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NETA Arroqueño – Hermogenes Vásquez + Paula Aquino Sánchez

NETA Arroqueño from Hermogenes Vásquez + Paula Aquino Sánchez was a very small batch of just 68 bottles released in 2020.

About this destilado de agave

NETA Arroqueño from Hermogenes Vásquez + Paula Aquino Sánchez was a very small batch of just 68 bottles released in 2020. Over the last decade or so, many communities and families have focused their cultivation efforts on the revitalization of rare agaves which are now being reproduced and cultivated from both seed and clone. The conservation of these often hyper-regional magueyes is important in the maintenance of healthy ecosystems, but for many, it is also an attempt to preserve the gusto histórico of local flavors and recipes. In the area around San Luis Amatlán there still exists a multitude of different A. americana expressions such as Arroqueño, Sierrudo, Mexicano, Pulquero Penca Larga, Pulque Cenizo, Pulque Chino (not actually a “true” pulquero), Belato, del Rayo, Lizo, Blanco, and Azulín.

Because of how scarce this agave has become in the region since the 80s, this is the first 100% Arroqueño batch that Hermogenes and Paula have made in their lifetime. They used 9 Arroqueño piñas purchased from a local friend in a nearby community which yielded 60 liters of this incredible spirit.

NETA

NETA is a colloquial word in Mexico that translates to “the real deal” or “the truth”. Since 2012, the brand has worked closely with several small, family producers and a cooperative of twelve palenqueros from the southern valleys and hills of Miahuatlán, Oaxaca. The region has preserved its reputation for producing some of the finest mezcales and agave spirits anywhere in Mexico. The team behind NETA presents a carefully curated selection of extraordinary spirits that would otherwise never be found outside of its place of origin.

A note about NETA labels: The total bottle count written on the front label might be less than the total batch size. Batches may be split between Mexico, Europe, and the US; the handwritten bottle count represents the number of bottles imported into a particular country.

Learn more about NETA:

2 reviews

3 out of 5

peter-campora

peter-campora

5 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars1 week ago

This batch of Arooqueno from Hermogenes and Paula was made from 9 pinas of Arroqueno from a nearby community. This was their first 100% arroqueno batch due to its scarcity in the area. This was a batch for the EU market.This will be the first of quite a lot of Neta reviews from me, as Neta is arguably my favorite brand.

Nose: Cinammon, brown sugar, and plantain lead the way. There’s a bit of a funky acidic smell along with a kitchen cleaner like scent.

Palate: Lots of round brown sugar up front. Then acidity joins it. It’s some lime and orange. There’s an odd almost pita-bread like note in there too. I’m not totally in love with the profile, but the mouthfeel here is very good and the complexity is there.

Finish: Wood hits towards the finish. The finish feels slightly odd in its transition and it dries out the mouth. Moderately long length.

Overall: There’s good complexity and strength of character here, but the profile just doesn’t quite jive with me.

This batch of Arooqueno from Hermogenes and Paula was made from 9 pinas of Arroqueno from a nearby community. This was their first 100% arroqueno batch due to its scarcity in the area. This was a batch for the EU market.This will be the first of quite a lot of Neta reviews from me, as Neta is arguably my favorite brand.
Nose: Cinammon, brown sugar, and plantain lead the way. There’s a bit of a funky acidic smell along with a kitchen cleaner like scent.
Palate: Lots of round brown sugar up

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RyeAmLegend

RyeAmLegend

26 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars3 weeks ago

Batch: ARQHMG2004

Quite the perfume-forward nose especially for a mezcal. Lavender soap, hibiscus, and rose water. I almost get this familiar toasted elote note on the nose as well like popped popcorn. Fresh cut grass and roasted agave. Plenty of garden green notes of artichoke hearts, fennel, and green bean salad. Some aromatic elements of citrus rind, avocado leaf, and apple cider vinegar. There’s also sweet agave nectar. Finally, some of the metal and mineral influences come out. Aluminum, copper, sulfur, chalk, and graphite. Floral minerals is how I can best describe this nose.

At first sip, you get this diluted fruit tea flavor that quickly coats your palate. Below that facade is a rather complex and confused spirit. Hickory, walnut, hardwood heirloom furniture. Sweet corn and grits. There’s a fermented element of pulque and kombucha. Mushrooms, scallions, dried anchovies. Not a fresh lime but a preserved citrus flavor or extract. Green tea with dried fruit, almonds, hibiscus, and sweetened with raw sugar cane. Green coffee. Leafy vegetables, cucumbers, and sweet peppers. No metals on the palate but some slate, chalk, flint, and wet concrete-like flavors.

After that wild ride on the palate, the finish brings much more composure. Tobacco, leather, and lumber notes. Dull lingering spices of turmeric and coriander spiced chai. Bitter but fruity black coffee. Unseasoned dried meat jerky. Burlap, carpet, rope, rough construction textiles. Colored pencils. Still some weird flavors on the finish but seemingly more focus. While the spices and residual capsicum linger, the other flavors are rather short-lived.

I don’t know whether this mezcal is composed in an odd way or if it’s the perfect example of terroir.

The spirit might be wild but it comes down to the composition for me. Too much going on despite all the lovely flavors. I think tasting the metals and minerals gives you some hints at distillation, the local water, and soil. It’s good but ultimately not a batch I need to buy. I do recommend trying it though. It will certainly entertain your senses.

Batch: ARQHMG2004
Quite the perfume-forward nose especially for a mezcal. Lavender soap, hibiscus, and rose water. I almost get this familiar toasted elote note on the nose as well like popped popcorn. Fresh cut grass and roasted agave. Plenty of garden green notes of artichoke hearts, fennel, and green bean salad. Some aromatic elements of citrus rind, avocado leaf, and apple cider vinegar. There’s also sweet agave nectar. Finally, some of the metal and mineral influences come out. Aluminum,

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