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Becoming the conduit to get black folks on board with this whole mezcal thing.
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La Luna Ponche Navideño

Jun 29, 2023

Batch #114
Nose: apples, cider, guava, brown sugar, tepache, light cheese; mi espos got raisins and cinnamon as well.

Palate: vanilla, nutty, slightly piney, but mostly just bright, sweet and round. I’m left with a mouth full of earth, clay, and a touch of pear when it’s all said and done.

Really pleasant bottle. Nothing jumps out as the star but rather a cohesive sipping experience. Definitely look for this if you’re a fan of a sweet and warm pour.

La Venenosa Puntas

Jun 29, 2023

Batch #21

Nose: white grapes, red berries, fruity pebbles, slight carmel, pear

Palate: strawberries and cream, fruity pebbles, slight minerality, green grapes; mild heat but the mouthfeel is full and rich. Snappy finish featuring herbs and cheese, mostly getting dry green apples after the vapors dissipate.

I’m a HUGE fan of this bottle, super delicate, soft on the palate in spite of the ABV. I’ll probably be on the lookout for another bottle so I can compare but man this stuff is incredible.

Real Minero Arroqueño

Jun 29, 2023

Nose: salty mineral, coffee grounds, banana, heavy cream,

Palate: very mineral, slight coffee grounds, oak, there’s a slight fishy taste as well ; high heat but after the vapors dissipate you get honey, molasses, unripe pear, and raisins for a while

I want to give this bottle a higher score; it’s been opening up on my back bar for 2 or 3 months but when I decide to see if the flavors have developed I still get that clay minerality from production. It definitely opens up after you pour it and warm it up but the flavors are so subtle I think it will be a hard sell for the average consumer especially for the price point.

Maguey Melate Inaequidens – Raul Pedraza Padilla

Jun 29, 2023

Nose: mossy, a little musty/funky, vegetal, grass, cheese, slightly cooling, some mango, honey, and other fruit sweetness cuts through the dense vegetation but I can’t put my finger on it.. After I finish my glass there’s a meaty, jerky aroma as well as bay leaves left behind for long long time.

Palate: at first sip the flavors reminded me of barbicide and aftershave (though it may be that tennis ball flavor Rakhal was recalling), fresh cut grass, white pepper, soft cheese, mineral, cream cheese, ; slightly bitter, thick full body, no heat, but rather… Bright acidity? It tickles my palate rather than burns it. After the vapors dissipate I’m left with a grassy mineral taste for a good while.

I’m a real big fan of how bright, funky and weird this one is. I keep going back for more because I have never tasted anything like this and I lack the words to accurately describe how all these flavors and aromas meld together. I read the debrief before tasting so I wonder if I’m actually tasting that wet vegetation or if it’s the power of suggestion…

La Venenosa Los Gigantes

Jun 24, 2023

Batch #2

Nose: Sweet, tannic red wine, fatty deli meat, stuffed bell pepper, vinegary hot sauce, cinnamon rolls,

Palate: wet vegetation, collard greens, popcorn ; medium-full body, mild heat, slight bitterness. I’m left with stuffed bell pepper long after the vapors dissipate

Really love this bottle. Every time I revisit I get a couple new notes but it keeps that funky bell pepper nose every time. I’ve been hunting down batch #1 so I’ll update y’all on what I get once I’m able to snag one.

Carta de Amor Tobala

Jun 23, 2023

Only tasted a half ounce alongside Sotoleros Lechuguilla but I had to get this off my chest before I forgot. Tempted to go back for a full ounce later tonight and update based on what else I get

Carta De Amor Tobala Erasto Martinez (#658/T-01)

Nose: MAD RED VINES, green apples, some olive brine

Palate: fruit and cheese, olive brine, green apple; soft, round body though quite bitter.

Very interesting on the nose but once I got red licorice I couldn’t dig much past that. Interesting seeing as how it has the same NOM as Dos Hombres’ Tobala? I’d love to hear someone compare the two labels if possible.

5 Sentidos Ensamble de 7 Plantas

Jun 15, 2023

I first sampled this one alongside the 4 Plantas and Espadin Capon. Among the three this one was my least favorite. The bottle’s been opening up for a few months so I decided to revisit:

5 Sentidos 7 Plantas (EN7P 05-21):
Nose: cayenne, candied fruit, bubblegum, watermelon

Palate: bubblegum, salty cheese and fruit salad, cinnamon; if I’m being honest where this shines best is in the finish, long after the vapors dissipate. It’s extremely complex: whipped cream, wet soil, nuts, fresh fruit, spearmint, dried lavender. Ate some tortilla chips a little while after now I’m getting canned peaches. Yum.

Honestly really glad I decided to revisit this bottle. Wasn’t blown away by it at first and I’m thinking that’s because I first had it in a flight. We all know mezcales are best enjoyed slowly but because that finish is the star, it feels like this one in particular demands your time. I was getting unique notes a good 30 minutes after I finished my glass so if you encounter this in the wild, maybe throw on some headphones and get ready to think for a while.

