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Mal Bien Arroqueno – Cortes

Mal Bien Arroqueno is made by the father-son duo Felipe and Ageo Cortes, who have been producing for brands like Mezcaloteca (Mezcalosfera) for many years.

Rating: (9 reviews)
Category:Destilado de Agave
Brand:Mal Bien
Mezcalero:Ageo Cortés, Felipe Cortés
Maguey:Arroqueño
Agave:Americana
Grind:Tahona
Distillation:Refrescador
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:Miahuatlán
ABV: 51%
Website: https://www.mezcalmalbien.com/, opens in new window

About this destilado de agave

Mal Bien Arroqueno is made with maguey Arroqueno (agave Americana) that are cooked in an underground oven for 8-10 days with the following types of wood: Encino, Yegareche, Mesquite, and Palo de Aguila. The agave are allowed to rest for 5-7 days after the cook, before being milled by ox drawn tahona. The milled agave are fermented in open air tinas for 3-8 days and then double distilled in a copper refrescadera still.

Felipe and his son Ageo are the 3rd and 4th generations of the Cortes family to produce mezcal in the Miahuatlán District of Oaxaca, an area famous for its abundance and diversity of A. karwinskii sub-species (madrecuixe, tobaxiche, etc.). The community of Mengoli de Morelos where they live and work has a population of just under 200 people. They are related to the neighboring Ramos family via Felipe’s wife (Ageo’s mother), Cesilia, whose sister Cleotilde is married to Victor Ramos.

According to the brand, batch 0318’s label incorrectly lists the scientific name as A. Karwinskii. All other batches are correctly labeled as A. Americana.

Mal Bien

Since 2016, the Mal Bien team has been traveling Mexico, driving off the map and into mountains filled with treacherous roads, police officers of questionable moral character, feral dogs, indigenous languages, narcos, ancient relics, machete wielding protestors, insect based meals, mudslides, blockades, corrupt politicians, and many of the world’s kindest, funniest, most brilliant people. In addition to some hard to believe stories, they’ve connected with a wide variety of traditional producers, whose mezcal is now bottled and exported under the Mal Bien name.

Member rating

4.06 out of 5

9 reviews

Average José

Average José

54 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars7 months ago

* Lot: 0919AC
* ABV: 50.21%

I had this at Las Almas Rotas as part of a Mal Bien 3-pack flight. Sweet cheese funk and Greek yogurt on the nose but not overpowering.

Soft agave, vanilla and light smoke – this spirit really has depth! I believe the additional resting period has actually mellowed this out well, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this as much straight off of the shelf. This was the wife’s absolute favorite of the night too where as I enjoyed the Verde much more but still found this expression to be a very solid drink.

* Lot: 0919AC
* ABV: 50.21%
I had this at Las Almas Rotas as part of a Mal Bien 3-pack flight. Sweet cheese funk and Greek yogurt on the nose but not overpowering.
Soft agave, vanilla and light smoke – this spirit really has depth! I believe the additional resting period has actually mellowed this out well, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this as much straight off of the shelf. This was the wife’s absolute favorite of the night too where as I enjoyed the Verde much more but still found t

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JDB

JDB

154 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars8 months ago

50.21 abv, Lot# 0919AC, rested in glass

Caramel, hay and wood on the nose, palate has some sharp heat upfront, flavors of minerality, clove, ginger, wet cardboard, green banana, sweet melon, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Looking at the other reviews, there are some differences with other batches. Looking at the reviews that tasted the same batch as mine, I agree with the starchy note by Zack, not sure I get the soft note or the funk note either. Also, not much smoke for me. I do recommend letting this breathe a bit if you get a pour of it. Definitely worth exploring and enjoying.

50.21 abv, Lot# 0919AC, rested in glass
Caramel, hay and wood on the nose, palate has some sharp heat upfront, flavors of minerality, clove, ginger, wet cardboard, green banana, sweet melon, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Looking at the other reviews, there are some differences with other batches. Looking at the reviews that tasted the same batch as mine, I agree with the starchy note by Zack, not sure I get the soft note or the funk note either. Also, not much smoke for me. I do recomme

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Ranger_Ryan

Ranger_Ryan

44 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars9 months ago

Lot 0919AC

Very soft flavors, pure, subtle. The alcohol is a dominant flavor since everything else is so subtle. Definitely unique, nice addition to a collection to round out different expressions of agave.

Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

542 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

This was the first mezcal in a significant (bordering on legendary) tasting at Madre (Hollywood) and what a kickstarter! This bottle was aged in glass with very soft sweet, starchy (candied yams) and leathery notes. Loved this! Hat tip to MLR, James and Ivan who were along for the ride.

tdes

tdes

3 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

While I’ve not had too many mezcals (less than 20), this one I think is just delicious. It’s bright, fresh and the peppery taste of it is fantastic. The mouthfeel is kind of like a red wine high in tannins. It’s got a hint of smoke and a sweet barbeque flavor to it. Just delicious really. I’m surprised the rating is as low as it is compared to other mezcals on here I’ve tasted (which IMO are not nearly as good). Honestly this is one of the favorite mezcals I’ve had so far, just lovely.

While I’ve not had too many mezcals (less than 20), this one I think is just delicious. It’s bright, fresh and the peppery taste of it is fantastic. The mouthfeel is kind of like a red wine high in tannins. It’s got a hint of smoke and a sweet barbeque flavor to it. Just delicious really. I’m surprised the rating is as low as it is compared to other mezcals on here I’ve tasted (which IMO are not nearly as good). Honestly this is one of the favorite mezcals I’

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Gregg T&T

Gregg T&T

100 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Bell peppers and cooked agave on the nose. Cheese and spice on on the backend.

Derekac7

Derekac7

19 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

The karwinski misprint reminds me of some old vinyl records that were mispressed, and now being sold as rare collectibles. Agree with Mike’s review – the nose is reserved, the flavor is simplistic but extremely high quality. In addition to vanilla, slight vegetal notes, and smoke, there’s a deep raw honey flavor I really enjoy. This is a top quality mezcal from the world renowned Cortes family.

razorbackmike

razorbackmike

150 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

this is really good mezcal.upon first opening the bottle,the nose was reserved.it seemed to open up after a few days.if you put a few drops in your palm and rub your hands together,the scent is wondeful.very floral and sweet.i do agree with another reviewer in the sense that it is lacking in complexity but that isnt a bad quality.i havent had many arroquenos but the ones i have are simplistic.the flavor is sweet with vanilla and slightly vegetal with a hint of smoke.it is exceptionally clean with no bite.i would never guess that it is 51% abv.the quality is top notch.this mezcalero is known for the mezcalosfera label and thats what convinced me to try it.my bottle label is one of the misprints that indicates the content is karwinski though it should be americana.the finish is short and very pleasant.almost a five star.lovely!

this is really good mezcal.upon first opening the bottle,the nose was reserved.it seemed to open up after a few days.if you put a few drops in your palm and rub your hands together,the scent is wondeful.very floral and sweet.i do agree with another reviewer in the sense that it is lacking in complexity but that isnt a bad quality.i havent had many arroquenos but the ones i have are simplistic.the flavor is sweet with vanilla and slightly vegetal with a hint of smoke.it is exceptionally clean wit

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kozinnski

kozinnski

14 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Buttered popcorn, earth, leather, sweet potatoes, vanilla, detritus. Like an Espadin on steroids in some ways, but slightly lacking overall.

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