Read the latest tasting notes posted on Mezcal Reviews.
Lot A-04-C-20. One of the last few bottles from Don Aquilino in my collection. Light bananas foster on the nose along with mango, apple, and something slightly metallic. Wet screen door? The mouthfeel is creamy, but there’s a drying bitterness that nags at the sides of my tongue and begs me to take another sip; it numbs my lips. The palate is lush with mint, sweet green bell pepper, and banana leaf. Dried herbs and minerals dance in the finish: oregano, lavender, chalk, and gravel dust. Lovely.
Nose – Cider. Purple cabbage. Fuji apple slices. Crabgrass.
Palate – Big grassy notes and soft clay (it doesn’t carry the funky aspect I recall in other Siete Misterios expressions). Course black pepper. Whole milk. Icing sugar. Finish is tad tangy/sour and falls flat pretty quick.
It’s a decent mezcal but at 49% the flavors I felt were a few notches back (i.e. slightly watery). Add to that the price point, this is a bit of a miss for me.
Nose – Lime citrus. Pumpkin seeds.
Palate – Extremely light flavors (black pepper, vanilla) at first then it comes together in the middle. Dry the rest of the way. Peaty finish with vanilla, light cream and a dry, house white wine. This one starts mediocre but finishes pretty well.
Smells like overripe oranges with a lot of boozy sweetness. No smoke on the nose.
Flat in taste, not a lot going on, mostly sweetness. No Smoke on the palate. Was much more promising on the nose.
Not a buy recommendation if you want a typical mezcal. Maybe a substitute for a Tequila in a cocktail.
(My bottle, bought in Germany, has a ABV of 38%)
LOTE: RML-17 – Bottle 11/264
Clay, smoke and vegetables nicely balanced on the nose
Smooth and silky on the palate, very pleasant. I tastes greens and minerals with hints of tropical fruit. Very enjoyable! Is going to be one of my favorites.
Solid. Rolos candy. Wheatgrass. Pecan wood. Maybe some pepto in there somewhere. A little disorganized but I still enjoy it
A gentle nose with mild sweet fruity notes, some mamey sapote, caramelized pumpkin, bitter almond, a touch of vanilla, green notes of aloe, some dried basil, and cheese stuffed green olives in brine. On the tongue smoke comes through, full and ashy. Mostly sweet though, flavors include agave nectar, fire roasted sweet peppers, sweet potato, but also a spicy hint of black pepper, and even a little fresh mint. The body is full and viscous, coating the mouth nicely with an almost syrupy feel. The legs in the glass are pretty nice too. The long finish is semidry with a lingering sweetness but plenty of minerals, some acetone, mango peel, licorice root or sarsaparilla, and the slightest hint of charred oak. This Tobala is definitely one of the sweetest mezclas I’ve tasted, and certainly uniquely flavored compared with Espadin.
Lot 37. Bottle 41/66. 48.49%
Cloying butterscotch overwhelms the fruity, vegetal aromas I’ve come to expect from tobala. If I search hard, though, I do find some green apple and grape soda hiding in there. Maybe some red licorice, too.
The nose translates directly onto the palate with the addition of vanilla and distant celery leaf and raw artichoke notes. It could just be this particular lot, but there’s a distracting soapiness that drags the rating down for me.
Batch CAR-CHO-001. Bottle 750. One of my favorites from MM.
The nose is dark and sweet like black plums and overripe cherries. I also get notes of oily roast chicken thighs, clay, sage, and some kind of leathery funk (think old baseball mitt).
The palate is thick and rich in the mouth. I agree with the forest honey flavors others have found. I also get mole, unsweetened chocolate, black pepper, sea foam, and a nostalgic plastic note (like a sunbaked pool toy).
I can’t stop coming back to this one and, anxious about drinking it too quickly, recently bought an extra bottle from MM’s website.
Bottle #19-5, 414. Vaguely sweet and lightly smoky on the nose. Interesting and different sweetness on the palate. Instead of vanilla or jackfruit/melon notes, this one has a sweet cream butter, almost honeysuckle sweetness and then ends with an understated smoke and distinctly tequila-ish finish. There’s a little bit of pepper punch there, but not much. This stuff is very, very mild. It’s good, but it ventures a little too far into reposado tequila qualities for my taste and I likely wont be purchasing it again. But I can certainly see how other folks might really like this corner of the mezcal world. I think it would benefit from a higher ABV, regardless.
