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Vago Espadin – Joel Barriga

Vago Espadin from Joel Barriga was originally released in late 2016 as a way to allow Aquilino to focus more on his Mezcal Elote and work with other agaves.

Rating: (21 reviews)
Cost:$$
Brand:Vago Mezcal
NOM:NOM-O188X
Mezcalero:Joel Barriga
Maguey:Espadin
Agave:Angustifolia
Milling:Tahona
Distillation:Copper
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:Hacienda Tapanala
ABV: 50%
Website: https://www.mezcalvago.com/, opens in new window
Ownership:Heaven Hill

About this mezcal

Vago Espadin from mezcalero Joel Barriga is produced in Hacienda Tapanala, Oaxaca. Joel is Aquilino’s cousin and his family has also been making mezcal for many generations. Aquilino worked with Joel for several months to ensure that Joel’s mezcal Espadin would be similar to his own. His agaves are crushed by tahona and double distilled in copper. This is now a regular Vago release.

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:

Member rating

3.93 out of 5

21 reviews

Jonny

Jonny

708 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars7 years ago

After tasting Aquilino’s mezcal Espadin for years, I was a bit hesitant to try the new release from Joel Barriga. Out of all of the Vago releases, the straight Espadin was my least favorite. I’d always opt for the Elote or one of the agave silvestre over the Espadin. Overall, I would give the Aquilino Espadin 3 stars, as it was a bit overbearing and harsh. The burn of that mezcal didn’t really pay off like the other Vago mezcals I’d tried. The Joel Barriga release, however, is quite a bit different. It still has the heat (50.4% ABV) that is a signature in all Vago mezcals, but there seems to be more of a payout in his release. It’s much richer and fruit-forward. The body is semi-viscous with notes of apple, anise, flint, mango, and pepper. The nose is clean and lacks the strong aromas that are present in most other mezcal that is this high ABV. If you see the Joel Barriga Vago Espadin, I highly recommend it. I tasted Lot: J-E-01-16.

After tasting Aquilino’s mezcal Espadin for years, I was a bit hesitant to try the new release from Joel Barriga. Out of all of the Vago releases, the straight Espadin was my least favorite. I’d always opt for the Elote or one of the agave silvestre over the Espadin. Overall, I would give the Aquilino Espadin 3 stars, as it was a bit overbearing and harsh. The burn of that mezcal didn’t really pay off like the other Vago mezcals I’d tried. The Joel Barriga release, however, is quite a bi

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