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Vago Ensamble en Barro

Each release of Vago Ensamble en Barro has drastic differences in the percentages of each type of agave that is used, making each release unique.

About this mezcal

Vago Ensamble de Barro is from Sola de Vega and has a soft bouquet of pine needles and fertile earth. Its full body has an essence of charred cinnamon and finishes with notes of pumpkin and chestnuts.  Each release of this bottle has drastic differences in the percentages of each type of agave that is used.  A Vago Ensamble de Barro from 2015 could be significantly different than one from 2016.

Learn more about this release at Mezcal Vago’s blog 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:

Vago en Barro Ensamble mezcal joven

Member rating

3.8 out of 5

41 reviews

KyraNicole

KyraNicole

60 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars1 month ago

reminds me of wine; same viscosity of wine; berries

Ben P

Ben P

114 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars3 months ago

Batch S-07-CEAMB-22
43% Coyote, 28% Espadin, 22% Arroqueno, 5% Mexicano, 2% Bicuixe

Nose: herbal limeade, wet clay, lemon lime, herbs like lavender and sage, as it sits I get a bit of milky chocolate

Palate: fruit up front, burnt orange, chili covered mango, then it gets very earthy and clay driven, cocoa, top soil, dry rub seasoning. Finish is really nice. Slightly Smokey but plenty of earthy soy, with a hint of charred citrus along the way

I’ve had three bottles of these Ensambles and while this batch is probably my least favorite of the three it’s still very good. All three would be either 3.5 and 4 stars. Really nice clay influence on this one. Tio Rey ensambles are always great to keep on hand

Batch S-07-CEAMB-22
43% Coyote, 28% Espadin, 22% Arroqueno, 5% Mexicano, 2% Bicuixe
Nose: herbal limeade, wet clay, lemon lime, herbs like lavender and sage, as it sits I get a bit of milky chocolate
Palate: fruit up front, burnt orange, chili covered mango, then it gets very earthy and clay driven, cocoa, top soil, dry rub seasoning. Finish is really nice. Slightly Smokey but plenty of earthy soy, with a hint of charred citrus along the way
I’ve had three bottles of these Ensambles and while

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Jam

Jam

156 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars6 months ago

52.3% abv, Lot S-19-EBCSNM-20

Review #99: Nose has leather, cinnamon, apple, raisins, tobacco, and a dusty earthiness. Palate has more of the cinnamon covered apples, raisins, leather, sweet tobacco, lime, champagne, a bit metallic, and the finish has a dusty earth and clay minerality.

This is a solid bottle and one of my firsts. I found it a bit hard to judge for a while until about halfway through. It took time for me to get those fruit notes, but the really shine with the dusty earth, cinnamon, and leather. This was a predominantly espadin forward batch so i look forward to trying more variable batches in the future.

52.3% abv, Lot S-19-EBCSNM-20
Review #99: Nose has leather, cinnamon, apple, raisins, tobacco, and a dusty earthiness. Palate has more of the cinnamon covered apples, raisins, leather, sweet tobacco, lime, champagne, a bit metallic, and the finish has a dusty earth and clay minerality.
This is a solid bottle and one of my firsts. I found it a bit hard to judge for a while until about halfway through. It took time for me to get those fruit notes, but the really shine with the dusty earth, cinnam

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GMAD

GMAD

79 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars12 months ago

LOT S-10-ECMAB-21, 49.9%
Espadin, Coyote, Mexicano, Arroqueño, Barril

Nose – Sweet and sour – Elmer’s glue, apples, tamarind.

Palate – Spicy, tart, and buttery. Caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, anise, mandarins; nutty with a fruity body.

Finish – Fruity exit with a kick; ripe citrus and black pepper.

Really good and super smooth. Reminiscent of an añejo tequila. Fantastic Mezcal.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

LOT S-01-ECMB-21

Disappointed. Vago got me into mezcal but this is underwhelming. Hot, bitter, thin. Hoping the bottle will improve with time, otherwise it’s going to make some expensive cocktails.

Daelm

Daelm

2 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Lot S-03, 37% Espadin, 32% Coyote, 15% Arroqueno, 13% Mexicano, and 3% Sierra Negra.

