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Maguey Melate Arroqueño – Semei Garcia Ramos

Maguey Melate Arroqueño from young mezcalero Semei Garcia Ramos is produced in Santa Maria La Pila, Miahuatlan, Oaxaca.

Rating: (16 reviews)
Category:Destilado de Agave
Brand:Maguey Melate
Mezcalero:Semei Garcia Ramos
Maguey:Arroqueño
Agave:Americana
Grind:Shredder
Distillation:Copper
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:Santa Maria La Pila
ABV: 47.5%
Age of plant: 12-15 years
Release year: 2020
Website: https://www.magueymelate.com/, opens in new window

About this destilado de agave

Maguey Melate Arroqueño from Semei Garcia Ramos was originally released as the May 2020 Mezcalero of the Month agave spirit. Semei comes from a long line of legendary producers in his family, including his grandfather, Don Valente Angel. While Semei helps with his grandfather’s Alipus production, this original batch from Maguey Melate represented the first batch that was imported into the US under his name. This batch was produced in 2014, when Semei was just 19 years old, and aged in glass for 6 years before being bottled for release. Melate later released another batch of this Arroqueño that was produced in 2019.

Maguey Melate

Maguey Melate was founded on two ideas: 1) Artisanal agave spirits are amazing and should be shared with the world, and 2) The faster-cheaper economy is a harmful force for people, the environment, and now agave spirits.

They believe if mezcal (and agave spirits) can be understood and appreciated at its full potential, people will show their preference for quality artisanal mezcal that is sustainably and fairly sourced. By raising consumer consciousness on the origins of mezcal and educating enthusiasts on matters of quality and character, informed people will be empowered to ensure the future of mezcal. To do this, they're reaching a large audience with an impactful message: KEEP MEZCAL ARTISANAL!

Maguey Melate is perhaps most well-known for their Mezcalero of the Month Club, which delivers artisanal small-batch agave spirits directly to the doors of consumers in the US and Mexico. In addition to the monthly spirits, they offer exclusive content and interviews with producers. Single releases are also available in the Maguey Melate shop.

16 reviews

4.16 out of 5

JDB

JDB

32 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 months ago

Finishing the last of this bottle. Definitely has evolved in flavor and profile as I have drank it over the last few months. Much sweeter and rounded then I first tasted it when it was harsh and sharp on the palate and finish. Oxygen has done good things for this Arroqueño. Flavors of mint/herbs and lemongrass, a bit of taste like Good & Plenty candy (licorice). Hint of minerality and earth. Still a tad hot and peppery.

zeepuzzler

zeepuzzler

25 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 months ago

Reviewing two different batches here…

SEM-ARR-001 (2014), Bottle 178. Big time cream cheese frosting and vanilla on the nose. Perhaps a hint of chocolate, too. The palate is soft and gentle, comprised of river rocks, caramel, tropical fruit, and cultured butter. I really enjoy the finish; there’s that cream cheese icing again, along with bubblegum, minerals, and pine. So quaffable, so well-balanced. 4.5/5 stars.

SEM-ARR-002 (2019), Bottle 7. Unlike the 2014 batch, this one used younger, cultivated arroqueño and took less time to ferment. The aroma is gorgeous; dark, earthy, and heavier on the chocolate. I also catch an unexpected (yet enticing) whiff of smoked fish. The palate doesn’t live up to the nose, though; it’s more slippery and less complex than Ramos’ previous batch. The familiar sweet cheese funk is there only for a fleeting moment before the flavor is swallowed up by dryer sheets. Oak and dark fruits on a drying finish. 3.5/5 stars.

Overall, I much prefer the batch from 2014 and can’t help but wonder what the 2019 batch might have tasted like with more time rested in glass.

Reviewing two different batches here…
SEM-ARR-001 (2014), Bottle 178. Big time cream cheese frosting and vanilla on the nose. Perhaps a hint of chocolate, too. The palate is soft and gentle, comprised of river rocks, caramel, tropical fruit, and cultured butter. I really enjoy the finish; there’s that cream cheese icing again, along with bubblegum, minerals, and pine. So quaffable, so well-balanced. 4.5/5 stars.
SEM-ARR-002 (2019), Bottle 7. Unlike the 2014 batch, this one use

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Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

371 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars5 months ago

Batch No. SEM-ARR-001 (2014) Bottle: 218
Nose – Smoky cherry. Raisin. Tiny bit of Hershey’s chocolate.

