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Mal Bien Espadin

Mal Bien describes this Espadin as their everyday sipper, and the “gateway mezcal” they offer friends who are just becoming familiar with mezcal.

Rating: (13 reviews)
Brand:Mal Bien Mezcal
Mezcalero:Juan Hernández Méndez, Lucio Morales Lopez
Maguey:Espadin
Agave:Angustifolia
Distillation:Copper
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:Santiago Matatlan
ABV: 45.6%
Age of plant: 6-8 years
Website: https://www.mezcalmalbien.com
About this mezcal

Mal Bien Espadin is produced by Don Juan Hernández Méndez in Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca. He is a fifth generation mezcalero and he follows the traditions and processes that his family has been using for over one hundred years. This mezcal smells of roasted meat, ground corn, and pine tar. On the palate, there are notes of leather, caramelized banana, and barley.

Mal Bien Mezcal

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.

13 reviews

3.23 out of 5


Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

5 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars13 hours ago

Batch: CLM10
Nose: Ethanol, light smoke and a hint of tropical citrus sweetness

Taste: Smoke is light, a bit of burn entering the atmosphere then a hit of agave sweetness shows up but doesn’t stay long. Cojita cheese and mineral after the sweetness subsides.

Overall: Great value – solid entry-level espadin mezcal for a fair price.

BesoMezcal

BesoMezcal

21 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars1 month ago

Mal Bien has some great mezcal and this is a low cost entry in the big espadin space. Easy to use as a mixer but a little hot and punches you in the face with the first taste. The finish is pretty short so not ideal to sip and savor but for the price there are worse options out there.

SwatSaladin

SwatSaladin

18 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars2 months ago

CLM-10. A fairly classic, if ‘uneventful,’ aromatic profile. Bright citrus peel acidity, backed up by prominent roasted agave notes. You’ve really got to dig deep for hints of corn and fruits. The palate is bright, mineral-driven, and a little bit oily. The tropical fruit notes become more present here, mixed in with herbaceousness and spearmint. The finish is short, and fluctuates between being astringent or somewhat mineral-forward.

This is a really solid mezcal at its price point. I would love to make some cocktails with this given its strong, middle-of-the-road agave notes. I would be happy to sip this, too, but would get bored quickly given the lacking finish and complexity.

CLM-10. A fairly classic, if ‘uneventful,’ aromatic profile. Bright citrus peel acidity, backed up by prominent roasted agave notes. You’ve really got to dig deep for hints of corn and fruits. The palate is bright, mineral-driven, and a little bit oily. The tropical fruit notes become more present here, mixed in with herbaceousness and spearmint. The finish is short, and fluctuates between being astringent or somewhat mineral-forward.
This is a really solid mezcal at its price

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CampStars

CampStars

11 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars5 months ago

Mineral-driven, layered, satisfying. Amazing value. A staple on my bar cart!

t8ke

t8ke

90 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars6 months ago

Rich on the palate – thick, but with an absence of heat. Sweet cream, lots of clay and pepper. Faint anise, some ashy wood smoke. Nice melon component that plays well with pineapple and crushed stone.

Jdouglass

Jdouglass

7 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars6 months ago

CLM09. The short astringent finish makes it a 2 for a sipper and a 3 for a mixer for me. There’s an elotes note on the nose that’s kind of fun, mapping that corn note to the primary grain in bourbon led me to try it as a Oaxacan Old Fashioned and it turned out fairly well.

Van G

Van G

5 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars12 months ago

CLM-02

Not much on the nose, just agave with a tinge of sourness. On sipping, pungent and (still) sour, but not overwhelmingly so; no stand-out notes. Brief but slightly messy finish.

Overall, an average Espadin that’s solid for cocktails (friend-group approved in a Bloody Maria). A less smoke-forward alternative to the similarly-priced standards (e.g. Banhez Esamble, Vida, El Buho), and could be a good “gateway mezcal” for someone used to those.

COak

COak

100 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Decent espadin, I don’t enjoy it as much as the other Mal Biens I’ve tried. I get notes of sour apples. It has a short finish.

Gregg T&T

Gregg T&T

62 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Batch CLM-02 by Don Lucio Morales Lopez. Herbal and bright nose with citrus and floral notes. Big agave up front, bell peppers with an enjoyable heat through the finish. Solid and versatile, chock full of value.

kozinnski

kozinnski

14 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Tropical fruit, corn tortillas, lots of citrus, overripe banana. Really, really pleasant and supremely quaffable.

Nic Hnastchenko

Nic Hnastchenko

108 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Solid, subtle, light.

Tyler

Tyler

415 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Agree with Jonny’s review. Good value at around $35 USD a bottle. This mezcal checks off the boxes for a cheap and versatile mezcal. Sugary agave, citrus, not overly smokey, and quick tart finish. Certain mezcals around this price range taste harsh, industrial, or both – this is neither. Give it a try.

Jonny

Jonny

443 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars2 years ago

A good mixer for a cocktail and good for sipping as well. I liked this. I’d give it 3 stars as a sipper and 4 stars as a mixer. Big full agave flavor. Sweet upfront with some hints of sour mud and wet greenery. I think this would make a really good paloma.

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