Tons of fruit aroma uncorking the bottle and pouring: banana, pear, mango, peach. First taste I get some black licorice and more of that fruit. Made me think of Sweet Tarts candies. This isn’t particularly sweet though and it’s got an astringent quality leading to a dry finish. I don’t have any previous experience with pechuga. I was expecting meat, broth, and umami type of flavors, but there’s none of that. Main impression is a really good espadin with some pretty wild fruit going on.
Second night with this one and still trying to unravel it: white vinegar, artichoke, green olive brine, peppercorns, bell pepper, that bitter herb flavor you find in some sotol, very little ethanol bite or burn (surprisingly for 50% ABV), a slowly fading finish, only slightly sweet, that makes you want to come back for another sip. Intriguing and enjoyable. Looking forward to reading other reviews because I’m not the best at describing these things.
Lot No. 01319. Found this a little harsh and uninteresting at first. Came back to it after the bottle had been open a few weeks to discover it much improved. A little sweet, a little salty, mostly clean and cool type flavors, green bell pepper and jalapeño, mild mint, bitter herbs. Really not bad at all, especially when price is factored in. Guess it just needed some air.
Lot No. 03E, 42% ABV. A little smoke and soft rubber on the nose, less so on the palate. Clean and sweet, slightly minty, some fresh cracked peppercorn. Feels slippery on the tongue. Easy enough to sip, if not super interesting. Reminds me of Mezcal Union Uno but a little sweeter.
Lot No. UV09/18, Bottle No. 725/1344. Been looking forward to this one for a while as availability is somewhat spotty in my area. Floral aroma, with jalapeño and green bell pepper riding on clean ethanol vapor. Initial taste is mineral and slightly brackish, then the bright green peppers again with a pronounced sweetness that lingers into the finish on a nice alcohol burn. No smoke that I can perceive. Overall impression is clean, bright, sweet. Perhaps a little tame, probably not going to blow anyone away, but solid quality and definitely enjoyable.
Wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw this at Trader Joe’s for $27.99 a liter, but when I saw that it’s from Grupo Yuu Baal I figured it’s worth a try. Fruit, agave, and surprisingly little alcohol on the nose. Not a lot going on flavorwise, but certainly nothing objectionable either. A hint of smoke, some agave, a little briny, a little sweet. Finishes a bit thin. Really not bad, just not intriguing enough to hold my interest. I prefer to sip mezcal rather than mix with it, but I’ve substituted this in place of blanco tequila in cocktails with good results. Batch R502-18, Bottle 52/3960, 44% ABV.
Date 2/18, Lot 2, Bottle 1082/1800, 49.6% ABV. Smell reminds me of vanilla extract, scent of flowers and herbs floating on alcohol vapors. Flavors: molasses, dark roast coffee, piloncillo sugar, subtle smoke, slight bitterness and salt. Lingering sweet finish.
Bottle 015/1380, Lot SLR004/17, 47.5% ABV. Smell reminds me of first rain drops on dry pavement. Tastes are subtle and well integrated. Mint, lemon, fresh green jalapeño, a bit of salt, a hint of smoke, nice clean 95-proof burn and a sweet finish. Solidly well-made and dangerously quaffable.
868/003, 45% ABV. Nose: agave, dill pickle brine, baking yeast, menthol. Tastes: roasted agave sweetness balanced by a crisp green apple tartness, mint, bell pepper, some chalk or stone, slight salt. More going on than I can adequately describe. Lingering finish with a pleasant heat. Very good.
Lot A-01-EL-18, 50.6% ABV. I don’t know what to make of this stuff. I’ve tried it several times with mixed feelings. More than anything I have the impression that it’s super hot tasting with a somewhat oily texture and not much interesting going on flavor-wise. I keep coming back to it because people whose opinions I respect seem to like it, but I find it sort of brutal. I’ve only tried samples from this one lot though, so perhaps I should seek out a different lot. I’ll try again periodically and if it’s warranted I’ll revise my review.
