Artist/alchemist duo Adrina and Elliot, while on a journey of discovery to find healing plants, found themselves living in Oaxaca, where they were introduced to mezcal and the spiritual flowering plant, damiana. After tinkering with the two for a while, they collaborated with maestro mezcalero, Vicente Reyes, who taught them to distil the two together in the traditional way. Gem & Bolt is a less smoke-forward expression of mezcal with plenty of floral notes and holistic properties.
Appearance: Bold and bright.
Nose: Damiana flower, very floral and perfumed.
Taste: Asparagus, damson plums and eucalyptus.
Finish: A touch of smoke that fades with the floral notes into a vegetal sweetness.
Overall: A sophisticated and distinct addition to the mezcal world.
Gem & Bolt has been described as a ‘heart-warmer’, so I guess you could put it in the same category as oysters and chocolates.
If the person you’re buying for is a fan of the Gem & Bolt you could also try Dangerous Don or Bruxo No.2.
The literal translation of mezcal is ‘oven-cooked agave’, the only real difference between mezcal and Tequila is that mezcal is not regulated to the 5 states, like Tequila is. It is predominantly made in the southern state of Oaxaca and unlike Tequila it can be made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico, but not blue. It is categorized from blanco, through to extra añejo in the same way Tequila is and has grown massively in popularity recently. The production and ageing, all the way through to the bottling is generally the same as Tequila.
Martinez family from San Dionisio Oaxaca
ABOUT THE LIQUID
Gem & Bolt Mezcal is made from espadin agave hearts that are harvest at 7 or 8 years maturity. The hearts are quartered and thrown into a roasting pit fueled by ocote and/or mesquite wood, covered with burlap sacks and earth to seal the oven, and left to roast for 3 days. The roasted agave is removed, now with its sugars primed to release, and placed in a circular stone tray on the floor of the palenque. A horse pushes a giant stone wheel, or tahona (several hundred years old and passed down through the generations), around to crush and macerate the agave. The crushed agave is then fermented in a wooden vat (pine), for one to two weeks, depending on the humidity, season, climate, length of day, moon-cycle and many other factors. The skill of the master mezcalero, using no modern tools or measuring mechanisms, is used to consider all of these elements and determine when the proper level of fermentation has been achieved. The natural yeasts from the local ecosystem are allowed to enter the open fermenting vat, nothing artificial is used. The fermented fibre and liquid are then put into the first phase of the still.
Our mezcal is twice distilled in a copper still. One unique component to our configuration is the stainless steel lid on the second chamber of the still, which is an innovation of Vicente Reyes in collaboration with the Martinez family. This component allows the damiana to completely and perfectly combine with the espadin during the second distillation. The distilled spirit exits the first phase of the still at ~30% ABV. It is then filtered and rested in oak barrels for 3 months, not to add oak flavour or colour, but to soften the edges. We rest only the first distillation product in order to allow agave oil essences to settle, in preparation for the second distillation with damiana, where both plant essences are perfectly married through evaporation and condensation in the magic elixir that is Gem & Bolt Mezcal. As previously mentioned, the damiana leaf is added just before the second distillation, the dry leaf is introduced (very similar to process with gin). After the second distillation, the juice is at ~65% ABV. Pristine local water is added to blend down to the specifically chosen ABV of the finished product 44%.
Espadin Agave, Organic Damiana.