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Vago Tobala en Barro

Vago Tobala en Barro is an elegant and earthy clay pot distilled mezcal. It’s made in very small batches and is hard to find.

Rating: (11 reviews)
Brand:Vago Mezcal
NOM:NOM-O188X
Mezcalero:Salomon "Tio Rey" Rodriguez
Agave:Tobala
Grind:Hand
Distillation:Clay Pot
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:Sola de Vega
ABV:48%
Age of plant:17-18 years
Website:http://www.masmezcal.com/mezcalvago/mezcal-vago-tobala-en-barro
About this mezcal

Vago Tobala en Barro is made by Salomon Rey Rodriguez (Tio Rey) in Sola de Vega. This mezcal is made with agave Tobala that are 17-18 years old when they are harvested. The sustainable harvest of this majestic agave is very important to him, and he just planted over 40,000 new agave plants to ensure that Tobala production will continue in Sola de Vega for many years to come.  This mezcal is distilled to proof, meaning that there is no water added to adjust ABV after distillation.

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 claims to plant 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.

Learn more Mezcal Vago:

11 reviews

4.68 out of 5


2 weeks ago

Lot S-02-TOB-17, April 2017, 52.20% 78 liters.

Another case of a long opened bottle, to my dismay. I recall thinking this was rather special, but 52.20% and this much time with air in the bottle the prettier notes fade away. Tastes like old butterscotch and not much else. Maybe a whiff of rotten banana. Two old Tio Rey en Barro’s in a row and I feel like my next trip to the store deserves fresh bottles and less drinking.

stigibeu

stigibeu

27 reviews
3 weeks ago

May 2019 batch. Tasted blind against a couple other non-tobala mezcals.

Nose of an old couch, mothballs, a bit of sea breeze as it opens up. Like the back corner of an old Army surplus store. Bitter palate to me with slate and stone accents. Coffee grinds. An oxidized, earthen finish.

Overall, not quite on Lalo’s level for me. Sounds like the ’19 batch had a little less fruit/complexity to it than earlier batches.

JJHenderson

JJHenderson

10 reviews
2 months ago

My desert island mezcal.

I first tried this in the UK in 2016 and I was blown away. Earth, smoke, chocolate milk. It perfectly balances complexity with softness, sweet with savoury, and just the right amount of smoke. This bottle really opened my eyes to the breadth of variation within mezcal, and made me a Sola De Vega obsessive.

ptperc

ptperc

9 reviews
5 months ago

Lot S-09-TOB-19 May 2019 batch. 49.2% ABV. Hints of milk chocolate and orange with lots of minerality right off the bat. Slightly musty on the nose. The chocolate gets stronger as I let it open up. I’m also getting some dried fig. To me, not as fruity of a batch as others have experienced with previous batches. Still phenomenal though. With only 93 liters, if you see it, try it.

El_Cura

El_Cura

27 reviews
7 months ago

Lot S-08-DV-T-14 fermented January 2014, 49.5% ABV.
Amazing array of caramel, butterscotch and pears. Mineral, earthy & fruity with a hint of very light smoke and chocolate. I’ve tried Tío Rey’s Espadin and several Ensambles and now this. So far everything has been outstanding. I wish he would come out with a Pechuga for the masses. Maybe next year.

Mansson

Mansson

71 reviews
7 months ago

Lot S-06-TOB-16, distilled April 2016. This is a wonderfully rich and complex mezcal. Tropical fruits and dried apricot provide a pronounced sweetness which is balanced against the earthy notes from the clay distillation. And, as has already been said by others, there is a distinct note of orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier). Very smooth; no alcohol burn at all.

GreenspointTexas

GreenspointTexas

174 reviews
12 months ago

Almost 5 stars. Really creamy and smooth… almost thicker than a mezcal should be, if that makes sense. Well integrated with notes of blueberry, wet rock, and faint grassiness. Incredible

Jonny

Jonny

406 reviews
2 years ago

Lot S-02A-TOB-17. From April 2017. 35 total liters in the batch. Smells like bananas. The palate is full of mangos, papaya, and dark fruit. This is really good. There’s a weird turn halfway through this. It goes from dark fruit to something else entirely. It’s almost as if this turns a corner halfway through. It’s honestly tough to describe. There’s a tailing flavor of wild apples. When I first tasted this, I thought “wow this is over-rated,” but the more I sip it, the more complex it becomes.

Lot S-02A-TOB-17. From April 2017. 35 total liters in the batch. Smells like bananas. The palate is full of mangos, papaya, and dark fruit. This is really good. There’s a weird turn halfway through this. It goes from dark fruit to something else entirely. It’s almost as if this turns a corner halfway through. It’s honestly tough to describe. There’s a tailing flavor of wild apples. When I first tasted this, I thought “wow this is over-rated,” but the more I sip it, the more complex i

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Squashplayer

Squashplayer

33 reviews
2 years ago

From the April 2017 batch of 78 liters. Wow! Worth your while to seek out this small batch. More fruit and sweetness flavors in this one compared to other tobalas I have tasted. Also with nice hint of clay on the finish. Bravo Tío Rey!

Tyler

Tyler

375 reviews
2 years ago

This is one of the rarest regular releases from Tio Rey at Mezcal Vago. I’ve had this a few times but my recent experience was unforgettable. The initial flavors are a rush of sweet citrus, then organic agave, soft, clay, and dried fruit. The flavor of chocolate orange is present through the whole experience – very much like orange liqueur as another reviewer noted. This is incredibly composed with zero bite. Enjoying this was like settling back into a comfy antique leather chair. I tried a recent batch from April 2017. Only 78 liters at 52.2% ABV.

This is one of the rarest regular releases from Tio Rey at Mezcal Vago. I’ve had this a few times but my recent experience was unforgettable. The initial flavors are a rush of sweet citrus, then organic agave, soft, clay, and dried fruit. The flavor of chocolate orange is present through the whole experience – very much like orange liqueur as another reviewer noted. This is incredibly composed with zero bite. Enjoying this was like settling back into a comfy antique leather chair. I

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Keith

Keith

34 reviews
3 years ago

Lot S-96-TOB-16, 48.2% ABV, April 2016, dark, deep, rich, multi-layered. Vegetal notes emerge occasionally, sometimes spice, sometimes something else. Very long, lingering finish, with taste & feel of orange liqueur and sticky chocolate on the lips. A wonderfully sophisticated mezcal.

There’s unique hybridization occurring on Tio Rey’s ranch. One example is his cultivated Tobala agave, which are much larger at maturity than typical Agave Potatorum species found elsewhere.

Lot S-96-TOB-16, 48.2% ABV, April 2016, dark, deep, rich, multi-layered. Vegetal notes emerge occasionally, sometimes spice, sometimes something else. Very long, lingering finish, with taste & feel of orange liqueur and sticky chocolate on the lips. A wonderfully sophisticated mezcal.
There’s unique hybridization occurring on Tio Rey’s ranch. One example is his cultivated Tobala agave, which are much larger at maturity than typical Agave Potatorum species found elsewhere.

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