Mal Bien Arroqueno is made by the father-son duo Felipe and Ageo Cortes, who have been producing for brands like Mezcaloteca (Mezcalosfera) for many years.
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|Destilado de Agave
|Ageo Cortés, Felipe Cortés
|https://www.mezcalmalbien.com/, opens in new window
About this destilado de agave
Mal Bien Arroqueno is made with maguey Arroqueno (agave Americana) that are cooked in an underground oven for 8-10 days with the following types of wood: Encino, Yegareche, Mesquite, and Palo de Aguila. The agave are allowed to rest for 5-7 days after the cook, before being milled by ox drawn tahona. The milled agave are fermented in open air tinas for 3-8 days and then double distilled in a copper refrescadera still.
Felipe and his son Ageo are the 3rd and 4th generations of the Cortes family to produce mezcal in the Miahuatlán District of Oaxaca, an area famous for its abundance and diversity of A. karwinskii sub-species (madrecuixe, tobaxiche, etc.). The community of Mengoli de Morelos where they live and work has a population of just under 200 people. They are related to the neighboring Ramos family via Felipe’s wife (Ageo’s mother), Cesilia, whose sister Cleotilde is married to Victor Ramos.
According to the brand, batch 0318’s label incorrectly lists the scientific name as A. Karwinskii. All other batches are correctly labeled as A. Americana.
Since 2016, the Mal Bien team has been traveling Mexico, driving off the map and into mountains filled with treacherous roads, police officers of questionable moral character, feral dogs, indigenous languages, narcos, ancient relics, machete wielding protestors, insect based meals, mudslides, blockades, corrupt politicians, and many of the world’s kindest, funniest, most brilliant people. In addition to some hard to believe stories, they’ve connected with a wide variety of traditional producers, whose mezcal is now bottled and exported under the Mal Bien name.