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Vago Mexicano – Aquilino

The varietal of agave used to make Vago Mexicano is native to not just the region or the valley, but to the actual hillside owned by the mezcalero.

Rating: (35 reviews)
Brand:Vago Mezcal
NOM:NOM-O188X
Mezcalero:Aquilino Garcia Lopez
Maguey:Mexicano
Agave:Rhodacantha
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 Mexicano has a nose of peaches and cinnamon, a silky body, a well-balanced palate of ocean breeze and hot desert rocks with a finish of toasted vanilla and caramel. The maguey Mexicano that Aquilino uses for this Mezcal is sourced from his and his neighbor’s farm in Candelaria Yegolé. This varietal is native to not just the region or the valley, but that actual hillside.

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

4.36 out of 5

35 reviews

Rakhal

Rakhal

421 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars1 year ago

A-06-M-19.
Earthy, vegetal, spicy, and sweet. Garden soil, olive brine, pineapple soda, allspice, nutmeg, and cream cheese frosting.

mark

mark

4 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Lot 06-M-19. I am really enjoying this. A bit of spice, smoke and sweet.

PNWill

PNWill

11 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 years ago

LOT A-09-M-19
This was one of the first bottles I bought in the US after visiting Oaxaca and it was in no small part due to the legend of Don Aquilino. It’s a complex one. The nose is quite floral and vegetal, almost like perfume. The palate is almost a complete 180. It started off gently savory and peppered but has slowly turned briney, almost like a dirty martini or gulping the ocean. It is delicate and also pretty brutal. A real puzzle for sure.
Bottom of the bottle edit: After leaving this one untouched for a bit (and tbh considering pouring it out), I gave it another try and the briney flavor disappeared. It returned to its gentle and perfumey beginnings. What a ride this one was.

LOT A-09-M-19
This was one of the first bottles I bought in the US after visiting Oaxaca and it was in no small part due to the legend of Don Aquilino. It’s a complex one. The nose is quite floral and vegetal, almost like perfume. The palate is almost a complete 180. It started off gently savory and peppered but has slowly turned briney, almost like a dirty martini or gulping the ocean. It is delicate and also pretty brutal. A real puzzle for sure.
Bottom of the bottle edit: After leaving

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Dom

Dom

29 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Great flavors of green vegetal shine through on the mid palate. It does not drink like 50%abv

Americana Kyle

Americana Kyle

60 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

LOT A-06-M-19 / 51.4%

Aquilino was an absolute master of his craft and this expression shows no different. It has changed dramatically over the life of the bottle being opened transforming from densely earthy and spicy to floral and sweet, I really enjoy this stuff.

James Christian

James Christian

46 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

May 2019. Lot 6
The Mexicano from Aquilino is, as anyone who has ever tasted it would say, absolutely delicious. It’s complex with light citrus and honey that deepens as you settle into it. It has a little chili, nuts – it’s so balanced it’s hard to pick out one flavor profile.

However I can’t help think that I over romanticized the legend behind the bottle. I got caught up in the search for the last bottles from a master that we shall never see again. This has almost no finish compared to some others. It’s pretty thin, a bit nail polish on the nose, and I don’t think it’s the best expression of his craft.

May 2019. Lot 6
The Mexicano from Aquilino is, as anyone who has ever tasted it would say, absolutely delicious. It’s complex with light citrus and honey that deepens as you settle into it. It has a little chili, nuts – it’s so balanced it’s hard to pick out one flavor profile.
However I can’t help think that I over romanticized the legend behind the bottle. I got caught up in the search for the last bottles from a master that we shall never see again. This has almost no finish c

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TzotollineRaramuri

TzotollineRaramuri

75 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

MM AGL (RIP); 509 Lts; May 2019.
?- clear
?- soft drying impact effect.
Aromas wet soil & clay, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, mint, white, yellow & green teas, lemon zest & juice, light honey & chili peppers.
Adequate & complex production.
Average length and very fine character.
?- astringent & coating effect; sufficient smooth alcohol; medium-full body.
Primarily sweet, sour, bitter, piquant & savory taste; buttery smoothness.
Flavors of wood traces, spices, green chili, peppercorn, red/black tea, lime & lemon zest, nutshells, cured meats, savory truffles.
Concentrated flavor intensity, complex character, harmonious balance.
Pleasant and very long finish.
Excellent overall impression.

