Ensamble is Madre’s centrepiece. It’s a blend of Espadin and the rare, wild agave, Cuishe, which only counts for 1-2% of agave species. The lion’s share of the blend is crafted by Jose Ines Garcia Morales and his family in San Dionisio, with a little Cuishe supplied from the Vazquez palenque in Miahuatlán.
Agave Cuishe is part of the slow-ripening Karwinskii family, which also includes the Cirial and Tobasiche varieties. Due to the agave’s dense core and low water content, Mezcal made from Cuishe has a slightly tropical and earthy tone. This is picked up during the cooking; the piña is long and thin, increasing the surface area for the roasting process. As, unusually, the stalk and the piña are harvested and roasted together, Mezcal from the Karwinskii family is often said to have a firmer structure. As wild agave is a dwindling resource, for every plant harvested Madre replants it two-fold.