Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village® Mezcal’s founder, and Chef José Andrés, and his team at ThinkFoodGroup, worked collaboratively to create Del Maguey Ibérico, a unique mezcal made with Ibérico de Bellota ham, the legendary ham made of free-range, acorn-fed, black-footed Ibérico pigs from Spain.
This expression of Del Maguey has a spicy floral nose of carnation, tropical aromatics of gardenia and jasmine, ripe pear, dark fig, notes of wet green hay and forest floor. It enters the mouth like a caramel, and is round, soft and gentle, full-bodied, with a big middle palate. The long finish tastes of roasted root vegetables and umami, leaving the mouth with terracotta, a slate-like minerality and a touch of salinity.
The collaboration process between Cooper and Andres began in 2012 when Andres’ Research and Development team, lead by Chef Ruben García, came to visit the Del Maguey distillery in Santa Catarina Minas, in the state of Oaxaca. It is here where they witnessed the making of the Pechuga mezcal, a procedure that includes distilling the spirit three times and incorporating wild mountain fruits, almonds, white rice and a whole chicken breast (pechuga) resulting in a crystal clear liquid of amazing taste and smoothness. The idea of introducing an Ibérico ham in-lieu of the Pechuga was suggested to Ron by Ruben, and a couple of months later Ruben shipped a leg of Ibérico ham to Del Maguey to begin the testing of this new blend of mezcal. The result is a wonderful marriage of flavors and aromas and an innovative expression of pure mezcal.