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Mal Bien Zacatoro – Barranca

Mal Bien Zacatoro from Don Ciro and Javier Barranca was produced in the community of Chilapa de Alvarez, Guerrero.

Rating: (7 reviews)
Category:Destilado de Agave
Brand:Mal Bien Mezcal
Mezcalero:Ciro Barranca, Javier Barranca
Maguey:Sacatoro
Agave:Angustifolia
Grind:Shredder
Distillation:Copper
Style:Joven
State:Guerrero
Town:Chilapa
ABV: 51.3%
Batch size: Lot 0320CB: 24 bottles
Website: https://www.mezcalmalbien.com/, opens in new window

About this destilado de agave

Mal Bien Zacatoro from Don Ciro and Javier Barranca was produced in the community of Chilapa de Alvarez, Guerrero. Don Ciro has been distilling agave spirits longer than most mezcaleros have been alive. His grandson Javier, on the other hand, is relatively new to the family business, having spent much of his 20s in “el norte.” Working together for the past 7 years, theirs is a story of tradition, the passing of generational knowledge and its adaptation in a new era. This release is made with semi-cultivated maguey zacatoro (Agave angustifolia).

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.

7 reviews

4.57 out of 5

JDB

JDB

54 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars2 months ago

ABV 48.8% Batch #0321JB
First exposed to Sacatoro as part of a Maguey Melate club release (I believe it was Apolinar) and really enjoyed it. This bottle only continues to pique my interest in this maguey. The nose brings some sharp aromas of sugarcane and sweetgrass as well as decomposing earth, the flavor is quite varied on the palate, some plastic flavor that moves into a full range of baking spice notes, a grapefruit or pomelo citrus flavor with some of the pith, some roasted macadamia nuts, a caramel coating that then departs with a subdued lingering heat. Really nice and very complex. Want to try more from this producer and expressions using this maguey.

ABV 48.8% Batch #0321JB
First exposed to Sacatoro as part of a Maguey Melate club release (I believe it was Apolinar) and really enjoyed it. This bottle only continues to pique my interest in this maguey. The nose brings some sharp aromas of sugarcane and sweetgrass as well as decomposing earth, the flavor is quite varied on the palate, some plastic flavor that moves into a full range of baking spice notes, a grapefruit or pomelo citrus flavor with some of the pith, some roasted macadamia nut

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Barney

Barney

2 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars4 months ago

Dang I wanted to like this more! Maybe it was a different batch? Mine was 0321JB with an ABV of 48.8%

Nose green pepper, bbq

Taste a little hot, camphor, brine, green pepper some slight peppermint

3.5 or so

Review done on last pour from the bottle!

RyeAmLegend

RyeAmLegend

24 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars7 months ago

With the first few whiffs from my glass, it had a very unique and earthy scent. Almost like a rich soil or compost heap. Banana peels, sweet vegetables like carrots (along with the greens), and a bit of sweet potato. A bold tropical note came out under the alcohol vapors. Some guava and pineapple along with the banana. The more I let it sit in my glass, the more I get a bit more green wood and tea scents. A slight cast iron metallic note is lurking in the background as well. A wonderful balance of sweet fruits and mineral rich soils.

Right off the bat on the palate I have to comment on the velvety viscosity of this mezcal. It’s simply wonderful and tastes amazingly cohesive. All of the flavors are working in perfect harmony. There’s a lot of spices that remind me of another recent Mal Bien release – Borrego pechuga from Sonido. Lots of savory notes with some spiced richness that I rather enjoyed. A lot of kiln dried lumber flavors. All sorts of clove, nutmeg and peppercorns. There are some familiar vegetal notes but the spices almost remind me of an Asian dish. Lastly there is an odd, but amazing, flavor of muesli. Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits with a bit of cereal grains. Very fun flavors I really enjoy.

All of these flavors are also present on the finish. It’s again, cohesive notes from start to finish. I get this cashew and broccoli stir fry flavor from the finish. Some Chinese 5 Spice and soy. Smoked paprika. Chipotle chilies. Very refined and pleasantly warming finish.

I cannot recall another spirit so consistent with it’s flavor profile. It’s a testament to the experience of Don Ciro making an amazing mezcal that I just cannot put down.

With the first few whiffs from my glass, it had a very unique and earthy scent. Almost like a rich soil or compost heap. Banana peels, sweet vegetables like carrots (along with the greens), and a bit of sweet potato. A bold tropical note came out under the alcohol vapors. Some guava and pineapple along with the banana. The more I let it sit in my glass, the more I get a bit more green wood and tea scents. A slight cast iron metallic note is lurking in the background as well. A wonderful balance

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Tyler

Tyler

574 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars9 months ago

Wild stuff! Instant fan. There is a big citrus note like lemonade with brown sugar or molasses.. almost like an Arnold Palmer with that tea element to balance the citrus. Very interesting flavors. There is a bit of tobacco leaf, rose water, and lavender. One of the best Guerrero mezcals I’ve sipped recently. Not sure about batch number but it was 51.3% ABV.

Jonny

Jonny

582 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars9 months ago

No batch number on the sample I received, but it sounds like Lot 0320CB based on the notes of others. Aromas of New England sugar shacks in the winter, a bit of straw/hay, and hard Parmesan cheeses. The body of this is more like a merlot than any agave spirit I’ve had. Flavors of dates, prunes, molasses, and dark chocolate as bass notes. Sweetart mids, and the treble has this higher layer of dried sage. This is phenomenal. Crazy that this is an Angustifolia.

Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

418 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars9 months ago

Nose – Melted brown sugar. Unripe banana. Mild parmesan cheese.

Palate – This capon isn’t as funky/harsh as some others I’ve tried. Great heat, feels a tad under the 51% what it’s clocked at. I can really pick up the brown sugar and especially dates (that Rakhal mentioned in his review). This stays beautifully sweet (and a cinnamon spicy heat) the whole way, long into the finish. This gets seriously better the more you sip it – amazing!

Rakhal

Rakhal

361 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Lot: 0320CB. This is a very special Mezcal. Maybe my favorite expression of Agave Angustifolia that I have ever had. It starts out green but then quickly transforms into this deep rich sweetness that is just beautiful. It’s like an incredibly complex brown sugar, or maybe 10 different brown sugars made from 10 different types of sugar cane. There’s also sticky sweet dates, figs, and prunes. I love this so much. Apparently the batch only yielded 24 bottles, if you see this for sale don’t hesitate.

Lot: 0320CB. This is a very special Mezcal. Maybe my favorite expression of Agave Angustifolia that I have ever had. It starts out green but then quickly transforms into this deep rich sweetness that is just beautiful. It’s like an incredibly complex brown sugar, or maybe 10 different brown sugars made from 10 different types of sugar cane. There’s also sticky sweet dates, figs, and prunes. I love this so much. Apparently the batch only yielded 24 bottles, if you see this for sale don’t he

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