Last month we reported on NOM-186, an initiative which was proposed by the Ministry of Economy in Mexico with the intent on branding agave products. Here are its main objectives:

1) Only agave spirits produced within three of the four Appellations of Origin - tequila, mezcal and bacanora - are allowed to continue labeling their products as such. Sotol is not included.
2) Spirits using 100% agave cannot be produced above 35% alcohol by volume.
3) A spirit produced with 100% agave cannot be aged.
4) A spirit produced using agave outside these three AO’s will now be called “agavacea aguardiente,” regardless of percentage.
5) Other agave distillates which are produced within these AO’s, such as raicilla and comiteca, will not be legal for commercial sale.
6) Only six of the hundreds of agave varietals available will be legal for commercial production.

In late January, a petition against NOM-186 was presented to the Ministry and is currently being reviewed.