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Mal Bien Papalote Joven – Calzada

Mal Bien Papalote Joven from Don Refugio Calzada Hernandez was produced in the community of Chilapa de Alvarez, Guerrero.

Rating: (5 reviews)
Category:Destilado de Agave
Brand:Mal Bien Mezcal
Mezcalero:Refugio Calzada Hernandez
Maguey:Papalote
Agave:Cupreata
Grind:Shredder
Distillation:Copper
Style:Joven
State:Guerrero
Town:Chilapa
ABV: 48.1%
Batch size: May 2020: 258 bottles
Website: https://www.mezcalmalbien.com/, opens in new window

About this destilado de agave

Mal Bien Papalote Joven from Don Refugio Calzada Hernandez was produced in the community of Chilapa de Alvarez, Guerrero. Don Cuco, as he’s known to friends, was the president of a local association of mezcaleros and magueyeros (agave farmers) for many years, and has been a leading force behind popular agave and tree reforestation efforts that have helped make agave more plentiful today than in his youth.

Though he works almost exclusively with maguey papalote, Don Cuco’s bodega is home to a diverse collection of joven, capón and glass aged spirits, as well as a few special batches macerated with chumilin (Atizies taxcoensis), a local stink bug considered a seasonal delicacy.

The agaves used for batch 0520RC were a mix of Velilla (mature but not yet sprouting a quiote) and capon (having sprouted a quiote that has been cut). This batch was made the same month as Don Refugio’s batch of 2 year capon papalote that was also released by Mal Bien.

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.

5 reviews

3.8 out of 5

Jonny

Jonny

548 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars5 days ago

Lot 0520RC. Aromas of orange soda, grapefruit, Sprite, and spearmint gum. The palate has notes of spearmint gum, menthol, peppermint, anise, coffee, and cinnamon. There’s some light smoke and a stickiness on the palate. This lingers with a long finish.

COak

COak

170 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars2 months ago

Batch 0520RC. Not as good as Refugio’s papalote en vidrio but still really good and worth trying. Bright mezcal with chocolate/ coffee notes.

Americana Kyle

Americana Kyle

60 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 months ago

I thought this was a fine Cupreata offering from Refugio Calzada, I like the Mal Bien project.

JDB

JDB

36 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 months ago

No production date on my bottle, but it has the same ABV (48.1), and the other production details seem to be the same: pre-hispanic oven, fermented in white pine vats, copper distillation, and adjusted after distillation with puntas and colas. I have not been a fan of cupreata previously, but I am changing my tune (could have been the region). I tasted a couple different Mal Bien offerings of Cupreata, but not through agave mix tape. One in a mixed tasting box connected with Agave Road Trip was a 46.2% Cupreata, which may be have been Tomas and Emiliano Gutierrez, and another tasting through the restaurant Madre that had three different papalotes (capon, en vidrio, and joven all from Tomas and Emiliano). Definitely opened my eyes to the possibilities with papalote.

I really like these flavors, I get earth with a hint of clay (surprising given the copper distillation), a couple other mineral notes, an upfront sweetness that changes to wood flavors on the back end (cedar and light incense). The flavors are light, but linger nicely on the back of the palate. I do sometimes crave the flavors that are heavy and upfront, punching you in the face, but it is nice to sit on a mezcal, sip it over a few minutes, and wait for the flavors to reveal themselves on repeated tastes. A faint green flavor on the nose that I cannot place, green onion? Not sure I get the mint that Tyler was tasting, but it does have something vegetal/herbal going on that is tough to place. Worth revisiting.

No production date on my bottle, but it has the same ABV (48.1), and the other production details seem to be the same: pre-hispanic oven, fermented in white pine vats, copper distillation, and adjusted after distillation with puntas and colas. I have not been a fan of cupreata previously, but I am changing my tune (could have been the region). I tasted a couple different Mal Bien offerings of Cupreata, but not through agave mix tape. One in a mixed tasting box connected with Agave Road Trip w

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Tyler

Tyler

543 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars3 months ago

This is enjoyable but not on my list of favorites from Guerrero. I get a specific Wrigley’s Doublemint gum vibe here. Well-balanced at 48%. Not super complex but easy going and approachable. Just tried this next to a 2017 batch at 51% and prefer this 48% Mal Bien batch more. I think my fav mezcal from Don Refugio (thus far) has been a pechuga he made under the Aguerrido label.

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