NETA Pulquero – Primitivo Vásquez

Jun 12, 2023

NETA Pulquero Primitivo Vasquez Vasquez

Nose: unripe pear, white and pink flowers, butter, clean mineral,

Palate: mineral, slight vegetal, banana, unripe green apple, soft cheese, baking spice? I’m thinking cinnamon and clove

It’s been a little while since I first wrote the review, I’ve been letting it open up and I think this about as far as it’s gonna develop.
Overall it’s incredibly soft and delicate, both on palate and on the nose. Very bright and floral with a small touch of sweetness. Not bad I just wish it was a little more expressive. If you’re able to catch this in the wild definitely give it a shot

NETA Barril + Mexicanito – Hermógenes Vasquez

Jun 12, 2023

NETA Barril y Mexicanito Hermogenes Garcia Vasquez & Jorge Vasquez Aquino (ENSJV2011)

Nose: OK, cracked opened the bottle, rubbed on my hands and… it smells like pizza: heavy marinara sauce, breading and cheese… In glass it smells like rosemary, oregano, lots of fresh herbs. Slightly sweet and floral, reminiscent of licorice root and lavender. Some fruit and bubblegum nestled deep in there as well. Mostly hella herbaceous though. After finishing my glass, rose petals linger for a long while.

Palate: slightly cheesy, mineral rich clay, still very herbaceous but with a heavy menthol cooling sensation on the back end. Root beer, cured meat; full body, slight bitterness and a slight heat but it’s pleasant. as the vapors dissipate you get salt water, sweet mint and soil.

Because it was made during cooler weather, close to the rainy season, less yield is to be expected but I’d say it’s worth it given the unique flavors presented. If you’re able to spot this batch in the wild please pounce on it. You will not regret it because of how interesting, unique and complex the flavors presented are.

5 Sentidos Ensamble de 4 Plantas

Jun 12, 2023

Tasted alongside the 7 Plantas (EN7P 05-21) as well as the Espadin Capon (CAP 08-21a). During the tasting this one blew the other pours clean out of the water.

5 Sentidos 4 Plantas Javier Vasquez Lucas (EN4PBG 02-22):

Nose: Orange peel oil, menthol, floral, nickel, banana, mint, and a sort of minerally bubblegum I associate with bicuixe ensambles.

Palate: I think the cucharillo comes through as briny peat, wet ash and earth. I also get mint, banana, black licorice, menthol. As the vapors dissipate I’m left with a pleasant combination of mineral, soil, mint, sweet tobacco. Little heat.

Super layered and cohesive experience. When you put it to your nose it actively goes from sweet banana, to a super salty minerally peat, then washes all that away with a really nice warm blanket of smoke and takes it back to the top with bubblegum. The experience is mirrored on the palate which I really enjoy. This along with the 7 Plantas are some of my favorite ensambles to date.

Derrumbes Tamaulipas

May 31, 2023

Nose: slight sweetness, maybe pear? Crazy peppers, bell and cayenne, kinda funky like blue cheese and also citrus

Palate: the nose carries over to the palate severely. Tastes like blue cheese and lemon zest. Slight heat for a 47% but it’s not overbearing. Inviting and complex, I like this quite a bit.

Pizcadores Bacanora

May 31, 2023

Not mad at this at all. Best words I can use to describe this are rustic. Smells and tastes like dusty deli meat. Super approachable and soft on the palate. Great entry level Bacanora for anyone who wants to know where to start.

Contraluz Cristalino

May 31, 2023

If all you care about is getting fucked up fast this is probably for you because it just tastes and feels like water but if you appreciate a sipper or anything agave spirits save yourself the brainpower. Was offered some so I tried it and man, I just don’t get why someone would do this. I only give this to people as a freebie when I want to show them what a terrible destilado tastes like. Thin, flat, flavorless aside from a metallic water taste. I actually let it sit in my glass for a while thinking it would open up and it actually just got flat believe it or not.
TOTC 2022 Casa Lumbre came down and threw a rooftop bash to celebrate their bringing this to our market and they were literally shooting this stuff out of water guns into people’s mouths. Do with that information what you will.

Montelobos Tobala

May 31, 2023

Nose: Lime, peppers, river rocks

Palate: slight cheese, hella vegetal, mineral, thick blanket of smoke. Medium body, short finish. After the vapors dissipate it leaves a really nice spring water taste.
Honestly not bad. Liking it more than I thought I would actually. Having it next to the pechuga and it’s definitely my preferred of the two.

Miel de Tierra Salmiana

May 31, 2023

Nose: Green peppers, vegetal, some sweetness

Palate: green grape skins, grass, a little funk peppers; slight bitterness

Good beginner mezcal, the one I pull down for folks who think they don’t like mezcal. Bright and clean and approachable with interesting character. Business seems kinda shady though lol

Maguey Melate Ensamble 4 – Luis Velasco

May 31, 2023

Nose: fresh fruit, hella oaky, brown sugar, maple syrup

Palate: funky, herbaceous, salty, woody; light briny smoke on the long finish

Maguey Melate Ensamble 3 – Luis Velasco

May 31, 2023

Nose: funky fruit, sweet and floral

Palate: cheese, grass, salted caramel

Maguey Melate Ensamble 2 – Luis Velasco

May 31, 2023

Nose: graham crackers, sour cream, wheat and rye, floral, baby powder, lemons
Palate: vegetal, mineral, hella cucumber, extremely cheesy and funky, black pepper

Maguey Melate Ensamble 1 – Luis Velasco

May 31, 2023

Nose: green and vegetal, slight pepper, vinegar. Sweet, like maple syrup
Palate: charred peppers, butter, spicy cured meats; long finish, insanely soft, as the vapors dissipate I’m left with an almost white grape flavor.

La Luna Chino

May 31, 2023

Nose: Cotton candy, carmel, brown butter,
Palate: heavy pine resin, grapes, vanilla, carmel. Short finish, lots of heat. Blended so that no one note takes center stage but rather a medley of flavors you have to take the time and sift through. You’re left with a nice warm smoke on the palate long after other flavors subside.

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