Edition 3 / LOT DVCES-19 / bottle 880 of 2080.
Had high expectations given reviews and the very $$$$ price for a 375ml bottle. Sadly it never really did it for me. It’s interesting. Just not “OMG gotta buy more” for me. As at least one other person has said, never would have pegged this as an espadin if it didn’t say so on the bottle. Not a lot on the nose but first taste is massively fruity, and in fact some kind of tropical fruit that I can’t quite identify. Not hot, not smoky. Short finish. Mouthfeel seemed a little thin to me. Worth trying as it’s quite different and very interesting, but for me personally, not my jam.
UPDATED REVIEW LATE NOV 23:
What a difference a month makes. And maybe some air. The cork this bottle came with broke on its first outing so it’s been sitting there with an impromptu seal of aluminum foil. Decided to pull it off the shelf and give it another go. All that rancid brine flavor has dissipated and it’s now a decent tasting mezcal. IDK if it’s a 4 star plus mezcal, but it is, thank goodness, now pleasantly drinkable; definitely 3 stars. Still curious if it was a bad bottle, bad batch or just that this is normal and it needed time. Greatly relieved.
ORIGINAL REVIEW MID OCT 23:
The nastiest > $100 mezcal I’ve ever had. Absolutely gutted I have a bottle of this sitting on the shelf. I can’t even imagine you could hide the foulness in a cocktail.
Given the other reviews being so positive I can only assume that 1) this is just not even remotely close to my jam 2) it’s a very bad no good batch (DRME-12) or 3) something bizarre about this bottle. It’s like salt and vinegar chips mashed up with sour olive brine, a hospital supply room, burnt rubber and god knows what other abominations. Absolutely rank. Bitterly disappointed.
Lot SJR106/22. Fiercely hot and peppery when I first opened the bottle, really not enjoyable at that time. But a month or so later it’s mellowed. Still hot — alcohol burn and peppery spice — but now I can taste other things too. There’s a caramelized sugar aroma and taste, some smoke, and then a little savory to balance it out. All in all it’s pretty pleasant to sip considering its affordable price point. Not complex, not a long finish, but very good value I’d say.
Insanely delicious. Delightful interplay of sweetness, savory astringency and deep, complex flavor. Been on a tepeztate foray lately and drank a flight of Por Lo Bueno, Cuentacuentos (“Serafin”) and this one evening. All are good, but this is head and shoulders above the other two for me. (FWIW the ranking would be Vago > Cuentacuentos > Por Lo Bueno). Pretty amazing how this is 51.6% ABV and yet it’s silky smooth. Looks like this might be a Colorado only release, but if you can score a bottle you will not be disappointed.
Batch/Lote: 01, bottle 540 of 724.
Pretty nice tepextate. A nice light, sweet, fruity nose that immediately made me want to taste it. On the palette it doesn’t disappoint — fruits, caramelized sugar, a balancing hint of earthy cellar and smoke. Short finish though: it tastes delicious and then it’s gone, it doesn’t linger for me.
Drank this solo one time and then alongside the Cuentacuentos Tep from Maximiliano “Serafín” García Gerónimo. The “Serafin”, despite being quite a bit less $$, was giving this a serious run for its money, possibly even besting it if you like a sweeter note.
Lot YJ05-21. Found this in a tall slender 375ml bottle which looks great on the shelf but unlikely to last long. I don’t get a ton on the nose for this, but flavor-wise it delivers earthy, vegetal and herbal with a fairly long, savory finish. A nice minerality with a dry mouthfeel.
By itself I don’t know that I find it that exciting, and I generally like a little more sweetness. But when I drank this and a Vago tepeztate back to back they seemed to compliment each other really nicely and it seemed more enjoyable.
Didn’t like this too much when I first opened the bottle — seemed all smoke and savory notes with no balancing sweetness. Left alone for a while and now tastes great. It’s still not that sweet, and it’s still pretty smoky. But it’s complex and interesting with many flavor notes in each sip. A seaside tang, vegetal, wet slate, bitter green bell pepper and others. Longer finish. Would buy more.
