
Fun facts: Prior to the arrival of the espadín in Oaxaca, this was the agave which was cultivated. It has a reddish hue as if it were burning
Tasting notes: Sweet and fresh tones with a dry taste on the palate

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