San Baltazar

Don Cosmé and wife Cristina
The iglesia
the municipio
Cirilo Hernandez

San Baltazar is at 4100 feet in relatively open hilly countryside. The soils are light (calciferous) and shaly/rocky. Cirilo ferments in very old pine vats. His mezcals are soft, well-fruited, and mineral.

San Baltazar is the most popular Alipús in the Mexican market, and was withdrawn from export at the end of 2013. Mezcaleros nos. 2 and 5 were made here. It is where we shot a video on artisanal mezcal production (2009), found here.

A mill that has crushed a lot of roasted agave. Millstones wear out and need to be replaced.

Fermentation vat. Note the wire holding it together.

Pedro Hernandez placing mushed agave fiber along the top of the pot to seal it when he puts on the top of the chamber.

Pitchforking out the bagasso, the fibers left over after the distillation rum.

Steam rising from the condensing tank.

san baltazar

A lot of distilling is waiting, tending the fire so the heat is steady.

In the San Baltazar cimiteria

Photographs by Katherine Lewis