Ilegal Mezcal Añejo is produced from 100% Agave Espadin, and is a small batch artisanal product from Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico. This initial Añejo batch (2010) is limited to 1224 bottles, and is a blend from medium char French and American oak barrels. This vintage Mezcal will differ each batch, eliminating bland predictability.
Each bottle is wax sealed, and contains a hand numbered parchment style label.
Ilegal Mezcal, pronounced "eeh-lay-gal", is named from the expeditions of John Rexer, as he smuggled product to his Bohemian Tequila / Mezcal Bar, Cafe No Se, in Antigua, Guatemala.
Unable to import his product into the United States using the illegal name "Ilegal", John was forced to import a product essentially with no name to get around the TTB labeling regulations. You'll notice on the close up label photo, "Produced for Ilegal Mezcal", is a smaller font and positioned after "Mezcal Anejo". This creative method of labeling allowed him to bring his Mezcal into the US without changing the name to something less appropriate.
Ilegal Mezcal is entirely handcrafted using Agave Espadin, roasted / baked in a conical earth pit, using both mesquite and eucalyptus wood. The cooked Agave is then crushed by a millstone, and fermented in oak vats. Ilegal Mezcal is then double distilled in small, alembic copper stills. This production is much more of an art than a science, which is the beauty of age-old traditions followed by Oaxaca palenques.
Looking closely at the bottle and label, the colors of the Mexican flag are present, a green wax top and red numbers. Gold embossing was used to reflect the gold of Aztecs and the Spain conquest, and the crucifix was added as a symbol used by both the Aztecs and the conquering Spaniards.