Ben’s first taste of mezcal was in Mexico City in the summer of 2015. The attraction was instant and overwhelming.
Over the next 2 months he drove around the south of the country learning all he could about the process and the culture of artisanal mezcal production. Each layer revealed unique practices and fascinating liquids. He developed a powerful thirst.
He filled his bags with bottles and returned home to London. Sharing his precious finds with friends and family he realised the wide appeal of the category, as well as the huge steps required for it to be properly understood and appreciated in the international market. The idea of being a part of this important process while sharing (and drinking) these delicious distillates was a potent and heady mix. Five mezcals later Ben bought flights to Oaxaca.
His credentials were thin, having virtually no relevant experience, but he was committed and diligent and spent the next couple of months stumbling from town to town in search of the perfect juice.
That process eventually led him to Miahuatlán where, in a field of agave off the Calle Pensamientos, he met Atenógenes and Jose García, father-son grower-producers; masters of their trade and artists in their work. Together they worked on a new recipe, an ensamble of Espadín and Madrecuishe; the first bottle of Pensador.
This incredible part of the world forms the back-bone and purpose of Pensador. Like Wine, Mezcal is the product of terroir – geography and inherited production techniques giving mezcals unique local identities. Within Oaxaca there are several distinct production regions; experiencing the flavours which unite these regions is essential to understanding the wider category. Miahuatlán, having one of the most idiosyncratic of these identities, is the perfect vehicle to display the influence of regionality in mezcal. It also happens to be home to some truly phenomenal spirits.
10% of proceeds from each bottle sold are donated to charity and sustainability in the region via our charitable partner S.A.C.R.E.D.
“I think that the invitation would be: if someone would like a drink, let it be natural, not too diluted because then is it reduced. So even if you drink a little less, make it a good one.”