Bacanora is named after a small village along the Bacanora River located at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range.
Handcrafted for more than 300 years by local mezcaleros, its manufacturing process has been passed from generation to generation.
There are four types of bacanora:
Bacanora joven: a blend of bacanora blanco and reposado.
Bacanora reposado: rested two months or more in oak barrels
Bacanora añejo: aged for one year or more.
Bacanora Blanco: bottled directly following the last distillation.
The distillation of Bacanora was illegal for 77 years in Mexico due to prohibition efforts until 1992; it survived by being bootlegged by vinateros (wine merchants) for many generations. Since 2000 Bacanora has been issued with an origin denomination bill by the Mexican government. This means that only mezcal produced by the agave variety grown in the Sonora municipalities can legally be called Bacanora.
This spirit is traditionally served during celebrations such as Quinceañeras, weddings, and other big family gatherings.
Like tequila and mezcal, bacanora is made from the native agave plant. However, the production of this spirit specifically involves using a spiky and native agave plant known as Pacifica.
Bacanora's rich smoky flavor is influenced by Sonora's distinct soil and climatic characteristics. Bacanora is roasted for 3-4 days in an earthen pit with mesquite fire, which gives it a smoky flavor. As a result, Bacanora offers an alluring flavor: dry, complex, and peppery with an earthy finish.
Overall, it is less smokey than mezcal, tending to lie between tequila and mezcal flavorwise.