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Vago Mexicano – Joel Barriga

Vago Mexicano from maestro mezcalero Joel Barriga is produced using Maguey Mexicano (Agave rhodacantha) in Hacienda Tapanala, Oaxaca.

Rating: (3 reviews)
Cost:$$$
Brand:Vago Mezcal
NOM:NOM-O188X
Mezcalero:Joel Barriga
Maguey:Mexicano
Agave:Rhodacantha
Grind:Tahona
Distillation:Copper
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:Hacienda Tapanala
ABV: 51%
Website: https://www.mezcalvago.com/, opens in new window
Ownership:Heaven Hill

About this mezcal

Vago Mexicano from maestro 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 and now this Mexicano (and other releases from Joel are an extension of that). His agaves are crushed by tahona and double distilled in copper.

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

1.33 out of 5

3 reviews

Tyler

Tyler

635 reviews
Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars6 months ago

Sour. A bit of menthol. Gets more bitter as it opens up. Coats the mouth with a bit of firewater. I’m not quite as against this as my fellow mezcalerbros but it is definitely a disappointment. The rating is a bit strong but relative to the normal expected quality from Mezcal Vago. I remember one of the early Espadin releases from Joel Barriga being absolutely amazing. Would not be thrilled to have a full bottle of this laying around. Lot J-10-ME-22.

Jonny

Jonny

696 reviews
Rated 1 out of 5 stars6 months ago

Lot J-10-ME-22. Brutal. Aromas of paint thinner, kerosene, lead, and iodine. This smells like a burning chemical factory. The palate is hot, even for 51%. Notes of sulfur and kerosene. There’s a burn upfront and a hot burning finish. The whole experience is terribly disjointed. I opened this bottle and let it sit for a few weeks before writing this. Sadly, the spirit has not changed in that time. I’ve been a huge Vago fan for years but this one is rough. I’m frankly surprised that they bottled this and put it in the market. This is a major miss for them.

Lot J-10-ME-22. Brutal. Aromas of paint thinner, kerosene, lead, and iodine. This smells like a burning chemical factory. The palate is hot, even for 51%. Notes of sulfur and kerosene. There’s a burn upfront and a hot burning finish. The whole experience is terribly disjointed. I opened this bottle and let it sit for a few weeks before writing this. Sadly, the spirit has not changed in that time. I’ve been a huge Vago fan for years but this one is rough. I’m frankly surprised t

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COak

COak

228 reviews
Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars7 months ago

I was excited to try this and oh boy was it a let down. The nose was pure gasoline and the palate was, well the same. I couldn’t pick up any pleasant notes. It might need a long time resting. Skip this one.

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