Palate – Excellent viscosity with a unique, silty feel. Fruit cake. A previous reviewer (stigibeu) was spot on with the fresh-baked, buttered biscuits. A hint of smoked whitefish. A great and extended, smoky oak finish with a warm, briny aftertaste.

Ankaret

Ankaret

3 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars8 months ago

2014 batch. Quiet creamy smell with a faint earthy funk. Some vanilla and almost bourbon notes (vanilla, caramel) scent the glass. The flavor is silky and crystal clear sweetness with a smooth and subtle marine note. Highly refined and exceptionally balanced.

Tyler

Tyler

532 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars9 months ago

Sipping this back-to-back with another Arroqueño from Miahuatlán and this is the clear winner. Great balance. Tons of candied fruit. Tartness, sweetness, and minerality all playing together nicely. I dig this one and cannot wait to taste more mezcal from Don Valente’s grandson – future legend no doubt.

rsidrys

rsidrys

50 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars10 months ago

Super well-rounded and drinkable, yet has some standout features. Typical Americana cheese on the nose which is always pleasant. Loaded with minerality all the way through. After oxidation the bubblegum fruitiness starts to shine.

Every time I drink it, I think “soft” – absolutely no edge. However, while being soft, it is also robust and full-flavored!

t8ke

t8ke

144 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars12 months ago

This is where this batch comes to life. Rich sweetness, almost a faint caramel and burnt sugar character. Faint anise, white pepper, cream cheese complexity and a bit of berry. Minerality is medium. Complex overall.

A unique Arroqueno for sure that bundles together a heaping handful of notes I love.

El-Dawg

El-Dawg

136 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Enticing smell (is that orange creamsicle)! Very sweet and tropical. I get some of the cream & funkiness others have mentioned. The sweet and ‘candied’ finish that lingers at the end is very pleasant. This one definitely improved with some oxygen and resting for a few weeks. Can’t quite figure this out completely, but love continuing to try. Review #55
After some air time this one has aged beautifully. The candied and fruit sweetness have really come to the forefront. I would probably rate this closer to a 4.5 now.

Enticing smell (is that orange creamsicle)! Very sweet and tropical. I get some of the cream & funkiness others have mentioned. The sweet and ‘candied’ finish that lingers at the end is very pleasant. This one definitely improved with some oxygen and resting for a few weeks. Can’t quite figure this out completely, but love continuing to try. Review #55
After some air time this one has aged beautifully. The candied and fruit sweetness have really come to the forefront

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stigibeu

stigibeu

33 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars1 year ago

A lot of the same notes as Auditor. Red velvet cream cheese sweetness, honeysuckle on the nose, with a similarly sweet and smooth finish. Moderate, balanced mouthfeel, with the taste of sweet corn in parts, and a little pepper and minerality too I suppose. After it opened up a bit, I swear I got some fresh baked and buttered biscuits on the front. Another really good offering from MM.

TheAuditor

TheAuditor

38 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Batch: SEM-ARR-001

Nose: Aromatic, cotton candy, vanilla cream, cream cheese

Palate: Medium mouthfeel. Warm, cream cheese, minerals, earthy, Bell Peppers, coriander,

Finish: Medium length. Warm and moist. Minerals, Cream Cheese, Bubblegum, peppery.

This one leans to the sweet side of mezcals but it works well. Bursts with cotton candy and vanilla sweetness that permeates throughout. Mixed in is some savory spices like pepper, light vegetalness, some minerals. A good showing and selection from Maguey Melate.

Batch: SEM-ARR-001
Nose: Aromatic, cotton candy, vanilla cream, cream cheese
Palate: Medium mouthfeel. Warm, cream cheese, minerals, earthy, Bell Peppers, coriander,
Finish: Medium length. Warm and moist. Minerals, Cream Cheese, Bubblegum, peppery.
This one leans to the sweet side of mezcals but it works well. Bursts with cotton candy and vanilla sweetness that permeates throughout. Mixed in is some savory spices like pepper, light vegetalness, some minerals. A good showing and selection from Ma

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SwatSaladin

SwatSaladin

19 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Batch Number SEM-ARR-001

Olive brine, citrus zest, and chocolate mint on the nose. The minty and zesty aromas carry over to the palate, which also pulls in elements of tropical fruit like pineapple and mango, and garden herbs. There’s also a subdued limestone minerality that plays well with the gentle sweetness. The finish takes a turn for earthy—wet leaves, and clay. The notes from the palate almost all stick around, as well.