Newly opened bottle. 50%

Nose: Immediately peanut brittle (?) or some kind of confectioner’s sugar. Possibly sweet popcorn. Might be just the neck pour. Followed by the agave/bright fruit. Then the acetate hits. Not off-putting. Just that gummy airplane/model glue smell. In this case, works well with the sweetness.

Mouth: The acetate seems to be entirely gone on the mouth. Sweetness in the spirit, mixed with (and a little dominated by) lots and lots of white pepper, little bit of black pepper, saltiness/saline oiliness on the finish. The alcohol heat is there, but it’s not unmanageable. Very mineral body. Again, not off-putting. It all works really well together to balance each other, with the minerality and oiliness holding the rest together.

This is genuinely good.

Lot S-03, 37% Espadin, 32% Coyote, 15% Arroqueno, 13% Mexicano, and 3% Sierra Negra.
Newly opened bottle. 50%
Nose: Immediately peanut brittle (?) or some kind of confectioner’s sugar. Possibly sweet popcorn. Might be just the neck pour. Followed by the agave/bright fruit. Then the acetate hits. Not off-putting. Just that gummy airplane/model glue smell. In this case, works well with the sweetness.
Mouth: The acetate seems to be entirely gone on the mouth. Sweetness in the spirit, mixed w

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JDB

JDB

167 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Ensemble 57% espadin, 43% mexicano 51.3% abv Lot: S-07-EM-18 Batch: 377 Liters

Surprised no one else has reviewed this particular bottle and that this blend and its rough proportions only seems to appear in a review by Rakhal. This one might be the most mexicano heavy of Tio Rey’s ensembles. Taste a good deal of that espadin, but then the drying quality of the mexicano takes over and some of its nuance. This is one hot mezcal, and normally the high abv’s don’t hit me as hard. That reaction to the abv seems to be a common thread amongst the other reviews. Nose has a bit of stinky feet but the flavors are all over the place. A ton of black pepper heat throughout, a bitter taste like pith of citrus but then an anise/licorice flavor comes through. There is also a background charcoal note, maybe a combo natural gas/mesquite grill. Some tropical fruit as well, dried pineapple with chili. And after letting get some air for a spell, there is some candy corn flavor there (which normally would be a deal breaker for me but isn’t too bad here). Down to the last couple pours of this offering, but I would gladly pay for another ensemble from Tio Rey. Really can taste and experience both agaves which is not common in the other ensembles that I have sampled. 4.25 stars out of 5.

Ensemble 57% espadin, 43% mexicano 51.3% abv Lot: S-07-EM-18 Batch: 377 Liters
Surprised no one else has reviewed this particular bottle and that this blend and its rough proportions only seems to appear in a review by Rakhal. This one might be the most mexicano heavy of Tio Rey’s ensembles. Taste a good deal of that espadin, but then the drying quality of the mexicano takes over and some of its nuance. This is one hot mezcal, and normally the high abv’s don’t hit me as hard. That

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tallchad

tallchad

108 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

This is for two batches of Tío Rey´s excellent ancestral mezcal. One of the batches might be the best I have ever had! I definitely have been leaning toward the clay pot distillations lately.

Review 1: lot S02 ECM 20. From March 2020
60% Espadin, 36% coyote, 4% mexicano
ABV 50.4%. This rates at 4.75 stars and is one of my all time favorites!
The aroma is so deep and rich with earthy clay but also strawberry, citrus and blueberry.
The taste is like smooth fire—good heat from the abv and also nice smoke. Of course there’s some clay with light sweetness.
The finish is incredible and even and lingers with roasted chiles.

Review 2: lot S10 ECMAB 21
82% espadin, 9% coyote, 4% mexicano, 3% arroqueno, 2% barril
ABV 49.9%. This batch is good and rates 3 stars. New label.
The aroma is not as fruity or earthy as the other lot but still has some berry and citrus sweetness.
The taste has some clay but is bittersweet and more spicy than the previous.
The finish is ok.
This was the “new”bottle to replace the stellar batch from earlier. So i guess I am disappointed to not like it as much. Don’t get me wrong this batch is good, just not as great as the original.

