I may have palenque-bias, or in this case taberna-bias, on this one as I had the opportunity to visit the Bañuelos family in Zacatecas last year. The nose on this is heavy with those classic tequila -esque aromas of blue webber agave, raw minerals, sea salt, and some light flowers. The palate is thick with notes of dry grass, wet clay, rubber, and black pepper. Lot 12. Bottle 44/1350.
Aromas of mint, bubblegum, coconut, jasmine, kiwi, and guava. The palate is thick and syrupy, with notes of strawberry jam, ripe plum, peach, and chalky minerals. This is reminiscent of some of the bubblegum type notes that I typically get from Don Valente’s mezcal, yet still distinctly different. Really enjoyable. The more I have from Semei, the more I like them.
Herbaceous aromas of parsley, sweet mint, snow peas, raw potato, and green olives. There are also slight aromas of bitter dark chocolate and sea salt. The palate is rich in minerals with notes of slate, creosote, and lead. Additional notes of rubber, red Nyquil, mesquite, and a bit of wormwood. This was a batch pick for The Austin Shaker, which is always great to see. When I first opened this, it was a little harsh and sharp. It has mellowed over the last few months and I’m enjoying it.
Incredible mezcal! Sweet aromas of cherry candies, dried cranberry, and some light pepper. The palate is full and rich with notes of pickled jalapenos, raw sugar cane, almond flavoring, hot wax, and smoking candle wick. There’s a sweet softness to this that is difficult to put my finger on. This changes slightly every time I taste it, seemingly for the better each time.
This is an interesting product idea, a blend from Oaxaca and Zacatecas. Why did they do this? No idea. Is it worth a taste? Of course. Aromas of apple, smoke, Cohiba cigars, and a touch of vanilla. The palate is very light with some caramel sweetness, vanilla, toffee, and cream soda. This is very approachable and easy sipping. Lot 030921-1
Clean nose with notes of white sugar, honey, slate, and cold granite. The palate has notes of watermelon, dark mango, overripe cantaloupe, and a touch of milk chocolate. Very nice and soft. Syrupy mouthfeel. Lot 1. Bottle 630/800
Very light on the nose, with hints of lavender, grapefruit, pineapple, and fresh cream. The palate is also light, with notes of bubblegum, lilac, powdered sugar, and cream soda. Looking back at my notes from Mezcalero No 18, this is drastically different given it’s the same batch. Quite frankly, I like this one a lot more after having it sit for 5 years. Everything that was spiny or hot about Mezcalero 18 has completely disappeared. This is really nice.
This is a hard nut to crack. Aromas of slightly tart orange, spearmint, molasses, burnt sugar, and burning sage. The palate has some heat and is a bit sticky in mouthfeel. It’s got a little funk, notes of canned peaches, fruit cocktail, and oak. The ABV on this makes it tough to really dive into. I’ll need to let this sit in the back of the closet for awhile. Batch pick for Alamo City Liquors in San Antonio. Lot ACL2022. 55% ABV. Bottle 58/66.
Aromas of horseradish mustard, green olives, celery, limestone, and sea salt. The palate is deeply complex with notes of spicy mustard, oysters, green olive brine, jalapeno, and old hot dog water. This is a wild ride. The heat doesn’t really catch up to it at all. Great spirit. Lot PED-PUN-001
Love the nose on this! Extremely floral. Aromas of lilac, rose pedal, jasmine, orange blossom, and Pixie sticks. The palate is soft and much darker than the nose. Notes of orange chocolates, skim milk, a touch of black pepper, and some light caramel. I’m not a huge Durango head, but I do really enjoy this release. It’s much less lactic than many of the other bottles I’ve tasted from this region. Lot DAN-CEN-001
Light aromas of fresh mint and other dried herbs that are bit difficult to distinguish given the lower ABV. The palate is extremely light, a little watery, but otherwise inoffensive. There’s kind of a dull gassy flavor to this, similar to how a Topo Chico tastes if it’s left open and out over night. No batch number on sample.
Batch Sot 1. Aromas of cucumber, aloe, freshly cut lettuce, and bit of sweet white onion. The palate has notes of river stones, prickly pear cactus, lime, and some black pepper. I wish this was a little higher ABV, but as-is this would be a really good “intro to sotol” spirit for someone who either doesn’t sip straight spirits or isn’t familiar with sotol. Great producer and solid spirit.
Smells quite pleasant with notes of banana, vanilla wafers, caramel, and all spice. The palate is a little musty. Notes of freshly baked southern biscuits, caramel glaze, Sugar Daddy candies, and brown sugar. This is nice. No batch number on sample.
Clean nose, with some light hints of cucumber, fresh broccoli, potatoes, and molasses. The palate is balanced with notes of leather, green peppers, celery, and peppercorn. The Tepextate really comes through on this the longer it sits. A bit hot on the back of the palate. No batch number on the sample.
Aromas of green asparagus, black pepper, jalapeño, and sweet cream. The palate has notes of dark fruits like black cherries. Also hints of Dr Pepper, and a bit medicinal, sarsaparilla, and old root beer grandma candies.
Aromas fermented cabbage, kimchi, white onions, and jalapeño peppers. The palate tastes of sweet baked sweet breads, all spice, caramel, and honey. Also a touch of jalapeño on the palate as well. Very different than other Salmiana I’ve tasted and very enjoyable. Dynamic and complex. Need to taste more of this.
Lot MYM01-21. Definitely getting some of the citric aromas, with notes of orange peel and grapefruit. The nose is very clean and subtle. The palate has great minerality. Tasting notes of gun powder, Himalayan salt, pepper, wet granite, and fresh mountain river water. This tastes like a cold morning, hiking in the mountains, drinking water directly from a running stream. I’ve only tasted a few mezcals from San Carlos Yautepec, and they all have this unique minerality to them. It really shines in this mezcal. I’m really enjoying this Espadin.
Batch LBE-001. Notes of black pepper, menthol, grapefruit, spearmint, and tropical fruit punch. The palate has notes of chili-mango, black pepper, Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie ice cream, P-funk cigarettes, and freshly squeezed lime. This is rich and incredibly full. Mezcal from Durango is often too lactic for my palate, but this is an exception. It’s crisp and clean.
Batch from May 2021. Aromas of brown sugar, cocoa, nutmeg, and orange peel. The palate is rich with notes that mostly match the nose. Tasting notes of lime, pomegranate, orange cream, cafe au lait, caramel, and mesquite. This has a bit of heat on this, but incredibly complex. Overall this is an everyday type of session mezcal. Highly enjoyable.
Aromas of sandalwood, cedar, red Tootsie Pops, artificial cherry scent, and a bit of spearmint. The palate is almost musty in flavor, like an old book that spent years in a wet cellar. There’s a bit of cracked pepper, shellfish, and new leather as well. This complex, and I can see why others may enjoy it, but it’s just not my jam.