*Disconnect between nose and palate, nothing unpleasant, rather surprising, well balanced and great unique character.

Learn more about organoleptic evaluation at the International Wine & Spirits Guild’s seminar in Fine Spirits,
or more on Agave Spirits certifications through the Agave Spirits Institute.

MM AGL (RIP); 509 Lts; May 2019.
?- clear
?- soft drying impact effect.
Aromas wet soil & clay, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, mint, white, yellow & green teas, lemon zest & juice, light honey & chili peppers.
Adequate & complex production.
Average length and very fine character.
?- astringent & coating effect; sufficient smooth alcohol; medium-full body.
Primarily sweet, sour, bitter, piquant & savory taste; buttery smoothness.
Flavors of wood traces, spices,

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Pablito

Pablito

4 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 years ago

LOT A-01-M-16 /Batch size 652 L/ Jan 2016. This mezcal is average on the nose and big on the palate. It’s creamy and SMOOTH, so smooth you just can’t believe it’s 52.1 % alcohol. It tickles your taste buds in a way that makes you want more and more. Great mezcal.

SoloAgave

SoloAgave

86 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

2019 batch. Sought this out after all the great reviews and it did not disappoint. I got some delicious sweet corn whiskey vibes and then it settled nicely with some round agave on the finish. Reminded me of a clay pot type profile and certainly worthy of all the hype.

Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

542 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

One of the best mezcals I’ve ever had. I don’t remember the notes – I was having lunch in Matalan with Alvin Starkman who generously shared a 2 oz. pour of his 2013 stash of this Aquilino magic. A rare masterpiece.

Update:
I acquired a bottle of my very own: LOT A-06-M-19
Nose – Sugary nose, nopal cactus and a tickle of jalapeno pepper heat.

Palate – Vegetal – green pepper. Cake frosting. White pepper heat. Some ash in the finish. Marvelous!

One of the best mezcals I’ve ever had. I don’t remember the notes – I was having lunch in Matalan with Alvin Starkman who generously shared a 2 oz. pour of his 2013 stash of this Aquilino magic. A rare masterpiece.
Update:
I acquired a bottle of my very own: LOT A-06-M-19
Nose – Sugary nose, nopal cactus and a tickle of jalapeno pepper heat.
Palate – Vegetal – green pepper. Cake frosting. White pepper heat. Some ash in the finish. Marvelous!

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efoster13

efoster13

3 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Lot A-06-M-19, May 2019. Glorious stuff from a master of masters (RIP). Roasted agave and earth on the nose; flavor is clean and direct, plenty sweet, some heat (51.4%); my wife gets nuts– caramelized walnuts. There’s a lot going on here, but as often is the case for me w/ Don Aquilino’s stuff, it’s hard to pick out elements. It just tastes like (really really good) mezcal. Long finish and a lasting feeling of happiness. It’s deeper and darker than a lot of copper distilled stuff…

Lot A-06-M-19, May 2019. Glorious stuff from a master of masters (RIP). Roasted agave and earth on the nose; flavor is clean and direct, plenty sweet, some heat (51.4%); my wife gets nuts– caramelized walnuts. There’s a lot going on here, but as often is the case for me w/ Don Aquilino’s stuff, it’s hard to pick out elements. It just tastes like (really really good) mezcal. Long finish and a lasting feeling of happiness. It’s deeper and darker than a lot of co

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meserole

meserole

73 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Definitely reminds me a bit of the Vago Elote, previously the only other variant I’d tried — a bit of sweet corn that actually reminds me of white whiskey on the nose. It’s pretty hot on the tongue, with a cinnamon-like heat and a somewhat metallic taste. No real aftertaste to speak to, but given that this was a bit hotter and boozier than I’d have liked, that’s OK with me. Can’t say this was a pleasant sipper for me — bit of a bummer since I paid $99 bucks for it.