This is for two batches of Tío Rey´s excellent ancestral mezcal. One of the batches might be the best I have ever had! I definitely have been leaning toward the clay pot distillations lately.
Review 1: lot S02 ECM 20. From March 2020
60% Espadin, 36% coyote, 4% mexicano
ABV 50.4%. This rates at 4.75 stars and is one of my all time favorites!
The aroma is so deep and rich with earthy clay but also strawberry, citrus and blueberry.
The taste is like smooth fire—good heat from the abv and als

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Mezcal Mike

Mezcal Mike

29 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 years ago

S-06-CEMB-20

If only I can remember where I bought this tasty beverage! At 52.3 this one engages with a smooth grapefruit twist on a classic taste. Fits nicely into a flight like I just did with a couple other Vagos. Going to do a mini Puntagave sampler next.

Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

542 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Lot: S-01-CEA-19
(64% Coyote, 31% Espadin, 5% Arroqueno)
Nose – White chocolate. Sour apple. Slight elevated ethanol vs. other Tio Rey’s stuff.
Palate – Great above average viscosity and mouthfeel. Cookie batter. Tiny bit of cheesecake. Downside is the slight rough alcohol in the nose is present in the flavor.

Manning

Manning

24 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Lot S-19-EBCSNM-20; Espadin, Barril, Coyote, Sierra Negra, Mexicano blend at 52.3% abv.
Has a muted aroma, mostly of clay pots and alcohol with a hint of grass. Taste is very heavy on the clay pots and earth. There is also a nice blackberry and blueberry note, but it’s hard to get past the clay pot flavor. Harsh finish with a significant alchohol burn with licorice in the finish. As I continue through the dram, the taste does improve a bit and the clay turns into an earthiness with some tropical fruits in the finish. Overall 5/10 and not my favorite of the recent Vago releases.

Lot S-19-EBCSNM-20; Espadin, Barril, Coyote, Sierra Negra, Mexicano blend at 52.3% abv.
Has a muted aroma, mostly of clay pots and alcohol with a hint of grass. Taste is very heavy on the clay pots and earth. There is also a nice blackberry and blueberry note, but it’s hard to get past the clay pot flavor. Harsh finish with a significant alchohol burn with licorice in the finish. As I continue through the dram, the taste does improve a bit and the clay turns into an earthiness with some tr

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zeepuzzler

zeepuzzler

25 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Lot: S-02-ECM-20.
60% Espadin, 36% Coyote, 4% Mexicano. 50.4% ABV.
The nose is murky, but I did manage to pick out some fresh nectarine and green papaya aromas under all the wet clay funk and fall leaf decay. It’s got a mean mouthfeel, too. I swear I hear it hiss as it hits my tongue. The palate is like licking a potter’s wheel, and it takes several sips before other notes emerge: red apples, sawdust, vanilla, toffee, and orange peel. Happily, the finish is better; it’s long and warming, full of peat, golden raisins, peppercorns, allspice, and wildflower honey. If only it had been so palatable from the beginning!

Admittedly, it feels terribly unfair to base my review on this particular ensamble. It’s not at all the best I’ve had from Tio Rey, but it’s the first I’ve kept notes for. I look forward to better batches in the future!

Lot: S-02-ECM-20.
60% Espadin, 36% Coyote, 4% Mexicano. 50.4% ABV.
The nose is murky, but I did manage to pick out some fresh nectarine and green papaya aromas under all the wet clay funk and fall leaf decay. It’s got a mean mouthfeel, too. I swear I hear it hiss as it hits my tongue. The palate is like licking a potter’s wheel, and it takes several sips before other notes emerge: red apples, sawdust, vanilla, toffee, and orange peel. Happily, the finish is better; it’s lo

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aarild

aarild

153 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Aromas of leather, slate, tobacco, mango skins and hard cheese rinds — softer than it might sounds.
A bit harsh from the bottle’s first pour, but settles quickly. Almonds and pistachios like in a Turkish baklava, lovely blend of fruit and herbs/sweet spice, especially figs and succade (candied lemon peels), black cardamoms, dried thyme. Integrated alcohol and really, really special. Great price too. This bottle has a lot in common with the Alipus Destilado en barro and is a unique style I’d love to stock. I’ll go for this one. A bit funkier and a bit more dried fruits, so richer all in all. Others would say Alipus is crisper and more focused.

