Powered by 100% agave

Change your cover photo
Cy Bister
Change your cover photo
Sky Islander. Ectotherm appreciator.
This user account status is Approved

Banhez Espadin & Barril

May 3, 2022

Fairly typical jackfruit with an herbaceous quality. Semi-sweet sipper on the front. I’m not picking out anything unique or different from the barril in aroma nor taste. Smoke and minerality do finally make an appearance on the finish though. It’s fine. The low ABV really handicaps this one for me as being anything more than average.

Sotol Onó

Apr 24, 2022

Aroma of pine, mint, and trailside herbs. It’s quite sweet on the front, vaguely honeysuckle, jackfruit, and vanilla, but finishing very green, piney, herbal, and somewhat bitter. Very warm for 45%! I like the bite. There are definitely some nice mineral components coming through and a buttery mouthfeel. Smoke is buried somewhere in there as well, but is clearly not a goal of this one. Solid.

Desert Door Original

Feb 22, 2022

Very herbaceous, slightly sour, with asphalt. Taste is curiously underwhelming and almost nondescript other than it’s clearly a sotol. Not sure how they accomplished this! Definitely desert tires/tar, grass, with just a hint of sweetness. 80% doesnt cut it, in my opinion, and I’m not sure a higher ABV would improve this too greatly. I certainly wouldnt push a glass away if poured, but I wont be buying this again.

Oro de Coyame Sotol

Feb 22, 2022

Sweet jackfruit, vanilla, alcohol, and road tar on the nose. It does not taste as sweet as it smells though, with a nice, balanced herbaceous quality and understated smokiness. Decent burn on the finish but the flavors dissipate quicker than I’d prefer. Oh well, at $20 a bottle, this stuff is a steal.

Cráneo Espadin

Oct 14, 2021

Lot: 19-15284-CR-04
Aroma is lovely, bright jackfruit and desert asphalt roads. There’s definitely some vanilla, chaparral herbs, and more than a little campfire. Taste is on the sweet side, with nice peppery notes and a significant minerality comes into play that wasn’t there on the aroma. But on the finish, it all just sort of drops away and crashes, curiously. That might sound unpleasant or like a deal-breaker, but it really isn’t, and I think it’s just a shortcoming of the ABV. It’s still a nice sipper. If the ABV were about 5-7% more, this could be exceptional.

Sotol Por Siempre

Sep 11, 2021

Earth, earth, and then some more earth. Rainy cement, modeling clay, and random trail-side leaves crushed by hand as you walk up a trail. Taste is heavy black pepper spice with an ever so subtle hint of sweet jackfruit, and those unidentified herbal notes permeate throughout. Almost minty though. Very, very interesting.

Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal

Sep 6, 2021

Disclaimer: yes, I know this is a liqueur. Well on the nose, this is absolutely lovely. All sorts of sweet fragrances, vanilla to fruit to bubblegum and just a hint of ethanol and maybe some mezcal smoke. Taste is 150% sweet. There’s candied agave and jackfruit in there, but also breakfast cereal marshmallows and circus peanuts, and I don’t level such accusations frivolously. And yet on the finish it remains remarkably thin, with just some very faint whispers of any mezcal smoke, so it could almost be nice. This might be shockingly good if it were 50-55% ABV. But at 40%, it’s a waste of $35 for me – I have no mixes in my repertoire to make this shine. Granted, I can drink and appreciate almost anything. As a mixer – maybe, I’d love to be surprised. As an aperitif/dessert drink, it could have its moments.

Rancho Tepúa Bacanora Blanco

Aug 30, 2021

Nose is very mineral/wood-heavy, modeling clay with just some subtle hints of banana/jackfruit. Taste is very mineral and somewhat salty on the front, and then a balanced buttery sweetness, finishing with a peppery, almost minty heat that borders on some ashy tones. Really interesting. My first bacanora and I can guarantee you I’ll be on the lookout for more.

Alipus Santa Ana

Aug 8, 2021

SAR101/20. Very green and sweet on the nose; slightly mineral with grass, juniper, vanilla, with some undertones of a typical mezcal smoke. Definitely sweet yet understated on the front, with a very balanced combination of smoke and pepper on the finish. And some nice heat thanks to that 47.5% ABV. As the sips go on, distinctly semi-sweet dark chocolate notes are growing and pairing up with the vanilla sweetness. Interesting, and worth the price.

Xicaru Reposado

Aug 2, 2021

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.

Cruz de Fuego Espadin

Jul 25, 2021

Lot ES03-20. 2020.
Very forward aroma of vanilla followed by burnt rubber and some unidentifiable botanicals. Taste is mildly briney and mineral watery at the front, followed by a sigificant spike of vanilla, jackfruit, and bubblegum before finishing off with the addition of some peppery heat and a medium smokey finish. It’s interesting to me how the sweet notes intermingle equally with the peppery smoke throughout the finish instead of just dropping off midway as many do. As the sips mount, the wet stone is coming through more and more. This is downright pleasant.

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 Cupreata – Tequilana

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 García López

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.

Back to top