Fortino Ramos

For the past 40 years, internationally recognized and award-winning Maestro Mezcalero Don Fortino Ramos has dedicated himself to mastering the art of distilling mezcal. A love for the craft runs in the family: his daughter, Xitlali, works closely by his side in her pursuit to become the family’s second generation mezcalera.

Mtro. Mezcalero
Fortino Ramos
— the beginnings

Cultivate

We believe in order to best serve Nature, we must listen to it and learn from it. On ancestral Miztec land in Valles Centrales, Oaxaca, our agaves spend 8-12 years reaching their ripest maturity in different parts of the arid and sun-soaked valley. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to caring for each of our varietals—Espadín, Tobalá and Salmiana vary in average size, each with its own particularities we listen to and care for. To promote biodiversity, we plant three new wild agaves for every one hand-harvested and never use insecticides, enriching the land for all species calling it home.

Harvest

The rigorous and precise process of harvesting the piña is entrusted to our few and fearless jimadores who call upon a centuries-old expertise to carve through the agave’s protective leaves. These hearts of the agave, often weighing up to 200 pounds, are where the sugars are concentrated and give life to what will ultimately be the curious spirit of The Lost Explorer Mezcal. The longer an agave is allowed to mature, the longer it has to soak up every element of Nature and the richer its sugar content. Patience is key.

Curiously
Oaxaca

Cook

Here, we return the piñas to the earth. At the base of a conical pit of river rocks, a days-long fire smokes the massive agave hearts with reclaimed wood, soil and stone.

Mill

At this stage, the roasted agaves are fully macerated to break down the fibers and prepare the agave to take on full character in the fermentation stage. (We opt not to use a donkey-towed tahona as some traditional methods do because, well, there are other ways to do this that don’t involve four-legged friends.)

Ferment

Smoked and now with all fibers thoroughly exposed, the agave is set to rest in pure spring water as the wild yeasts find harmony with the elements. Maestro Mezcalero Fortino Ramos meticulously sets the atmosphere for the fermentation and monitors this closely over the following days as it matures. As a Mezcalero, being in tune with the yeast is critical.

Distill

Each of our mezcals is double-distilled in copper stills to achieve the purest and smoothest expression of the wild maguey.

Bottle

Finally, the mezcal is bottled in recycled glass vessels, hand-labeled and sealed with a kiss of wax.

The Lost Explorer Mezcal is ready to take on the world.

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