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Vago Elote – Aquilino

Aquilino Garcia Lopez adds roasted corn from his farm to the Vago Elote. The roasted corn taste shines through to the finish.

Rating: (35 reviews)
Cost:$$
Brand:Vago Mezcal
NOM:NOM-O188X
Mezcalero:Aquilino Garcia Lopez
Maguey:Espadin
Agave:Angustifolia
Distillation:Copper
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:Candelaria Yegole
ABV: 50%
Website: https://www.mezcalvago.com/, opens in new window
About this mezcal

Vago Elote from Aquilino Garcia Lopez has a nose full of smoky toasted corn and dry river stones. The body is sweet with wood tones and layers of honeycomb, green tropical fruit, and smoke. It has a prolonged finish loaded with mint and papaya.  This is a triple distilled Mezcal. Between the second and third distillations,  Aquilino Garcia Lopez adds roasted corn from his farm. The roasted corn taste shines through to the finish. This Mezcal still has hints of the Vago Espadin’s tough exterior, but its revealing with a softer aftertaste that rounds the edges off the Espadin.

Read more about Mezcal Vago Elote on Mas Mezcal.

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.

Learn more Mezcal Vago:

 

Astor Wines & Spirits tasting video

35 reviews

3.73 out of 5


Wine65

Wine65

5 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 months ago

Very nice mezcal with notes of sweet corn, caramel and hints of cream and smoke on the finish. Slightly warm going down but nothing off putting. Adding a few drops of water brings out the roasted corn aromas. Nice sipper.
Lot A2-05-EL-20. RIP Aquilino

Bastiaan

Bastiaan

10 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 months ago

LOT A2-04-El-19, 51,2%

This is a mezcal that puts a smile on your face. It’s very tasty, and it goes down surprisingly smooth despite a 51,2% vol. Also very good bang for buck, as it’s one of the more affordable mezcals available where I live (the Netherlands).

On the nose there is subtle smoke, or perhaps that’s the roasted corn. It has the right amount of sweetness to make it all well-balanced. Has a slight minerality to it. Not very complex, just absolutely delicious.

LOT A2-04-El-19, 51,2%
This is a mezcal that puts a smile on your face. It’s very tasty, and it goes down surprisingly smooth despite a 51,2% vol. Also very good bang for buck, as it’s one of the more affordable mezcals available where I live (the Netherlands).
On the nose there is subtle smoke, or perhaps that’s the roasted corn. It has the right amount of sweetness to make it all well-balanced. Has a slight minerality to it. Not very complex, just absolutely delicious.

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namespayne

namespayne

7 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars4 months ago

This is an agave bomb. Swish it around and it’ll numb your entire mouth and gums. Delivers massively on peppery spice. It has a soft sweetness but when you take a big swallow it’s like stirring up the embers of a palenque pit inside your gut. Viscious and long on the finish. Not super complex, but more like a straightforward example of a well-crafted agave spirit.

RAFACORE

RAFACORE

3 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 months ago

LOT A-02-EL-19 49.9% – Finishing off the last of this bottle and sad to see it go. The Toasted Corn “Elote” finish on this Mezcal is a delicious treat and a welcome twist on this celebration mezcal… I can sit and smell this one all day.. cheers, RIP Aquilino.

spasta

spasta

22 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars5 months ago

I like to recommend this bottle to first timers who think mezcal is too ‘smokey.’ For the approachable price of $60, the Elote shows that mezcal is a spirit worth exploring in detail. The corn really shines here with an initial sweetness that lingers and turns into nail polish remover on the back of tongue. I buy this bottle regularly and it never disappoints; however, there is some variety between batches. I find that the late 2019 batches are the best expression from Alquilino (RIP). It’s also great to hear that, at least for now, the Hijos are continuing the tradition with no loss in quality. Many bottles marked with Alquilino’s name are still being sold, but they will run out no doubt in 2021. Get a bottle to enjoy and remember this great Mescalero!

