Read the latest tasting notes posted on Mezcal Reviews.
Lot SLR011/22 BOT 648/1950 47.5% Aromas out of the bottle or pretty mellow with some salinity and some warm green aromas and of course the typical very simple alcohol. Flavors are also nice and mellow on this one with some saltiness very tangy mouth puckering flavors light smoke that integrates very well and finishes with a nice mouth coating smokey tartness
Very earthy, leathery with touches of marmalade and smoke. Has almost a bbq flavor to it. The low abv (just like the mai) keeps the flavors in check somewhat. Relatively balanced by comparison. If you like woody, smoky, leathery flavors while still having a bit of other things – this one is for you. Personally was glad to try this one, but buy the Mai (for those deciding between the two this is on the dusty/earthy side and that is on the piney/aloe side).
Like a refreshing wave of aloe mixed with cheese, pine, olives, and fishead soup. Perfumed like a tagine mixed with tree sap. The low abv helps keep the flavors in check where they don’t overwhelm, but instead gently passes over the tongue creating a wild tasting experience. Try to go through it on the quicker side (or use nitrogen to keep oxygen from entering) – it is one of the very few bottles of agave spirit that I found the bottle degrading in flavor rather than opening up over time.
If you are deciding between this and the masparillo – the masparillo is more on the earthier side this is on the vegetal side. To me both very good, but I can see certain flavor palettes favoring one depending.
(Two bottles one in 2016 and one in 2022)
This is a very underrated line from La Venenosa in my opinion – especially considering how expensive Partida’s releases are on Chacolo. That said, this is delicious. Sour citrus, lactic fruit flavors mixed with a touch of deep earthiness (like pig blood, iron, or chocolate?). One bottle I had was bit more fruity with “funk” the second bottle I had was more fruit forward and balanced. I preferred that first bottle, but both were delicious.
Lot 34 (tasted in 2022)
Glad to have grabbed a bottle of this. Unlike any other Cenizo I’ve tried. Like Tosba’s tep, this has quite a lot of fruit flavors in a way that is unexpected – pineapple, orange, mango. In addition though, it has these almost tutti frutti notes like a classic bubblegum. All of this balances out with just a hint of salinity and smoke. This feels off-the wall in a zany/good way. Worth a try if you can find it.
Lot 31 (notes from a bottle in 2021)
Very tasty, well balanced. On the sweet/fruity side with just a hint of white smoke, but a bit light compared to other Espadins. Has a beautiful mouth coat/texture that is more unusual.
For the price point, I think this is one of the best Espadins on the market – half a star is added for that extremely reasonable price (these days in my area, 40% less than buying a del maguey chichicapa!).
Lot 27 (notes from tasting in 2018)
Delicious Pechuga. While a bit too much on the meaty/gamey soup flavor for my taste, complex with just enough green apple, pepper, and chocolate complementing that meat flavor. This is one of those that you can leave in your glass and watch dramatically change every few minutes emphasizing a different note, a great sipper for an evening.
Lot 17/Lot 18 (owned both bottles, review is a compilation of them)
One of my all time favorites and highly unusual for a tep. On the nose you would think this is a pretty typical tep, the usual greenery/fern/pepper smells. On the palate though you get a dark explosion of tamarind, black current mixed with a touch of pepper and a kiss of funkiness (think more like a rhum agricole/clairin ester rotting fruit funkiness, not a racailla lactic funkiness). Lot 17 is a little more veggie/pepper forward and 18 is more fruit forward. Both amazing.
Lot 23 (notes from 2022)
This has big, powerful, brash flavors. Surprised to see many folks on here mentioning fruitiness with this batch. While I do indeed taste pineapple, and perhaps a touch of banana leaf, the primary notes to me are on the darker/earthier side of Mezcal – more in the realm of an arroqueño with dirt, leather, and smoke. A bottle worth trying, but I wouldn’t go out to buy a bottle personally. Overall the balance is there with a thick liquid that coats the glass.
ARMLT-03 (tasted in 2021)
Very big Real Minero fan typically. Cool idea in concept, but to me an overly peanut/nutty flavor takes over the entire palate and becomes the primary taste, with hints of agave, straw, and a touch of fruit in the backdrop. I’ll be honest in that I don’t really taste the usual notes that I’d expect in either a largo or a tobala.
It would be 3.5 stars, but at this price point there are so many spectacular bottles.