Batch MGG-16. Very pleasant espadin, improved with a little time / exposure to air. Bit of a short finish but everything else — nose, initial flavor notes and mouthfeel are great.
Batch MGG-21. I haven’t had a ton of tepeztate mezcals, but I’ve had a few, some 2x the price of this, which at $60 left me skeptical would be much good. But it was enthusiastically recommended and I am glad I took that advice. It’s startlingly delicious — really enjoyable balance of sweet and vegetal, fruit and mineral notes.
Was gifted a third of a bottle — which is always nice 🙂 Not sure I’d go out and buy one of my own though. Tastes too much like regular tequila for me. Within the same flight I also tried Siembra Azul tequila which, ironically was more mezcal-like and interesting than this. Going to try it in a marg or paloma, which might be where it shines.
Fruity with a nice sweet/mineral balance. Not too hot or smoky but still fairly assertive. Good value for money.
Interesting and likeable, especially at ~$50/bottle. Nose and flavor are both quite punchy and different for me. Am reminded of Lagrimas de Dolores Marsparillo which is almost 3x the price. It’s not in the same league as that, sadly, but it is a lot of flavor.
Tio Felix. Batch SMS002F/20
Big fan of clay distilled mezcals. Upon initially opening the bottle it was all sharpie pen aromas. Once that calmed down though this was fantastic. Lovely balance between sweet, earthy, mineral, smoky and vegetal notes. Could easily drink too much. Excellent value IMO.
Batch SN11-19. Not my thing I guess. On the nose and palate I get salt, iodine, seaweed. Savory and kinda funky. Needs more sweetness for me. Nice mouthfeel and there is complexity here, I just prefer more fruit, sweetness etc.
UPDATE: some time later… I guess it needed some oxygen. After your bottle had been open a few days it tasted *much* better. Upgrading to 4 stars.
Lot DS011-PC from July 2022
Only my second pechuga (the other being the Erstwhile Bacon Pechuga). I like this a lot better. The Erstwhile seemed to really have an overly rich note like when cooking something in rendered bacon and you leave too much in the pan.
This is cleaner, fruitier and much more drinkable for me. It’s not super complex but it’s not boring but any stretch of the imagination. There’s some sweetness and some heat but it’s nicely balanced.
Disappointed. Vago got me into mezcal but this is underwhelming. Hot, bitter, thin. Hoping the bottle will improve with time, otherwise it’s going to make some expensive cocktails.
Lot AR470619, bottle 38/144.
Sweet nose. Taste is soft, mellow, refined and elegant. Sweet like medjool dates and toffee. Maybe a hint of Lay’s BBQ chips. No obvious alcohol burn. Negligible smokiness.
I like more punch and complexity most of the time but for something different this is excellent.
Hot and sweet and very tasty. Not sure I could manage too much in one sitting due to the sweetness — maybe that’s a good thing 😊
Lot 4, April 2018, bottle 117 of 800.
This one is different. Before tasting I’d read there was mint. But I didn’t imagine it would be too pronounced; mint is there in Del Maguey’s Chichicapa but I always found that subtle. But here, there is definitely mint, especially when the bottle is first opened.
It wasn’t until the third or fourth tasting that I got my brain dialed in to the mint and started to enjoy this one. But once there, it’s really rather excellent. Previously I’d had it alongside other agave spirits but I think it needs to be drunk solo to really get properly acclimated. And it’s not just mint — there’s a lot more going on. Herbal, sweet, a lovely rich mouthfeel. Definitely a cool agave spirit to have in the collection.
Lot 60, bottle 454.
Tropical fruits and vanilla for me on the nose and palate, some sweetness. I don’t get a lot of smoke or spice. Nice mouthfeel, viscous and soft. An elegant and very drinkable mezcal. I like it a lot. Would buy again.