Oaxaca is Mexico’s mezcal capital. Located in Southwestern Mexico, it is home to 80 percent of the country’s production of mezcal and home to the best cooking in the country.
First of all, mezcal is not “smoked tequila.” Mezcal is all about high proof, small batches, and no worms. Mezcal is a distilled spirit that can be made from some thirty varieties of agave, or maguey. It is usually made by mezcaleros or producers with a process that redefines “artisanal”: agaves are roasted in an underground pit, wild-fermented in open vats, and distilled to proof.
SUSTO is unique in that Grupo Compadres owns the NOM and the production facilities. SUSTO is not a white-label brand. Through its Mexican entity, Compadres chose to take the complex road to become certified producers of mezcal (a process that took over a year to complete) through the Mezcal Regulatory Council (CRM). NOM-0526X.
SUSTO is crafted in San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca by Crispín Pérez. In 1996, Crispín left his community to work abroad, putting in long hours to earn enough money to shape two of his dreams into realities: celebrate the baptism of his two daughters and buy a copper still. Most days, Crispín, and his son work hard to create another delicious batch of SUSTO, carrying on a tradition started over 400 years ago. In 2017, Crispin partnered with Grupo Compadres to bring SUSTO to the United States.
SUSTO is crafted and bottled in San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca. It is 100% artisanal agave mezcal joven. 42% alcohol by volume.
Crispín follows the artisanal process and traditions of mezcal preparation. SUSTO’s smoky flavor comes alive during the production process: the hearts of the agave plants (piñas) are roasted in an earthen pit oven. The cooked agave is then crushed, combined with water and allowed to ferment. It is distilled two times using a copper pot which makes SUSTO a smoother spirit.
Grupo Compadres is the evolution of a long-standing friendship between two families in Austin and one in Oaxaca. (From L to R partners: Duff Stewart, Liz Stewart, Titi Rodriguez, Ingrid Taylor and James S. Taylor) In 2015, the five partners began serious conversations about launching a mezcal that honored the craftsmanship of mezcaleros and offered the unique experience of mezcal to Texas and beyond. They partnered with Crispín, already a respected local maestro mezcalero, in 2017 to bring SUSTO to life.
In the spirit of giving back Grupo Compadres is committed to making a difference in the communities we work. Our focus is on education. In late 2017 we established a partnership with the Oaxaca Foundation. We have given $2,000 USD to the Oaxaca Foundation to be used for school textbooks and supplies for middle school students in San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca, the community where SUSTO is made. The name of the school is Escuela Técnica. Grupo Compadres are committed to making a difference in the community over the long term.
To find out more news and information about SUSTO Mezcal and to see what others are saying check out these hyperlinks.
That’s the Spirit! (opens PDF)
Austin Monthly, May 2019
SUSTO Mezcal Brings Oaxaca to Austin
Austin Woman Magazine, May 1, 2019
Five Minutes with the Founders of SUSTO
Texas Lifestyle Magazine, April 3, 2019
Your Saturday Six is Back – Vol. XLIX
HELM, January 5, 2019
“I’ve loved this spirit ever since I discovered it, first in cocktails and then as a drink to sip and savor.”
SUSTO MEZCAL Review
Travel Distilled, December 17, 2018