The founders of Bosscal Mezcal, Nelson and Verne Nieves, announced that Bosscal has gone independent and appointed an executive leadership team of CEO Stuart McGuire; COO Ruben Basantes; CCO Emmanuel Peña; CFO Mexico Luis Ascensio; and General Counsel John B. Rosenquest, IV. In addition, Bosscal was selected to join Southern Glazer’s Craft Collection Luxury Spirits nationally, and Bosscal’s signature cocktail, the Mezgarita, is now featured in more than 2,000 chain restaurants.

Bosscal, which released its first mezcal in 2015, owns its distillery in Durango, Mexico, and uses wild-grown Cenizo agave, which is hand-harvested and donkey-transported—from that region’s highlands. For every plant harvested, a new agave pup is planted. The brand has organic certifications from the USDA, EU and SAGARPA Mexico, and there are currently three Bosscal Mezcals available in the U.S. market (all ABV 42%): Joven (SRP: $44.99/750mL); Damiana, a stimulant herb which grows alongside wild agave (SRP: $49.99/750mL); and the rare Pechuga de Conejo (SRP: $99.99/750mL).

The Nieves brothers were raised in Florida by a mother exiled from Cuba and a father who immigrated from Uruguay, both of whom inspired the brothers to build their own futures. Nelson and Verne fell in love with Durango and its patron son, Pancho Villa, whose underdog story reflects Durango’s place as “The David of Mezcal versus Oaxaca the Goliath.”     

Stuart McGuire will serve as CEO. Prior to joining Bosscal, McGuire was an early investor in the brand, as well as an operating partner with the importer previously assigned by Bosscal. McGuire’s beverage industry experience includes directing on-premise growth for Beso Del Sol Sangria as an operating partner. This led to acquisition by The Wine Group, which McGuire joined as vice president, to lead the brand’s transition and integration. Prior to his brand ownership roles, McGuire was the director of beverage for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, where he spent 16 years focused on beverage strategy and concept development. Before that, McGuire spent eight years with Darden Restaurants, Inc. in various roles including operations, training, strategic planning and corporate beverage management.

Ruben Basantes, has been named chief operating officer. For the previous fourteen years, Basantes directed supplier and trade marketing for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, from its corporate headquarters in Miami. Prior to that, Basantes held brand management roles with companies such as Allied Domecq, Frito-Lay, and General Mills.  

Emmanuel “Manny” Peña has been named chief commercial officer and was one of the founding team members for Diplomático Rum, for which he led education and training in the role of Brand Ambassador. He previously held a similar role for William Grant & Sons focused on Milagro Tequila. Peña is co-founder of East Park Cigars.

Luis Ascencio, will take the reins as chief financial officer. Since 2018, Ascencio—an NYSCE certified professional trader—has directed all aspects of Bosscal’s operations in Mexico, including logistics, forecasting, and production. Previously, Ascencio held leadership and consulting roles within international trade and finance, with particular expertise in liquor, construction, green energy, and commodity trading.

John (“Jay”) B. Rosenquest, IV, general counsel  earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Memphis. After 10 years with AM Law 100 firms, focusing on commercial litigation, Rosenquest formed a solo practice in 2014, subsequently adding first-chair trial experience, banking and private lending disputes, financial services litigation, business torts and partnership disputes, forming and capitalizing of new and expanding business ventures, and real estate litigation to his fields of expertise; hospitality sector clients included brands, bars, restaurants and liquor