Lote: IU0405. 43.2%
Balance of some smoke/ash and heat. Aroma is earthy, baked apple, honey. Flavor carries over the baked apple with sweet potato and dark bbq sauce. Actually not bad. Good flavor, but not much depth to it. Good starter mezcal, not overwhelmingly smokey and not much heat. Sip or mix. Good price point
I first tried the Real Minero becuela variety on their palenque early in 2021, and it blew me away more than any other variety offered. Unfortunately they hadn’t yet bottled the product. I’ve been on the lookout and finally saw it pop up as an offering from the famed San Diego liquor store Old Town Tequila, where I’ve discovered a few of my all-time favorites. I wasn’t disappointed — this easily launches into my top 10, one of the few 5 star bottles I’ve tasted.
Nose: leather, copper, nectarines and other sticky stone fruit juices
Mouth: All of the aforementioned juices, papaya, watermelon, a bit more body than your average mezcal, and so flavorful you’d think this had the actual fruit distillations like a pechuga.
After: smooth minerality, soft and clean.
DARMBE-03 batch from Old Town Tequila.
I was hitting a string of misses with the famed Vago line, and this is definitely my favorite of what I’ve had thus far — this one is full of complexity and rather drinkable despite higher than usual ABV. It’s fruit-forward but less perfumed/aromatic than other madrecuixe varieties I’ve had. Very mineral, dusty flavors that feel to me like a nice merger of Karwinskii vegetal properties with the more rugged flavors of an Americana.
September 2017 batch.
Maguey Melate has been on a tear recently! Earthy peach cobbler. Lemons. Mulch. Prickly pear. Ambrosia!
Lot 02. Bottle 66/102. 80% Wheeleri, 20% Shrevei. 49.8% ABV.
Nose: Garden hose, honeydew, oyster mushroom, fresh hay, beeswax, honeycomb, cilantro, artichoke, fireworks.
Palate: Chamomile, lavender, fresh cut grass, strawberry Runts, fireplace, pine needles, rosin for string instruments, cane sugar, barley water.
Finish: River rocks, wet gravel. Many minutes down the line, kiwi fruit and clover.
This is a desert island spirit for me. Juicy, breath-taking, complex. Wish I had five more bottles of it.
Maestro Cándido Garcia Cruz. Lot MDXCAN1505. Bottle 012/240. 50.5% ABV.
This bottle was wound so tight upon first opening that I had to toss it in the back of my cabinet for several months. A little oxidation worked wonders, though. It’s a completely different spirit now.
Nose: Yellow Starbursts, sour pie cherries, cheese danish, a florist’s shop during Easter (tulips, carnations), confectioner’s sugar, and a wisp of peanut shell.
Palate: The first sip is like striking match against my tastebuds. It’s searingly hot at first but quickly mellows as a gentle and unique flavor profile unfolds. New car smell, macadamia nuts, juicy red bell pepper, mace, oak, lanolin, and celery salt. The finish lingers on forever and tastes like a cold spring house: musky air and damp limestone.
Overall, it’s lovely, soft, and delicate. But, damn, it needs some oxidation!
Nose – The volume of pechuga fruits & spices on this is dialed right in – very welcoming. Also a bit of olive oil.
Palate – Fruity and a big ol turkey drumstick – less on the baking spices which I think many pechugas tend to over do it on. A dry, pine wood finish. A very nice pechuga. 👌
Nose – A smoky, orange Pina Colada (if there is such a delicious drink).
Palate – Orange sorbet. Lightly smoked sweet cream. Then a right angle turn in the middle – the sweet cream doesn’t so much sour but becomes quite funky (like a fine aged white cheddar) and a tad burnt – which extend to the finish and aftertaste. The flavors on this are incredibly unique (but not complex) to my palate, really good stuff!
Nose – Fresh garden pea pods. Wet soil. Vanilla. Carrot tops.
Palate – Rose water. Wet cobblestone. Heat is very balanced, a steady stream of minty heat well into the finish. Semi-sweet baking chocolate and a gentle smoke in the aftertaste.
Nose – Dr. Pepper soda. Celery. Honey.
Palate – Incredibly floral. Dark chocolate. Raspberry sorbet. Woody and a hint of licorice in the finish. Light and easy sipping.