The Scottish Highlands, Japan and America continue to lead the pack in the whiskey market. But a new Mexican distillery is getting into whiskey production, and its inaugural spirit is proving to be a worthy contender.
Abasolo, the first whisky made from 100 percent Mexican corn, uses an ancestral varietal called Cacahuazintle, which has been around for hundreds of years. The corn undergoes nixtamalization, a process in which the kernels are soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, then washed and hulled. The process dates back over 4,000 years and is commonly used before the grain is turned into masa for tortillas. Nixtamalization produces a bolder flavor and aroma that makes the corn substantial enough to leave out other grains, and it’s the first time the process has been used to make a spirit. The whisky is distilled in copper pots, aged in used oak casks and bottled at 88 proof. The result is a strong, toasted corn flavor complemented by vanilla, leather and caramel notes.
Despite launching during a pandemic, Abasolo is committed to giving back to the hospitality industry. Through August 1, the company is donating 100 percent of its profits to Another Round, Another Rally, a US nonprofit that is providing financial relief to hospitality workers affected by the spread of COVID-19, and a yet-to-be-chosen partner in Mexico. Abasolo Whisky is on shelves now for $40 in 750mL bottles.
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