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Vago Ensamble – Aquilino Garcia Lopez

Vago Ensamble from Aquilino is done in extremely small batches that are very hard to find. If you see a bottle of this, try it.

About this mezcal

Vago Ensamble made by Aquilino is produced in Candeleria Yegole. In 2016, Aquilino had a limited release that was only available in the East Bay of Northern California. This release was aptly nicknamed, the “Curry-30” batch, as Steph Curry is reportedly a big fan of mezcal and he’s obviously very popular in that area. The Curry-30 batch was an Ensamble of (49%) Madre-cuishe and (51%) Mexicano. In early 2017, another Aquilino Ensamble surfaced. It had (48%) wild maguey Cuixe, (29%) wild Tepeztate, and (23%) cultivated Espadin. The Curry-30 batch was 162 litres. The second batch was 172 litres. There have also been batches of (53%) Tepeztate and (47%) Sierra Negra. One of these Tepeztate/Sierra Negra batches was produced in August 2017 with a total batch size of 203 litres.

Notable batches:

Batch Agaves
CURRY-30 Madrecuixe 49%, Mexicano 51%
A-10-TCE-17 Tepeztate 48%, Cuixe 28%, Espadin 24%
A-12-TSN-17 Tepeztate 53%, Sierra Negra 47%
A-2R-E-18 Tepeztate 76%, Espadin 24%
A-19-TC-18 Tepeztate 53%, Cuixe 47%

 

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:

6 reviews

4 out of 5

Tyler

Tyler

532 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars9 months ago

Aquilino did not produce many ensambles (under the Vago label at least). I was lucky enough to try CURRY-30 and think it was my favorite. His others are good too but the maguey Mexicano in an ensamble was quite good.

53% Tepeztate, 47% Sierra Negra. Lots of charred green veggies. Sugar Daddy candy. A hint of rye whiskey. Bold and robust. Lot A-12-TSN-17. 52.2%. 4.5 stars

48% Cuixe, 29% Tepeztate, 23% Espadin. Bit of lemon rind rock candy with some underlying seaweed salad. Powdered sugar. Quite hot on the palate. LOT A-10-TCE-17. 50.9%. 3.5 stars

I have an unopened bottle of 53% Tepeztate 47% Cuixe which I’m looking forward to trying. These ensambles are delicious but I find certain batches of his single maguey mezcals to be otherworldly.

Aquilino did not produce many ensambles (under the Vago label at least). I was lucky enough to try CURRY-30 and think it was my favorite. His others are good too but the maguey Mexicano in an ensamble was quite good.
53% Tepeztate, 47% Sierra Negra. Lots of charred green veggies. Sugar Daddy candy. A hint of rye whiskey. Bold and robust. Lot A-12-TSN-17. 52.2%. 4.5 stars
48% Cuixe, 29% Tepeztate, 23% Espadin. Bit of lemon rind rock candy with some underlying seaweed salad. Powdered sugar. Quite

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t8ke

t8ke

144 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Phenomenal stuff. Sweet and fruity on the nose, ashy and peppery, and vegetable-y on the finish. Great transition. Surprising smokiness.

stigibeu

stigibeu

33 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 years ago

4.25 for A-12-TSN-17 53% Tepeztate + 47% Sierra Negra. 52.2%. Tasted with RM Sierrudo, Vago Tobala en Barro, and Mal Bien Coyote. This was great–brisket pepper, spicy on the nose with some herbal qualities coming through. Opens to some light perfume which I found rally interesting. Medium bodied through palate with a little fruit, moderately long finish. More S+P on the finish too. Very, very enjoyable and one I think will get better with age.

Nic Hnastchenko

Nic Hnastchenko

108 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

A-2R-E-18 Tepeztate 76%, Espadin 24%
First set of tastings from Mexico in a Bottle – Chicago, yesterday. Very tasty, vago came out on top from all of my tastings.

A-10-TCE-17 48% Cuixe + 29% Tepeztate + 23% Espadin
Part of an exploration of Vago.

A-12-TSN-17 53% Tepeztate + 47% Sierra Negra.
52.2% Really liked this, nice and spicy with a bit of a bite. Up there with my favorite Ensambles.

thamthong

thamthong

47 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 years ago

lot curry-30. 51% mexicano, 49% madrecuixe. 162 liters. january 2016. 51.8% abv. exactly like what i imagine the two expressions from vago poured into the same glass would taste like. interesting that the two are so distinguishablein this ensamble. doesnt ever really become its own flavor but rather oscillates between the two seamlessly. delicious but not mind-blowing nor revelatory, which i kind of hoped for for an ensamble of my favorite magueys from one of my favorite producers. if you manage to stumble upon this, you can scoop it ip knowing the juice is worthwhile to boot.

lot curry-30. 51% mexicano, 49% madrecuixe. 162 liters. january 2016. 51.8% abv. exactly like what i imagine the two expressions from vago poured into the same glass would taste like. interesting that the two are so distinguishablein this ensamble. doesnt ever really become its own flavor but rather oscillates between the two seamlessly. delicious but not mind-blowing nor revelatory, which i kind of hoped for for an ensamble of my favorite magueys from one of my favorite producers. if y

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Jonny

Jonny

537 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Lot A-10-TCE-17. Cuixe, Tepextate, and Espadin from June 2017. Slightly perfumed. Aromas of lemon, lilac, and apple blossom. Flavor notes of fresh green vegetation. Soft touches of white pepper, asparagus, leather, and charcoal. This is hot, but has tons of flavor. It’s a small batch of 172 liters so definitely worth trying.

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