I like to recommend this bottle to first timers who think mezcal is too ‘smokey.’ For the approachable price of $60, the Elote shows that mezcal is a spirit worth exploring in detail. The corn really shines here with an initial sweetness that lingers and turns into nail polish remover on the back of tongue. I buy this bottle regularly and it never disappoints; however, there is some variety between batches. I find that the late 2019 batches are the best expression from Alquilino (RIP). It

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hmbse7en

hmbse7en

2 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars5 months ago

4.5 stars because I don’t know what 5 is yet. But this, day in and day out, has proven to be the best Mezcal I’ve ever had. The toasted elote flavor is endearing, and the heat of the high alcohol content is mesmerizing. Haven’t found another better.

HighWine

HighWine

38 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars5 months ago

Lot A-07-EL-19
June 2019
942 liters, 50.3% ABV

Aroma hits you from arm’s length as this opens up in the cup. Fragrances of almond nougat, charred wood, ocean air, and mesquite or hickory smoke. Bold in the mouth as with most Vago bottles but the heat doesn’t overwhelm. Flavors of roasted chestnuts, hominy, and Anaheim pepper flesh without the heat. Good mouthfeel. I liked this more as the bottle neared emptiness and I finally got around to reviewing it a couple of months after buying it. The flavor nuances have really come forward in that time.

Lot A-07-EL-19
June 2019
942 liters, 50.3% ABV
Aroma hits you from arm’s length as this opens up in the cup. Fragrances of almond nougat, charred wood, ocean air, and mesquite or hickory smoke. Bold in the mouth as with most Vago bottles but the heat doesn’t overwhelm. Flavors of roasted chestnuts, hominy, and Anaheim pepper flesh without the heat. Good mouthfeel. I liked this more as the bottle neared emptiness and I finally got around to reviewing it a couple of months after

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Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

119 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars6 months ago

Lot: A-11-EL-19 (Aug 2019)
Nose: Caramelized roasted corn, agave sweet, nail polish remover

Palate: Grilled corn, hold the butter. Vanilla. Corn tortilla starch. It’s got a nice, spicy bite to it too. Mineral and bitter feel near the end. Cornnut salt aftertaste.

Rakhal

Rakhal

290 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars6 months ago

Lot A-01-EL-20. All good Mezcal is different with every batch, but I’ve especially seen that with Elote. Some batches I can taste the roast corn, some are just hot ass nail polish remover, and most are somewhere in between. This one was all caramel candy, pineapple, and vanilla. Delicious!

SoloAgave

SoloAgave

45 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars7 months ago

A wonderful option from Vago and for the price one of the best expressions to share with folks that are afraid of “smoke”. The taste is obvious – roasted sweet corn – reminds me of the first bite of fresh kettle corn with caramel notes, and pretty hot! You will really feel the proof once you get past the sweetness on the nose. Great to bring to a party!

El_Cura

El_Cura

31 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars8 months ago

R.I.P Aquilino. Sweet corn, caramel with a fiery long-lasting finish.
I’ll be scooping up every bottle left. And the best part? Under $60

edgy4sure

edgy4sure

37 reviews
Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars8 months ago

honestly, I loathe this product. not sure if it’s the corn or what but this ends up getting poured for mezcal rookies that visit me

El-Dawg

El-Dawg

104 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars9 months ago

Lote: A-01-El-20 from March 2020.
This one is really great. Surprisingly smooth and well balanced given the 50%+ABV. I do taste the corn throughout, although it’s subtle & not overbearing. Fruitiness & some burnt caramel bring this together very nicely. Full, round body. Great value in my opinion, and so this one might be my regular for a ‘mid-level’ espadin.

