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Aged for 13 months in a blend of American and French oak. A gorgeous spirits rivaling the world�s finest scotches and cognacs. Maple, clove and bitter orange aromas. Dark chocolate and sweet agave on the palate. Rounded. Full. Rich. To be sipped and savored.

For nearly a decade, a small group of artists, musicians, writers and travelers has been drinking Ilegal Mezcal, a handcrafted brand of Mexican artisanal liquor with a notorious history that includes smuggling and weeklong parties in a clandestine bar in Guatemala. Ilegal was born out of John Rexer�s bar, Cafe No Se, an eclectic international watering hole in colonial Antigua, Guatemala. �Ilegal has texture and is not diluted and polluted by an industrial process,� says Rexer. �It�s like old hand-tooled leather versus cheap pleather. It�s seductive. People from all walks of life understand the difference. It�s a way of thinking and wanting to live as much as it is fine liquor.� Ilegal is made in Oaxaca by a fourth-generation mezcalero with a passion for keeping a 500-year-old tradition alive. Pure Espadin agave is baked in earthen pits, stone ground, naturally fermented and distilled twice in small batches. The process is an art form and the result is a beautifully balanced spirit with just a kiss of smoke, making it ideal for cocktails or as a sipping spirit. Ilegal can be savored in three styles. The unaged Joven has notes of anise, white and red pepper and light fruit with a smooth, lingering and heated finish. The Reposado, aged 4 months in American Oak barrels, has a more caramelized flavor with notes of chocolate, butterscotch, medium smoke and some heat with a longer finish. The Anejo, aged 13 months in American Oak, French Oak and bourbon casks, offers bitter-orange notes with hints of maple and clove. More Story Details �Ilegal began back in 2004ish, very informally and almost by mistake. I was bringing down mezcal from Oaxaca for my bar, Cafe No Se, in Antigua Guatemala, and the mezcal became popular very quickly.

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