Posted 16 March 2022
My primary concern about the use of mezcal within the whisky industry isn’t its obviously non-tradition usage as a cask type (though that does somewhat irk me) – it’s the potential additional threat to the species and biodiversity of Mexico. Unlike barley or corn, agave is not seasonal – plants take years to grow – some up to 30. And it is only through the growth and maturation of the plants that the appropriate volume of convertible sugars can be formed. With the growing interest in mezcal, unscrupulous producers have been strip-mining agaves – harvesting plants younger to fulfil demand – and in doing so, they are forced to harvest increasing numbers to make up for the shortfall of sugars. Whilst some are re-planting, agave is increasingly under threat.