Seems I was not as fortunate as those who tried the 10% Espadin/90% Mexicano blend. This one was 100% Mexicano as far as I can tell, a March 2020 batch Lot A2-02-M-20.

Definitely reminds me a bit of the Vago Elote, previously the only other variant I’d tried — a bit of sweet corn that actually reminds me of white whiskey on the nose. It’s pretty hot on the tongue, with a cinnamon-like heat and a somewhat metallic taste. No real aftertaste to speak to, but given that this was a bit hotter and boozier than I’d have liked, that’s OK with me. Can’t say this was a pleasant sipper for me — bit of a bummer since I paid $99 bu

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JoeyLee

JoeyLee

3 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Oct 2013 – This is my all time favorite thus far. Nose filled with grilled pineapple and smoked salt. Smells like the ocean, and taste like it too with a little bit of Swiss cheese funk to it. It’s as if Aquilino bottled up a midnight walk on the beach into liquid form. Amazing!

____mikey___

____mikey___

3 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Lot A-06-M-19, May 2019. ABV: 51.4%
Definitely on of my favorites, Aquilino did some magic with this juice, Rip maestro mezcalero.
Medium body for sure, floral notes, nice warmth coming through with every sip, and the slight hint of sweetness citrus and minerality in the finish.

JDB

JDB

167 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Lot A-09-M-19, May 2019. ABV: 51.4% Sad to hear of Aquilino’s passing, feel that his craft was matched by few mezcaleros/mezcaleras. Wanted to taste as many of his offerings as I could get my hands on. Very much hope his son can add to his legacy. Very green on the nose, floral notes as well. Warmth lingering long after sipping, that high ABV gets to me more that usual. Some sweet notes with light citrus and wet earth.

COak

COak

229 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

October 2014 90% Mexicano 10% Espadin. It’s been well documented, this batch is divine. So Complex! A bit fruity with stronger taste of molasses and fudge.

Derekac7

Derekac7

19 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Very well made Mexicano by master mezcalero Aquilino Garcia Lopez. Floral, earthy, and spicy with some heat, rich caramel, and a sweet finish. Complex and inviting.

JJHenderson

JJHenderson

10 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Another stunning liquid from Vago. Can’t get enough of the stuff.

Dylan

Dylan

7 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Lot A-06-M-19 May 2019, 700 liters. 51.4% ABV. My first Mexicano, and I’m very impressed. Fruity and spicy notes, sweet butter, roasted agave and a lingering finish.

Van G

Van G

5 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

August 2017 | Lot A-08-M-17

Only Mexicano I’ve had. Huge roasted agave nose, toasted sugar (almost like a Tequila Reposado despite being a Joven. . .crazy), molasses, and raisins.

Soars up through your palate into your nose – this packs a punch but still as “hot” as I’d expect from a 52%. In contrast to the nose, sipping starts an herbaceous crescendo with jalapeño, cloves, basil, celery salt, (among some others in my spice cabinet). Big lingering finish – flavor doesn’t change as it tapers off. Magnificent

August 2017 | Lot A-08-M-17
Only Mexicano I’ve had. Huge roasted agave nose, toasted sugar (almost like a Tequila Reposado despite being a Joven. . .crazy), molasses, and raisins.
Soars up through your palate into your nose – this packs a punch but still as “hot” as I’d expect from a 52%. In contrast to the nose, sipping starts an herbaceous crescendo with jalapeño, cloves, basil, celery salt, (among some others in my spice cabinet). Big lingering finish – fl

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