El Proceso(the process)

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After 10 years when the Salmiana agave reaches peak ripeness, the stalks of the plant are cut off and the heart, called the piña (which means pineapple because of its resemblance to the fruit) is harvested. The piña can weigh up to 220 pounds when ready to harvest containing the plant’s sweet juicy pulp.
Wild Shot is roasted in above ground igloo-like masonry ovens. The fire is started in the base of the oven. When the rocks are red hot the piñas are usually cut in halves or in quarters and placed in the oven. The whole oven is covered with agave leaves, fiber straw mats, and earth.
After 4 days, the roasted piñas are removed. They are often sweet and can be sold in chunks to eat.
The roasted piñas are mashed on a circular millstone pulled by a mule to extract the juicy pulp. The mashed agave is placed in wooden barrels with water and left to ferment for several days.
After fermentation, the mash is distilled in copper alembic. Fibers are removed from the still and the alcohol from the first distillation is distilled a second time.
After the second distillation, the mezcal is blended to obtain a consistent grade of alcohol. The mezcal is either bottled to be distributed and enjoyed right away (Wild Shot Silver) or left to age in white oak casks for six months (Wild Shot Reposado). There is nothing industrial about the production of Wild Shot. It is truly handcrafted.

La Tradición(the tradition)

The method for crafting a traditional mezcal traces its origins back to the Aztecs more than 200 years ago. It takes its name from the Aztec Nahuati word for "oven cooked pineapple," as the heart of the agave plant, called the "pina," looks similar to the body of a pineapple once its stalks are removed.

Although it is made from agave, mezcal is not tequila. Tequila comes strictly from a single type of agave called tequilana (blue agave) while mezcal can be produced from 28 agave varieties including blue agave, making tequila a form of mezcal.  For mezcal, the agave piñas are placed in a large pit and covered. The piñas are then roasted for about four days in an above ground igloo-like oven or an underground oven with charcoal and stone. This produces mezcal’s distinct smoky flavor. Generations of this traditional distillation method earns mezcal the well deserved title as tequila’s tastefully sophisticated older cousin.

El Gusano(the worm)


The infamous worm, or “gusano”, is actually the larva of a species of moth that lives on the agave plant. While finding insects in your beverage is normally not a good thing, the worm in mezcal serves as evidence of its high proof and good fortune. So, if you find yourself having too good of a time enjoying your Wild Shot mezcal, just blame it on the worm!

What is Mezcal?

Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the Maguey plant. The history of mezcal dates back to the Spanish conquistadors who were introduced to a native Mexican drink known as "pulque" which is made by fermenting the extracted juice from the Maguey plant. Soon the conquistadors began distilling pulque resulting in an exceptionally smoky beverage. Mezcal is similar to tequila, the difference being that tequila is made from the blue agave. Though not as popular as tequila, mezcal is gaining in popularity in the U.S. Mezcal was originally meant to be sipped slowly and enjoyed, like scotch. It can also replace tequila in any mixed drink. Part of the allure of mezcal is the presence of the agave worm in the bottle. The worm is intended to be eaten as the last drink is poured.

Toby's Story

“I have always been fascinated with Mexico and the drink Mezcal. It is a part of my life. Mexico is a theme that runs through many of my songs.  The tradition and history of Mezcal is magical to me. Mezcal dates back to the 16th Century warriors celebrating the defeat of their enemies. There is an agave worm in every true bottle. And, the worm is not there for the look, it is there to be eaten. It is believed that the worm will bring a special experience and every individual will feel something different. I believed there was a complete void in the market place in getting this drink to the average person, so it seemed natural for me to start a business selling Toby Keith Mezcal.”


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