The man behind Cinco Sentidos is Jason Cox. To say he's smart and genuinely gives a shit is an understatement. An Ohio native, he studied politics and economics, has taught English education, and was a reproductive health instructor in Panama for the Peace Corps. He later went on to work as a medical interpreter with the Hispanic Coalition in Ohio where he translated for the Spanish-speaking community, many of whom were immigrants. His work took him to hospitals and emergency rooms – places where compassion is a must. After some time, Jason decided to get into courtroom interpretation and that is what brought him to Oaxaca.
He arrived on New Year’s Eve 2015 with the intention of staying in Mexico to study Spanish for one month. Right off the bat he met Joseph Gilbert, a chef who’d just landed himself to stage at various restaurants and learn all he could about Oaxacan food and the people. Joseph introduced Jason to Judah Kuper of Mezcal Vago – on a recent episode of the Hey Hey Agave podcast, Jason said “He’s [Judah] been a mentor in some sense....and a good voice for how to try to build an ethically-minded business when it comes to Mezcal.”
So Jason spends a month in Oaxaca, studies, and of course he drinks mezcal and visits producers. Ultimately, he learns about mezcal production and is struck by the people making it. After returning to the States for his exam, he felt he could have been stronger in his knowledge of Spanish slang so....he went back to Oaxaca.
One thing led to another: he became roommates with Joseph, got a job in the bar industry, and made a lot of friends. One hungover day, he and his roomie decided to open a restaurant. Aren’t the best ideas hatched when hungover? They had no investments and zero business plan, but they had the passion, the desire, and the smarts. El Destilado – the restaurant – was born. It started as a simple project. Two young guys from opposite sides of the United States met in Oaxaca, where they were drawn to the vibrant colors, culture, food, and of course, mezcal. As a friendship developed, so did a plan: Scour the Mexican countryside in search of delicious and obscure mezcals, and serve those spirits in a small mezcaleria.
It took a while for them to get a liquor license and they pretty much lived in the back room for eight months. After a while the restaurant became a 32 seat spot offering a nine course tasting menu and mezcal that was purchased directly from the producers. That mezcaleria eventually evolved into a highly-acclaimed 32-seat restaurant, and coveted bottles of their nano-batch spirits began making their way to restaurants, bars, and spirits enthusiasts' personal collections outside of Mexico. Eventually, it became time to share a selection of El Destilado's agave spirits with a broader audience. We at El Destilado bring that selection to you in the form of Cinco Sentidos: a project that aims to highlight the various production processes, agave diversity, and talents and traditions of the amazing people who make the spirits with rigor and esteem. Cinco Sentidos does not blend, age, or otherwise alter the spirits from their original form.
Bottles were labeled Cinco Sentidos; it became their house brand. Jason ensured that each bottle had the name of the producer, that there was complete transparency, and that the mezcaleros were being fairly compensated. Cinco Sentidos is a representation of small-scale maestro mezcaleros that produce agave spirits with complex flavors. We select high-quality distillates that represent the various production processes, agave diversity, and traditions and talents of Mexico's master distillers of agave.
IN 2015, EL DESTILADO AND CINCO SENTIDOS WAS BORN.
Five Regions. Five Expressions. Five Master Distiller.
Drink with Respect.
|PROPRIETORS||Jason Paul Cox|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)