Adam

Adam

2 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars9 months ago

Very strange taste, almost like someone mixed a bag of corn with some paint, and then set the whole thing on fire. But in a very good way. Takes a while to get used to, but full of taste, and with a nice alcohol percentage. Perhaps not for people who enjoy subtle flower aromas, but great for those who like a strong and very different mezcal. I like it a lot, and I will buy this once in a while. Very good value for money.

donpedro

donpedro

37 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars10 months ago

Drank this while rewatching “Agave,” remembering Maestro Aquilino and his contributions to modern mezcal in the USA via Judah and Vago. Wish I would have been able to visit his palenque during his life.

Wow, that roasted corn definitely shines through on the nose and palate. Mesquite and dust on the nose, with some cheese funk and mint hiding among the corn notes. More corn on the palate with leather, dirt, and cotija cheese. Funky and delicious. Aquilino was a master for sure. Descansa en paz Aquilino.

Drank this while rewatching “Agave,” remembering Maestro Aquilino and his contributions to modern mezcal in the USA via Judah and Vago. Wish I would have been able to visit his palenque during his life.
Wow, that roasted corn definitely shines through on the nose and palate. Mesquite and dust on the nose, with some cheese funk and mint hiding among the corn notes. More corn on the palate with leather, dirt, and cotija cheese. Funky and delicious. Aquilino was a master for sure. Des

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tallchad

tallchad

27 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars11 months ago

Tasted this while watching Agave: Spirit of a Nation-which features Don Aquilino. I really tried to smell and taste the corn…but couldn’t. I guess I must try it again 😉
Aroma was strong with agave and pepper. Taste was even stronger with more pepper and hay. Mouthfeel was viscous and nice and the initial heat mellowed to pleasing warmth. Finish was the best part: warm, long with some minerals in the background. Conclusion: I need to try this again.
UPDATE FEB 2021: still like this a lot. Very strong taste. Finish is still the most incredible sensation. Lot FEB 2020 @ 50.4abv. Bump half a star.

Tasted this while watching Agave: Spirit of a Nation-which features Don Aquilino. I really tried to smell and taste the corn…but couldn’t. I guess I must try it again 😉
Aroma was strong with agave and pepper. Taste was even stronger with more pepper and hay. Mouthfeel was viscous and nice and the initial heat mellowed to pleasing warmth. Finish was the best part: warm, long with some minerals in the background. Conclusion: I need to try this again.
UPDATE FEB 2021: still l

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Derekac7

Derekac7

19 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars11 months ago

I drank this at my first dine in post coronavirus lockdown, and the restaurant’s hand sanitizer was especially fragrant that day, so I wasn’t able to get a good read on the nose. That said, cowboys aren’t sniffing their drinks to profile and this mezcal is straight out of a western. Bold and packing heat, with a toasted corn finish for good measure. Giddy up!

Cy Bister

Cy Bister

15 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars11 months ago

Nose is really sweet; ethanol, mineral spirits, nail-polish remover. Tastes of overripe cantaloupe, sweet corn, and bubble gum mingle nicely with minerality and roasty notes. Finish is ethanol hot but not as peppery as some lower ABV mezcals. Overall, the high ABV is not particularly apparent to me with this one. It’s overpriced for what it is, and I’ve definitely had brands I’ve liked as much or more for 20$ less. But that’s all the complaint I can muster. It’s quite nice.

Nose is really sweet; ethanol, mineral spirits, nail-polish remover. Tastes of overripe cantaloupe, sweet corn, and bubble gum mingle nicely with minerality and roasty notes. Finish is ethanol hot but not as peppery as some lower ABV mezcals. Overall, the high ABV is not particularly apparent to me with this one. It’s overpriced for what it is, and I’ve definitely had brands I’ve liked as much or more for 20$ less. But that’s all the complaint I can muster. It’s qui

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Mansson

Mansson

71 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Lot A-36-DV-EL-14, distilled August 2014. This is a very round and mellow and pleasant mezcal. The roasted corn flavours are evident and there is a honey sweetness.

