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Cy Bister
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Sky Islander. Ectotherm appreciator.
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Xicaru Silver 102

Mar 21, 2021

Well, I said in my review of the regular Xicaru Silver that perhaps a higher ABV would push the rating. So here we are.

Much more road tar and jackfruit on the nose this time. Taste is significantly sweeter, though not necessarily more complex, and the rubber smoke is more pronounced. I don’t find Xicaru’s smoke profile offensive as many of the reviewers here do – in fact, I dig it. But overall, it’s still a weirdly bland mezcal, even with the higher ABV.

Montelobos Espadin

Dec 23, 2020

Jack-fruit sweetness mixed with an understated but distinctly iodine smoke on the nose – and just a touch of vanilla. Taste is unexpectedly non-sweet by comparison, earthy and peppery, with an almost antiseptic smoke note and a nice spicy warmth on the finish. There are definitely some sweeter vanilla and vaguely fruity notes in the mix but they are mostly hiding in the background. They might become more prominent on subsequent tastings, but for now this is only another mid-level mezcal to me.

La Luna Ensamble

Sep 7, 2020

Lote 15; ABV 45.12

Nose of bubblegum, plastic/rrubber, and some undetermined green herbal notes. Wow, this is by far the woodiest mezcal I’ve tried yet. Flavors of oak dominate along with peppery spices and a very slight campfire smoke, finishing with a very dry yet semi-sweet cupreata undertone. So dry. The ABV becomes apparent on the finish, a satisfying warmth. It’s good, and if you like stuff on the drier side of the mezcal spectrum, this may be for you. But for my tastes, this is not nearly as flavorful nor as enjoyable as their Cupreata.

Brusco Espadin

Jul 3, 2020

Aroma of wet stones, modeling clay, and some fairly typical espadin herbaceous notes. Taste is decidedly on the drier side of espadins, only moderately sweet, with relatively little smoke on the palate compared to some others in the same style. Some might find that disagreeable, but I personally appreciate this flavor profile – I don’t always need/want the higher sweet or smoke. And the alcohol heat is just about right with a nice peppery spice kick. It’s a solid, if maybe unspectacular product that certainly does no disservice to the style. Now the bottle is clearly an attempt to commercially exploit the Aceves family, and I have no idea how they feel about it, so I can’t/won’t comment on that other than to say it’s a cool looking bottle and worth picking up and trying.

Marca Negra Espadin

Jun 14, 2020

Alcohol, sweet fruit and flowers on the nose as well as herbaceous notes and slight campfire. Taste is a nice complex sweet – cantaloupe, jack-fruit, and dates mix with vanilla. The finish is hot and spicy/peppery with understated (but definitely there) minerality. It’s quite nice.

Vago Elote – Aquilino

Jun 8, 2020

Nose is really sweet; ethanol, mineral spirits, nail-polish remover. Tastes of overripe cantaloupe, sweet corn, and bubble gum mingle nicely with minerality and roasty notes. Finish is ethanol hot but not as peppery as some lower ABV mezcals. Overall, the high ABV is not particularly apparent to me with this one. It’s overpriced for what it is, and I’ve definitely had brands I’ve liked as much or more for 20$ less. But that’s all the complaint I can muster. It’s quite nice.

Monte Alban Mezcal Con Gusano

Jun 4, 2020

Aroma of cheap, sweet tequila. Taste is of cheap, sweet tequila, with strange prominent cinnamon roll notes, yet somehow managing to be watery and bland at the same time. And all of that with the funk of a cheap Jamaican pot rum. For those who are truly open to tasting and deciphering liquors of all styles and sources, it’s actually sort of an interesting little brew. I wouldn’t call it unpleasant, unless you foolishly overspent on it. But for those hoping for a budget mezcal you will be severely disappointed – this is just a cheap novelty tequila-flavored liquor of some sort – Jose Cuervo gold poured over cinnamon rolls. So rating it as a general liquor – 2 stars. As a mezcal, .5.

Mina Real Blanco

May 31, 2020

Herbaceous with a hint of smoke and some vaguely sweet floral notes. The first taste I had of this was surprisingly smokey, but I haven’t gotten that since in subsequent tastings and have to think it was a fluke of food/flavor combos. This has some nice sweet components to it – vanilla, agave nectar, fig, hints of jackfruit – all followed by a fairly spicy cayenne finish. It’s a little above average, and certainly worth the price.

Xicaru Silver

May 24, 2020

Ethanol, light smoke, and some fruit notes. Very mild and thin, with some mild fruit, faint vanilla sweetness, and a nice ashy finish. Certainly nothing offensive on the nose or the taste but it is definitely on the blander side of mezcals I’ve tried. This could use a higher ABV to give it a bit more bite. It’s just fine as a budget sipper.

La Luna Cupreata

May 21, 2020

Lovely. Jack-fruit and overripe cantaloupe on the nose. Very sweet taste, the jack-fruit/juicyfruit gum is far more pleasant than it sounds and essentially dominates. There are some very faint peppery/spicy notes that manifest in the back of the mouth/throat and while I would say there’s no real smokey taste , after several sips there is a distinctly ashy aftertaste that begins to accumulate. I like this a lot.

Del Maguey VIDA

May 17, 2020

Earthy, herbal and slightly artificial on the nose – like an air freshener or hand sanitizer whose scent you just can’t quite nail down. Maybe a touch of new car upholstery in there. But upon tasting there’s some unidentified sweet fruits, vanilla, fresh bell pepper, and some peppery smoke in there. As for the rest of the not-so-flattering reviews here – clearly familiarity breeds contempt. This is downright pleasant, even if it isn’t outstanding.

Agave de Cortes Joven

May 16, 2020

Not much going on aroma-wise, very mild river stone and agave. Taste is quite mild with a decent spicy heat on the finish. Hard to really separate out any flavors, though it’s definitely a pleasant drink. Best summed up as a decent semi-sweet, non-smoky mescal. Nothing more, nothing less.

Los Javis Espadin

May 14, 2020

Pleasant and mild – herbs, cucumber, and vaguely floral notes on the nose. Tastes rather thin and dry, with only a hint of sweetness, but finishes with a sudden peppery heat on the back of the throat that lingers for a while afterward. There is some smoke, but it’s buried pretty far back in the mix. I won’t call it unbalanced by any means, I certainly enjoy it. But those loving sweeter components and/or smoke, like me, will not find either in any abundance here.

Bozal Ensamble

May 11, 2020

Nose is understated; earth and wet stone dominate with hints of roasted chili, cucumber, and herbs. Taste is surprisingly sweet and mineral which was unexpected given the nose. Vanilla, roasted agave, and maybe a hint of cinnamon with a subtle but still satisfying smoky finish. Amazingly not very hot at all given the 47% ABV. Fairly salty. This is quite good.

Sombra Joven

May 11, 2020

Creosote, smoke, and sweet flowers/honeysuckle on the nose. Nice heat, attention-getting. Desert highway road tar, pepper, campfires, and vanilla with the road tar/smoke lingering long after the vanilla fades away. Completely sippable neat if you’re in the mood for it. Otherwise, I’m sure it’s great as a mixer but I won’t be doing that!

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