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Vago Elote – Aquilino García López

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

Rating: (41 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
Ownership:Heaven Hill

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.

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

Learn more Mezcal Vago:

 

Astor Wines & Spirits tasting video

Member rating

3.71 out of 5

41 reviews

masmezcal

masmezcal

14 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars3 months ago

Enjoyable mezcal with savory and sweet notes, tempered smoke and a pleasant mouthfeel. Medium finish, great in cocktails.

GMAD

GMAD

72 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 months ago

A2-09-EL-19, 50.1%, 50ml

Nose – A mellow sweetness, thats a little nutty and somewhat tart. A sweet, cheesy and creamy smell. Leather, pina coladas, coconut cream, musk, milk chocolate, fresh cut grass, and some sweet corn for good measure. This smells wet, damp, and lightly mildewed – in the most complimentary way possible.

Palate – Fantastic. Citrus flavored chewing gum when the flavor is almost gone. A sweet, mellow tone that has some subtleties of savoriness. Sweet corn, green bell peppers, hatch green chiles, cilantro, honey, and grapefruit.

Finish – The send off is mellow and subdued. The notes become bittersweet and a little dry; tobacco, orange rind, brown sugar.

A treat to have the opportunity to be able to sample once in my life, a Mezcal from Aquilino Garcia. Through this particular distillation, his reputation is present in the complexity of flavors that never become abrasive and consistently please the senses in regards to aroma, taste, and feel. Enjoyable through and through.

A2-09-EL-19, 50.1%, 50ml
Nose – A mellow sweetness, thats a little nutty and somewhat tart. A sweet, cheesy and creamy smell. Leather, pina coladas, coconut cream, musk, milk chocolate, fresh cut grass, and some sweet corn for good measure. This smells wet, damp, and lightly mildewed – in the most complimentary way possible.
Palate – Fantastic. Citrus flavored chewing gum when the flavor is almost gone. A sweet, mellow tone that has some subtleties of savoriness. Sweet corn, g

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MezcAleman

MezcAleman

28 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars7 months ago

Nice Espadin, Pepper und sweetness. Good sip, good beginner mezcal.

little_agave

little_agave

34 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars11 months ago

49.9% March 2019 754 liters
LOTE: A2-03-EL-19

Architor77

Architor77

4 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Batch September 2019 – Mouth numbing pepper, mid level smokiness and great quality corn tortillas. Would like to have another bottle of this one.

JDB

JDB

165 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

June 2019, 50.2% ABV Lot A-08-EL-19

So I am torn in on this release, I have tasted the espadin and the mexicano by Aquilino and really like both. I have sipped on this bottle for a while, and I just don’t think it works for me. Nose has some sweet notes, a bit of mint, candle wax, chewing gum, and Windex. The taste does have the corn up front and through the palate and onto the finish, but it does not seem to blend well with the espadin. There is another flavor that also masks the agave. Like the flavor lays on top so you can’t get to the agave underneath. I wonder if this is the batch or just that a pechuga with other flavors may find a better way to blend into the mezcal. Could be that the bottle got too much oxygen and caused the flavors to get unbalanced.

June 2019, 50.2% ABV Lot A-08-EL-19
So I am torn in on this release, I have tasted the espadin and the mexicano by Aquilino and really like both. I have sipped on this bottle for a while, and I just don’t think it works for me. Nose has some sweet notes, a bit of mint, candle wax, chewing gum, and Windex. The taste does have the corn up front and through the palate and onto the finish, but it does not seem to blend well with the espadin. There is another flavor that also masks the agave

Read more
Wine65

Wine65

5 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 years 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 stars3 years 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.

Read more
namespayne

namespayne

9 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars3 years 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 stars3 years 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 stars3 years 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�

Read more
hmbse7en

hmbse7en

2 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years 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

76 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 years 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

Read more
Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

542 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 years 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

421 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 years 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

86 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years 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 stars4 years 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

39 reviews
Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars4 years 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

209 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years 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 stars4 years 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.

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