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Vago Barril en Barro

Vago Barril en Barro was a special release from maestro mezcalero Salomón “Tio Rey” Rodriguez for the Golden State of California.

Rating: (4 reviews)
Cost:$$$
Brand:Vago Mezcal
NOM:NOM-O188X
Mezcalero:Salomon "Tio Rey" Rodriguez
Maguey:Barril
Agave:Karwinskii
Grind:Hand
Distillation:Clay Pot
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:Sola de Vega
ABV: 47.9%
Batch size: 245 liters
Release year: 2020
Website: https://www.masmezcal.com/mezcalvago/barril-en-barro, opens in new window

About this mezcal

Vago Barril en Barro is a special release for the state of California. Produced in the fall of 2019, this new expression for Tío Rey was produced from what some other producers may recognize as cultivated Madre Cuixe. At only 245 liters, this new batch consisted of 40 piñas, weighing 1,814kg. They were harvested on October 5th, 2019, from the area surrounding Tío Rey’s palenque in Gulerá, Sola de Vega. They were roasted underground for four days between October 12th and 16th before being milled by hand on October 16th and 17th. After milling, the batch yielded 1,751 liters of ground agave, to which Tío Rey added 327 liters of fresh spring water. The 2,078 liters of tepache fermented for 7 days before being distilled in Tío Rey’s 45-liter clay pot stills, which were handcrafted in Santa Maria Atzompa. The first distillation yielded 430 liters of xixe at 22% ABV, with the second distillation yielding 245 liters of mezcal at 47.9% ABV.

Vago Mezcal

Mezcal Vago began when co-founder Judah Kuper visited a hospital in Oaxaca, Mexico. He fell in love with the nurse who treated him. Her father, Aquilino Garcia, was a sustenance farmer who also produced mezcal. Judah and Aquilino, along with Judah's longtime friend Dylan Sloan, launched Mezcal Vago. In 2013, their first exported bottles arrived in Texas. Each of their mezcals is produced naturally in a traditional palenque with no additives. The brand aims to empower both the master craftsmen with a celebration of his art. Also the consumer by giving them the knowledge they need to find a great mezcal. The brand plants 3 agaves for each single agave they harvest. Their goal is to end the use wild agave by 2025 for most of their releases.

In 2017, Mezcal Vago began using different color labels for their different mezcaleros. Emigdio Jarquin (blue label) distills in copper with refrescador. Aquilino and Joel Barriga (tan and gold labels respectively) distill in copper. Tio Rey (red label) distills in clay pots. All their mezcaleros use different water sources and make different distillation cuts. In 2018, Mezcal Vago established an investment partnership with Samson and Surrey. With the new partnership, each Mezcal Vago mezcalero has a stake in Samson and Surrey.

In 2021, Mezcal Vago went through its first major brand redesign since their launch in 2013.

Learn more Mezcal Vago:

4 reviews

4.13 out of 5

COak

COak

161 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 months ago

This is different from all the karwinskis and Tio Reys I’ve tried. Smells like dark fruit and clay. It’s delicate. Taste like chocolate covered cherries and After Eight chocolate mints and papaya.

TheAgaveFairy

TheAgaveFairy

164 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars11 months ago

Tio Rey has that semi-elusive “style” with tons of slate. Ground chocolates here, darker ones, with light almond tones. Honeys. More fruits is mostly what I notice first though, lightly estery, grass fire, prunes, a little cough medicine, this is trying to play peated Benromach to make another whiskey reference. Why not. (See my Mexicanito review, which was done alongside).

Minty entry, mintier body, and those dark chocolates showing nice contrast. Also quite dense, and the finish shows more ash and vanilla with a unique spicy prickling sensation, like chili oil. The little bits of dried pineapple and starfruit in there are nearly baffling but undeniable and nearly out of character for this producer.

Sola de Vega producers typically don’t distill karwinskiis, and I don’t get why. This is a blast, and the slight amounts of bright fruits in there really add a wonderful behavior to this brooding producer.

Tio Rey has that semi-elusive “style” with tons of slate. Ground chocolates here, darker ones, with light almond tones. Honeys. More fruits is mostly what I notice first though, lightly estery, grass fire, prunes, a little cough medicine, this is trying to play peated Benromach to make another whiskey reference. Why not. (See my Mexicanito review, which was done alongside).
Minty entry, mintier body, and those dark chocolates showing nice contrast. Also quite dense, and the finish shows more

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Tyler

Tyler

532 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Nice nose of clay. The aromas are familiar for the legend Tio Rey but this is a different beast on the palate. His flavors can be a bit predictable but this is very different. Lots of fresh mint toothpaste, salt, cinnamon, and dark cherries. This lacks the dank clay notes that typically dominate his mezcals, instead it is spicy, clean, and bright. Nice viscosity. Definitely check out this unique batch! Lot 5-18-B-19.

Jonny

Jonny

537 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Lot 5-18-B-19. Sweet dark fruit aromas: cherries, overripe mango, and fresh dates. Additional aromas of coffee grounds and slate. The palate has that typical minerality that I’ve come to expect from Tio Rey. It’s a mix of hot sand and dry slate. More notes of dark fruits on the palate, and cherries once again are a dominant note. This is much different from the other Tio Rey I’ve had in the past, but I’m really enjoying it.

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