Overall, the palate is incredibly flavorful yet gentle. This is an exceptionally balanced mezcal, and it is an absolute pleasure to drink. It has grown on me since I first opened the bottle, and is probably the mezcal I reach for most often right now.

Batch Number SEM-ARR-001
Olive brine, citrus zest, and chocolate mint on the nose. The minty and zesty aromas carry over to the palate, which also pulls in elements of tropical fruit like pineapple and mango, and garden herbs. There’s also a subdued limestone minerality that plays well with the gentle sweetness. The finish takes a turn for earthy—wet leaves, and clay. The notes from the palate almost all stick around, as well.
Overall, the palate is incredibly flavorful yet gentle. This is a

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Rakhal

Rakhal

317 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Excellent! Fresh, clean, and delicate. Juicy fruit gum, pineapple, mango, clove, allspice, and river rocks.

Gregg T&T

Gregg T&T

100 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Wet earth and moss, I do get a a light funk of cheese and fruit plate. Super clean upon entry, faint sweetness with medium complexity and finish.

BuffPhysics

BuffPhysics

11 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Mezcal Review #5 – Maguey Melate Arroqueno (May 2020 Club Pick)

Additional Info: This batch was distilled from semi-cultivated Arroquenos (planted and then left unattended to reach maturity) and distilled in 2014, so it has spent considerable time resting. Fermentation was unusually long at 15 days due to the high sugar concentration in the agaves, which may have improved the aromatics. More information can be found on Maguey Melate’s website and youtube channel.

Nose: Intense butterscotch and cream cheese frosting, you can smell this from rooms away. A touch of mint, peppers, orange, and some mixed herbs/aromatic woods. After the bottle has had some time to air out, I get a strong similarity to some oaky red wines (California Syrah) – herbs and roasted meats.

Taste: A little sweet, lots of butterscotch and caramel. Not at all harsh even at full strength (I dare not call it smooth). Something almost like sherry, I’ve tasted this before in good aged tequilas but have never really been able to pin it down. Think sherry without the earthy qualities. Not super complex but no off notes either.

Finish: There’s a mineral note here, but it’s not particularly strong or long lasting.

Notes: The nose is phenomenal and I really want to love this but the taste and finish fall a little short. They’re not bad by any means, just not as interesting. I have gone back and forth on the rating between 6 and 7 but tasting it next to the Coyote from last month (which I awarded a 7), I like this less. So:

Score: 6/10

1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.

2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.

3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.

4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but better exists.

5 | Good | Good, just fine.

6 | Very Good | A cut above.

7 | Great | Well above average

8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.

9 | Incredible | An all time favorite

10 | Perfect | Perfect

Next Up: No idea, probably Melate’s June 2020 pick!

Mezcal Review #5 – Maguey Melate Arroqueno (May 2020 Club Pick)
Additional Info: This batch was distilled from semi-cultivated Arroquenos (planted and then left unattended to reach maturity) and distilled in 2014, so it has spent considerable time resting. Fermentation was unusually long at 15 days due to the high sugar concentration in the agaves, which may have improved the aromatics. More information can be found on Maguey Melate’s website and youtube channel.
Nose: Intense butterscotch

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GreenspointTexas

GreenspointTexas

323 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

What johnny said straight up. I thought this and the coyote together was the best overall box MM has put out thus far. Less harsh than a lot of other MM releases, some pine and coconut oil on the finish. Wonderful stuff

Jonny

Jonny

537 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Incredible! This is so sweet and delicious. Aromas of bubblegum and minerals. So delicate and luxurious on the palate. This takes a page straight from Don Valente’s book. My gosh. This mezcal has convinced me to go back and taste more Arroqueno that I haven’t opened in awhile. This has that down-the-middle complexity that I don’t taste very often. It’s not super sour, or funky, or fruity, or anything like that, it’s just a really heightened spirit. It’s rich and soft. Really enjoying this a lot.

Incredible! This is so sweet and delicious. Aromas of bubblegum and minerals. So delicate and luxurious on the palate. This takes a page straight from Don Valente’s book. My gosh. This mezcal has convinced me to go back and taste more Arroqueno that I haven’t opened in awhile. This has that down-the-middle complexity that I don’t taste very often. It’s not super sour, or funky, or fruity, or anything like that, it’s just a really heightened spirit. It’s rich a

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