Eagleeye

Eagleeye

5 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

At this price point I expect better. Wanted to revisit this after having the espadin a few years back. Was disappointed at first but its growing on me. Big burn on the back. Bite lingers. However, the more the bottle and glass open up the better. The alcohol is big so sip slow and steady! Lot A-12-EL-19

GeorgePBurdell

GeorgePBurdell

35 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

January 2019 distillation
51%

Nose and palate are somewhat closed but some depth and complexity seem to be there. Light smoke, cooked agave and earth are the first impression but I get hints of corn tortillas and caramelized sugar occasionally.

Really round and full mouthfeel. Easy to drink and enjoyable, might bump up my review if this opens up more with some air.

TheAuditor

TheAuditor

37 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Mezcal Vago Elote

This is an Offering from Vago, produced by Aquilino García López. This is made from Aave Espadin that has been infused with toasted corn similar to the Pechuga fasion.

ABV: 51.1%

Nose: Earthy, clay, peppery, spicy, slight corn.

Palate: Medium oily mouthfeel, warm, Musty Corn, Earthy, Clay, Pepper, Heat

Finish: Medium Length, Corn, Earth, Pepper, Spice, Must, Baking Spices.

Overall this is a good offering, the corn notes are subtle enough not to be overpowering, but add an interesting flavor that I have not had in any of the Mezcal I have tried so far. Given this is one of the more affordable bottles around me in terms of Mezcal, this is an easy future pickup.

Mezcal Vago Elote
This is an Offering from Vago, produced by Aquilino García López. This is made from Aave Espadin that has been infused with toasted corn similar to the Pechuga fasion.
ABV: 51.1%
Nose: Earthy, clay, peppery, spicy, slight corn.
Palate: Medium oily mouthfeel, warm, Musty Corn, Earthy, Clay, Pepper, Heat
Finish: Medium Length, Corn, Earth, Pepper, Spice, Must, Baking Spices.
Overall this is a good offering, the corn notes are subtle enough not to be overpowering, but add an i

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BartFargo

BartFargo

21 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Lot A-09-EL-18 (March 2018), 50.5%

Nose: A plate of freshly made tortillas with grilled sweet vegetables, plus touches of vanilla sugar glaze, mango, raspberry lemonade, leafy greens and light ash. Lots of alcohol too.

Palate: Grapefruit, citrus pith, cornbread, apricot, roasted pepper, light ashy smoke. Medium-full body.

Finish: A hit of alcohol heat, then more savory with grilled corn salsa, lime, roasted peppers, and wood smoke. Medium-short length.

Not much in the way of complexity, but the corn is a nice counterpoint to the sweet espadin, and at over 50% it has that Aquilino kick and thick body.

Lot A-09-EL-18 (March 2018), 50.5%
Nose: A plate of freshly made tortillas with grilled sweet vegetables, plus touches of vanilla sugar glaze, mango, raspberry lemonade, leafy greens and light ash. Lots of alcohol too.
Palate: Grapefruit, citrus pith, cornbread, apricot, roasted pepper, light ashy smoke. Medium-full body.
Finish: A hit of alcohol heat, then more savory with grilled corn salsa, lime, roasted peppers, and wood smoke. Medium-short length.
Not much in the way of complexity, but t

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Gregg T&T

Gregg T&T

91 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 years ago

The nose if full of sweet corn, citrus and hints of agave. Toasted corn comes through in the flavor with cooked agave and pepper. The heat is there but it fits.
Lot A-16-EL-18 50.4%

Rorschach

Rorschach

31 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Very nice. I held off getting this one because I only wanted to learn agave only. No ensemble, pechuga, etc, for now. It is a good step up from getting a cheaper 40% espadin. Very nice balance, with that corn core keeping it all together. You don’t feel the 51.1% abv.
LOT A-24/02-EL-18

Dave

Dave

12 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Elote is right! This smells and tastes like the sugary smell that corn puts off as it caramelizes from heat.

This was a great bottle, with a great value ratio. It offered a flavor that I have not experienced with other mezcal. Very unique.

