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The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Jul 30, 2020

Eric is joined by a pair of agave warriors - pyromaniac distilling engineer Salvador Peribán (aka Chava) and Lou Bank, founder of SACRED, a US-based agave non-profit organization. They’re the hosts of the hit podcast, Agave Road Trip, which debuted earlier this summer on Heritage Radio Network. In this interview, we put all our pinas on the table talking about mezcal, direct fire distillation, and the wild, wonderful world of agave.

Some of the topics they discuss include:

  • How Chava and Lou came to fall in love with Mezcal - each in their own special way. Lou by way of beer and Chava, well...his journey may have involved a little under-aged drinking something called “Aguas Locas,” aka Crazy Waters.
  • What makes agave spirits so special - including milling, direct-fire distillation, earthen oven roasting, and a terroir unique from any other in the world.
  • Of course, they talk about Agave Road Trip, but more importantly, they try to capture some of the stories, flavors, and a few examples of the 400 decisions (and that’s not a random number) that mezcaleros must make as they cultivate, ferment, and distill their products.

There’s a few other important discussions that anchor this interview:

  • One is the recap of an agave tasting seminar Lou gave at Tales of the Cocktail 2019, where he walked people through a 3 by 3 comparative tasting that demonstrated the fingerprint of the agave varietal vs. the fingerprint off the mezcalero, vs. the fingerprint of the moment (or the batch, or the microbiome).
  • Another is our attempt at explaining the very tricky line that external interests must walk when interacting with the mezcal community. This is a question I’ve been stewing on since I met Lou a year ago, and I think we uncover some really important questions that all gringos need to consider when we make choices about mezcal.
  • And finally, we do a little thought experiment to figure out what the world might look like if agave spirits were produced in places outside of Mexico.