Lot S-02-EC-19 March 2019, 80% espadin, 20% coyote

Aromas of leather, slate, tobacco, mango skins and hard cheese rinds — softer than it might sounds.
A bit harsh from the bottle’s first pour, but settles quickly. Almonds and pistachios like in a Turkish baklava, lovely blend of fruit and herbs/sweet spice, especially figs and succade (candied lemon peels), black cardamoms, dried thyme. Integrated alcohol and really, really special. Great price too. This bottle has a lot in common with the Alipus Destilado en barro and is a unique style I’

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bardle

bardle

4 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

This particular bottle is from 2018 and uses 67% Espadin & 33% Tepeztate.

– Nose: Complex and reserved, that typical espadin citrus rind note is the first thing to show up alongside some notes of honey, ripe agave, and grassiness. Pepper and spice show up last to the party and blow the doors off.

– Palette: Almost exactly what you’d expect from the nose which is a rarity. The Citrus, honey and ripe agave touch first with some bangin spice to follow, the sweet and spicy is a fun back and forth. The clay on this is present but its very subdued along with some minerality that shows up just before the finish.

– Finish: Spicy! The clay shows up here with some fun mineral notes alongside the spice and leaves you with some of that sweet citrus rind flavor dancing in the back of your throat.

This particular bottle is from 2018 and uses 67% Espadin & 33% Tepeztate.
– Nose: Complex and reserved, that typical espadin citrus rind note is the first thing to show up alongside some notes of honey, ripe agave, and grassiness. Pepper and spice show up last to the party and blow the doors off.
– Palette: Almost exactly what you’d expect from the nose which is a rarity. The Citrus, honey and ripe agave touch first with some bangin spice to follow, the sweet and spicy is a

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meserole

meserole

73 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Seems we’re almost all reviewing different mezcals here under the heading of an “ensamble en barro”. In my case, it was a 64% coyote, 24% espadin, 12% mexicano by Tio Rey.

Super hot on the tongue, tastes of acetone, corn (a theme?), and river water. I want to enjoy the work from this legendary mezcal brand, but this is my third miss in a row, unfortunately.

07/2019 distillation. Tried at Mezcalogia in Oaxaca City.

PhilBrunski

PhilBrunski

25 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Jan 2018 – 52% espadin 48% coyote

Excellent, focused taste. Fall leaves, roasted peanuts. Hot, delicious and badass.

SoloAgave

SoloAgave

86 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Had the great fortune to arrange a meeting with Tio Rey and get a sense of the production process in Sola De Vega last year and I now will be forever biased. A small batch ancestral mezcal with a beautiful mix of agaves for under $100 is a must buy. A tried and true clay pot expression with notes of almonds, honey, gentle smoke and earth. For my money a 10/10 and one mezcal I always have at home.

edgy4sure

edgy4sure

39 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

excellent! of course I am the ensemble whore! I love this mezcal and I look forward to trying many more of the Vago products (just never the Elote again)

COak

COak

229 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

47% Mexicano 39% Espadin 7% Arroqueno 6% Coyote Verde. 2019 48.8%. This is one of the better ensamble en barros I’ve tried from Tio Rey. The nose is typical of most of his, wet earth & dark chocolate. The taste is much brighter, very little heat. Up front it has some perfume but the finish is the best part full of dark fruit and chocolate.

Rated 3 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Lot S-01/08-ECBB-17, October 2017, 652 liters, 84% Espadin, 9% Coyote, 5% Blanco 2% Barril.

Normally a big fan of Tio Rey and his Ensambles but a bit let down here. Perhaps it’s another case of a bottle open for too long, but the ethanol glosses over the bouquet of things-once-nice. I don’t quite understand the idea of listing percentages so small, might as well leave the drinker to guess the remaining 16% with slices so thin. Any good descriptors have long burnt off here, only leaving sharp honeysuckle and melty crayon to savor.

Lot S-01/08-ECBB-17, October 2017, 652 liters, 84% Espadin, 9% Coyote, 5% Blanco 2% Barril.
Normally a big fan of Tio Rey and his Ensambles but a bit let down here. Perhaps it’s another case of a bottle open for too long, but the ethanol glosses over the bouquet of things-once-nice. I don’t quite understand the idea of listing percentages so small, might as well leave the drinker to guess the remaining 16% with slices so thin. Any good descriptors have long burnt off here, only leavi

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