Batch No. S001, Bottle 593/1500, 48.9% ABV. There’s an herbal-vegetal bitterness that reminds me of Rainforest Rum Bitters, a folk medicine from Belize, but nowhere near as harsh. In a ceramic copita, with plenty of time to breathe (or after the bottle has been opened for several days) it mellows out quite a bit. A sweetness develops as the bitterness fades. Has a mineral aspect in common with some of the more traditionally-made blanco tequilas. I was on the fence about it at first, but I’ve come to appreciate this sotol quite a bit and will definitely be looking for a replacement bottle, as well as others to try for comparison.
Lot 23, Date 03-18, Bottle 123/290, 39.4% ABV. Was excited to finally get my hands on this one, and it doesn’t disappoint. You can smell agave, a little vinegar, and ripe fruit. Tasting, the first thing I notice is sweetness on the tip of the tongue, followed by cooked agave and a flavor that’s reminiscent of peaches or apricots. Tasty, if not super complex. Very little burn and a somewhat short finish, perhaps because of the lower ABV. I wanted to give it 5 stars because it’s delicious, but it falls slightly short. Would love to taste a higher ABV lot. Maybe just the thing to put it over the top.
Lote GPRL2417, 45% ABV. Kind of a chameleon. Sometimes I like it and other times I find it disappointing. When tasting along with other mezcals it doesn’t usually hold up favorably to comparison. However, on its own merits, it can be interesting. The only other Cupreata I’ve had is La Luna, and this is completely different. Nose has some barnyard aromas. Taste is sharp, like green bell pepper, and bitter herbs, along with some smoke, and lots of ethanol. You can feel every bit of the 45% ABV on the tongue. If you like a more challenging mezcal, maybe this is just the thing for you.
Edition 11, Bottled in 2017, 48% ABV. Herbaceous and a little sweet, with hints of vanilla and baking spices. Complex, but not chaotic, with enough going on to keep it interesting. I like to offer a taste of this to people who think they don’t like mezcal. They’re usually surprised. It’s just downright pleasant to sip on.
Lot #18 Nov 2015, 46% ABV. Fairly subdued nose of menthol and ripe fruit. Clean flavor of sweet roasted agave, a little bit of mint and pine tar. I’m not picking up the citrus that others mention. Nice lingering finish with just the right amount of ethanol bite. Newly opened bottle was sharper and finished with more burn. Now that it’s about half gone it’s developed into something rounder and more nuanced. Very enjoyable.
Lot 001103-16, 47.5% ABV. Subtle herbal and vegetal flavors. Clean taste with a sweet finish. No weird or off flavors. Very little ethanol burn. There were 2 different lots available when I purchased this. I chose the older distillation that had also been rested in glass for longer. Definitely give this a try. You might be amazed.
Batch YJ05-17, Bottle 8270/9360, 48% ABV. Straight from a newly-opened bottle you might be disappointed. Needs to breathe. If you’re patient enough to give it some air time, it will reward you with concentrated flavors and a soft, delicious sweetness. After the bottle has been open for several days it really settles down. A sniff reveals a bit of bread dough and herbs. Tastes of unripe melon, raisins, honey, and something fruity and mildly sweet that my palate is not sophisticated enough to identify. Finishes with a lingering burn that numbs the tongue and lips. Quite enjoyable.
Lot 6, Bottle 17, 45.22 % ABV. First Michoacan and first Cupreata for me. Nose is apple cider vinegar, apricots, a whiff of strawberry, and rubbing alcohol. Tasting, I get apricots again, a hint of pastis, tropical fruit flavored hard candies, and some sort of fruit/plastic that I can’t find a word for, sharp but not unpleasant. I don’t pick up any smoke. Lingering finish with a sweetness that reminds me of caramelized onions. Weird. I like it. Will definitely seek out more examples of Cupreata for comparison.
Another Vida review is probably the last thing anyone needs, but here it is anyway. Not my first choice for sipping, as it’s somewhat brash and lacking in nuance and balance, or really anything very interesting. That said, it stands up surprisingly well in mixed drinks and brings the smoke. Gets along swimmingly with lime, grapefruit, and pineapple juices. As a sipper it’s barely a 2, but as a cocktail ingredient it’s a good 3+.
Commonly available, budget friendly, approachable, good flavor, slightly sweet finish. Best basic mezcal that I’ve found so far at this price point. I really want to try the Viejo.