The producer and his sons make a very special mezcal called Pechuga, in their largest production ever due to demand... 265 liters for the November 2007 vintage. In late 2001 the clay still exploded (cracked) and the majority of the third distillation hit the still floor resulting in a 66 bottle release worldwide!
The Pechuga production season is limited to year end due to the special ingredients: Wild mountain apples and plums that must be in season and cannot be substituted.
Pechuga is begun with Minero; mezcal that has already been double distilled. In preparation for a third distillation they place about 75 liters of mezcal in the still and add about 25 lbs of wild mountain apples and plums, big red plantain bananas, pineapples, figs, almonds, hazelnuts, and a few pounds of uncooked white rice.
Next, a whole chicken breast, skin removed, bone structure complete, is washed in running water for about three hours to remove any grease. This is then suspended by strings in the atmosphere of the still and a 24 hour, third distillation is begun. The vapor passes over the pechuga and condenses into a crystal clear liquid that has an amazing taste and smoothness.
The reason for the breast they say, is so the mezcal is not dominated by the fruit...a balance. Upon completion the Pechuga is removed from the still and hung in the family Altar room...the most important space in the house.
False Mezcal labeling in the commercial production Towns and sales in Cities is endemic to Tobalá, Pechuga as well as Minero. There is no way to find a TRUE bottle of any of these special mezcals other than the village they were made in, any place in Mexico including Oaxaca! This mezcal is the most rare and expensive we have ever encounted, and worth every penney.