RMP-01 (tasted in 2017)
I wish I had bought two of these, such a beautiful bottle. The liquid is thick, oily, sticky, with texture like the beads of fat when making a stew. The mouth feel is more extreme in that way than any other Pechuga I’ve tried. Somehow has the delicate flavors of pepper/clove mixed with a touch of fruity sweetness, mixed with the meaty savoriness of the chicken. In a blind taste test of 6 quality pechugas (lalo’s, this, el jolgorio, tosba, etc..) this was the crowd favorite by far.
Later batches I’ve had have also been consistently excellent and balanced, I’d say that first lot was my favorite though. The one piece of advice I have to those buying, this is one that is best to open up for a few months.
RMB-02 (notes from 2016)
Typically I don’t like bold style flavors, but this is a decent balance. Spicy, earthy, a touch of sweetness, excellent bottle. It only got better overtime bringing out chocolate notes and salinity – reminded me of pig blood in the best way possible.
RMB-04 (notes from 2018)
Very different bottle, a note that while the other bottle I owned, this I just tasted once. On the acidic side, completely out of whack by comparison. You do get the karwinskii notes (dry lavender, jasmine, etc…), but it feels schemized between that and acid.
As something to use in mixed drinks this is 3 stars (there are better things at this price point for mixed drinks, but this is so widely available that you can’t go wrong with it in that context). Obviously as a sipper, this would be much less, but that isn’t what it is meant for. Smoky, slight citrus, slight leather and than a smoke bomb. Great to pair with grapefruit in something like a paloma.
SCM 141 (notes from 2019)
I must have had a very different bottle than is on here. While I generally don’t love arroqueño, the bottle I tried tasted like some balanced smokiness, a touch of fruit, but with a heavy taste of chemical/acetone. It wasn’t pleasant, and wasn’t typical for Del Maguey bottles I’ve tried by any means. Be careful with this batch number I suppose.
LOT: JAB-182 (tasted in 2018)
Has the typical Jabali lawn mower/grass note in taste with a bit of woodiness, green bell pepper, and citrus. Overall a bit thin, but still quite tasty.
One of the better Del Maguey releases but if you want to try a Jabali that’s relatively easy to find in stores and a similar price point, I’d grab a Rey Campero over this any day. Still tasty in its own right though.
Tried at a friend’s next to a normal Chichicapa. This is a really good bottle! I think it is a significant step up from the regular Chichicapa plus a pretty great story. After aging for that long, the smoke has dissipated leaving a delicious sour plum/tamarind flavor that I haven’t tasted in a Chichicapa before. It isn’t a small note either, it becomes slightly more prominent than the vanilla/oak. As a whole, if you like the balance of the regular you may find this version a bit too fruity for your taste, but I love it. At the price point of $180, I would not buy it however.
TOP-151 (review from going through a bottle in 2017)
A relatively well balanced/smooth tobala. While tasty, no flavor in particular sticks out (has the requisite fruitiness, a bit of an oak/lactic taste, a touch of mineral, etc…). It is solid and well balanced, but there is a lot of excellent stuff in the ~110-120 price range. If slightly cheaper it would be a 4 star bottle.
If you are going to buy a Del Maguey release, this is personally my absolute favorite. It is also one of my favorite tobalas in a fruity style. Holds up against many other premium bottles even now. Have had 3 bottles of this over the years, 2 from PUE-161 (the original run without Pizorra) and one from a later batch with the pizorra.
An overwhelming wave of thick, syrupy liquid with notes of mango, papaya, flowers, and rain. When you first open a bottle, there is just a hint of tamarind/citrus/vinegar that goes away the longer keep the bottle longer open, transforming into a floral/lilac note overtime. The version without the pizorra is slightly fruitier, the version with it is ever so slightly drier/thinner in texture – both are exceptional though. What really stands out to me is the finish which lingers on the tongue for many minutes.
PAP-173 (tasted in 2017):
A solid release from Del Maguey, though not my flavor profile personally. Flavor wise, think a cigar bar style decor with lingering sour fruit leather taste following. Overall well balanced, towards the arroqueño, mexicano, sierra negra side – if you like those flavors you’ll love this. You can taste the mineral content from the clay distillation here. Tasty well balanced bottle.
I haven’t tasted this in a few years, but have notes from two batches below (don’t have batch numbers unfortunately). Folks mention that this is a great intro bottle of Mezcal – I think there are better bottles out there as an intro for better prices, but do recognize availability makes this accessible.
2014 – On the smokier bbq side, with just a touch of sweetness and citrus at the tail end. Overall smoke is the primary note. Viscous and sticky in the glass.
2021 – First time trying in many years, this batch is significantly sweeter, lighter, and thinner. Tastier flavor profile as a whole.