Eazy

Eazy

2 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Smells a lot like you’re typical Espadin, but with added notes of sweet corn. Packs quite the bite at over 50% ABV. The corn theme continues to the mouth as the corn does a good job of rounding out the taste of the Espadin

Hörky Båmf

Hörky Båmf

20 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Lot A-01-EL-18, 50.6% ABV. I don’t know what to make of this stuff. I’ve tried it several times with mixed feelings. More than anything I have the impression that it’s super hot tasting with a somewhat oily texture and not much interesting going on flavor-wise. I keep coming back to it because people whose opinions I respect seem to like it, but I find it sort of brutal. I’ve only tried samples from this one lot though, so perhaps I should seek out a different lot. I’ll try again periodically and if it’s warranted I’ll revise my review.

Lot A-01-EL-18, 50.6% ABV. I don’t know what to make of this stuff. I’ve tried it several times with mixed feelings. More than anything I have the impression that it’s super hot tasting with a somewhat oily texture and not much interesting going on flavor-wise. I keep coming back to it because people whose opinions I respect seem to like it, but I find it sort of brutal. I’ve only tried samples from this one lot though, so perhaps I should seek out a different lot. I’ll try again perio

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rsidrys

rsidrys

46 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 years ago

One of the first mezcals I purchased, and whenever I go back to this bottle, I’m reminded of how much I like it. My least favorite aspect is the alcohol on the nose, but that quickly gets set aside as I also pick up a combo of smoke and sweetness. It has a creamy mouthfeel and makes my gums and tongue tingle. Tropical fruit and caramelized agave on the palate, followed by the best part – the finish!

I love the finish on this. Not only does it linger, but it has such a pleasant minerality (like sucking on a sun-dried river rock) coupled with a candy-like bubblegum sweetness. Yum!

One of the first mezcals I purchased, and whenever I go back to this bottle, I’m reminded of how much I like it. My least favorite aspect is the alcohol on the nose, but that quickly gets set aside as I also pick up a combo of smoke and sweetness. It has a creamy mouthfeel and makes my gums and tongue tingle. Tropical fruit and caramelized agave on the palate, followed by the best part – the finish!
I love the finish on this. Not only does it linger, but it has such a pleasant minera

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Joseph

Joseph

22 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Nose: Lots of roasted/cooked agave sweetness. Some vanilla notes. A bit of fruitiness and a slight minerality. Palate: Nice viscosity, thick and silky. All of the elements from the nose are confirmed in the taste with a bit of alcohol punch. After the bottle is opened awhile, the alcohol punch mellows out a bit and you get more of the flavor. Quite good – excellent choice for bottles in the $50-ish range.

Tyler

Tyler

467 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Distilled in March 2016 by Aquilino Garcia Lopez. Slightly vegetal on the nose. This corn “pechuga” Vago Espadin has a slightly oily mouthfeel. The Elote has a punch with smoke and sweet corn flavors shining through. There are notes of grape juice and cinnamon along with a bit of spearmint. This Vago is very unique and worth adding to your collection. Over time I’ve been more drawn to the straight espadins from Vago but this is a fun to enjoy with friends.

Jonny

Jonny

502 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Lot A-07-EL-16. The Elote is incredible. It’s very hot and definitely not for the faint of heart. Every bit of the +50% ABV is front and center throughout the taste but the subtleties of the infused corn make this a totally unique experience. The taste has strong notes of roasted corn, hazelnut, and caramelized cane sugar.

Sandy

Sandy

11 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars5 years ago

Love this! I love the roasted flavors that the corn brings.

Larry

Rated 4 out of 5 stars5 years ago

Not for the faint of heart! If you want something with a little kick then Vago Elote is a good choice. After you get over the initial punch you can begin to appreciate the complex flavors.

3chainz

3chainz

19 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars5 years ago

Its namesake corn infusion creates a thicker mouthfeel but the toasty-ness of the corn is much more subtle but very nice

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