OAXACA, MEXICO (March 28, 2017) — Douglas French, pioneer Master Distiller of legacy brand Scorpion Mezcal™, innovates Sierra Norte Native Corn Whiskies™ produced using Mexican heirloom corn.
Due to mezcal’s burgeoning global popularity, “…there is currently a shortage of agave and lots of the small palenques are not distilling,” said Douglas French, creator of legacy brand, Scorpion Mezcal.
“I am in the same boat,” he said. “But instead of looking for an outside job, I have developed recipes to make whiskey.”
It is this kind of ingenuity that has positioned Scorpion Mezcal as the perennial leader in introducing and elevating award winning, high quality mezcals to over 38 states and 16 countries.
Sierra Norte Native Corn Whiskies was launched in the United States in 2016 to mark Scorpion Mezcal’s 20 successful years as a purely artisanal business that promotes social values and economic stability in Oaxaca.
“All of my business ventures have been driven by social responsibility as a keystone,” French said.
The Sierra Norte mountain range of Oaxaca is acclaimed as one of the richest zones of biodiversity in Mexico. Oaxaca is also the cradle of corn to the world with over 2,090 varieties in existence. But, in an era of genetically modified organisms (GMO), many of the native corn species are in danger of extinction.
To keep native cultures and traditions alive, all three expressions of Sierra Norte Native Corn Whiskies are made the old fashioned way in a blend of 85% corn and 15% malted barley. Each batch is carefully distilled from the finest yellow, white and black heritage corn grown from seeds that were passed down from generation to generation. Finally, every individual lot is aged for approximately 9 months in French oak barrels. The result is three uniquely flavorful whiskies unlike any style before or since.
“Whiskey is a rich category,” French said “And these days it is going way beyond just mere introductory basics.”
Most importantly, responsible enjoyment of Sierra Norte Native Corn Whiskies promotes these five points:
- The preservation of endangered native heirloom corn in Oaxaca.
- The purchase of this corn from small, family owned farms at fair prices.
- Provides long term employment and above-average wages at the Scorpion Mezcal distillery where Sierra Norte Native Corn Whiskies are made.
- Supports employment for the most vulnerable members of the community—women and single mothers.
- By reviving the domestic economy of both the farmers and workers, Sierra Norte Native Corn Whiskies and Scorpion Mezcal supplies them with much sought after security making migration away from their families unnecessary.
“I do my best to treat and pay my workers well,” French said. “In return, they are very loyal and have decided to make their careers at the distillery. I have a pretty awesome crew! Because of my upbringing, I believe that socially responsible policies should always be a normal part of any business.”