Claw Edition, batch PSP-01, distilled 2016, 47%. Fruity mango-like sweetness. Lots of cardamom, but not as spicy as many other pechugas. Honey and vanilla. Very creamy, this was clearly distilled in clay. Wonderfully soft and tasty. The finish is rather dry and a little bitter, reminiscent of the tannins in black tea. But, as with everything in this mezcal, also the bitterness is pleasant.
Lot WLV01, distilled March 2018. A batch producing only 20 bottles, it was distilled in a hybrid copper/clay still. It’s rather astringent with flavours of dark chocolate, coffee, salt and dark berries. Also some smoked meat.
Lot TOB-131, presumably distilled in 2013. Smells like pine. Flavour-wise it’s very balanced but, for my taste, it’s too soft and dull. There is a bit of agave sweetness, some fruity/sour notes and a whiff of wood and smoke, but nothing really stands out. A good mezcal, but I had hoped for something more interesting.
Lot ARQ02/14, distilled 2014. As previous reviewers have noted, the smell is quite sour, a bit like wet clothes that have been left for too long in the washing machine. The taste is better, however, although this mezcal is rather closed. There are notes of arrak/rum, tart fruit and rubber. Relatively dry. And, despite the foregoing, it’s rather enjoyable.
Lot L 11 lar 3, distilled 2017. “Lalo” Ángeles made batches for the Sacapalabras label in the past; this batch (with exactly the same number) was bottled also for his own brand Lalocura. I have both versions; this review is from a Sacapalabras bottle. It’s very good, with a plethora of flavours: herbs (rosemary, thyme), coffee and baking spices. I’m a big fan of Lalo’s distillates, but this one is perhaps lacking a bit of sweetness to earn a higher score.
Release 01, distilled February 2018. This one is a bit difficult to describe because, at the same time as it is full of flavours, it is also very balanced, so the flavours mingle into one pleasant whole. There are notes of bell peppers, coffee, rubber, sugar cane and a bit of salt, but the harmonious whole is the defining character. 4+.
Lot RMC-01, distilled 2015. Dark-roasted coffee and dark chocolate dominate the flavour profile. And, yes, as has already been said by an earlier reviewer, there are certainly bananas in there. Quite dry, and a little bitter on the aftertaste.
Distilled November 2012. A very fruity mezcal with a dominant raspberry flavour. I also get notes of red bell pepper, cucumber, leather and roasted agave. At the same time, it’s distinctly mineral. A complex and tasty mezcal that became (felt?) even more harmonious when tasted on a second occasion.
Batch MJ38-15. I recently had a madrecuixe made by Alberto Ortiz for Palenqueros, which was quite alcoholic and dominated by one perfumy flavour. It was not to my liking. This one is completely different: a light, silky and elegant mezcal. And, yet, it’s very complex with citrus, brown sugar, salt, caramel, butter, cinnamon and cedar/sandalwood. Beautiful! Close to five stars.
Lot PAP-142. Strong flavours of leather, tobacco and earth. And toasted agave. In fact, it’s unusually smoky for a high-quality mezcal. Notes of rosemary and olives. The roasted flavours dominate the aftertaste, which is rather dry and tarry. A good mezcal but a tad one-dimensional.
Release 01, distilled December 2017. The label says A. angustifolia, but I assume it must be an A. potatorum. It has a beautiful fruity/milky acidity which makes it very fresh. The fruit flavours include green apple and pineapple. There is also some habanero heat. Then I agree with the previous reviewer that it has an element of olive brine salinity. Well-balanced and tasty. I enjoyed this a lot.
Edition 17, distilled 2016 by Reynaldo Altamirano. This one starts out sweet but ends quite dry, with a long, slightly bitter aftertaste. Very herbaceous and vegetal with notes of jalapeños, bell peppers, citrus fruits and mint. Very fresh and tasty. A great mezcal!
Distilled June 2018. Vegetal and earthy with peppers, burnt wood and spices. Quite dry. Well-balanced and easy to drink.
Lot MIA-M-1701, distilled 2017. A very neutral mezcal. Still, it’s predominantly vegetal and dry with underlying notes of tart citrus fruit, a pinch of salty minerality and a little honey-like agave sweetness.
Distilled July 2014. There is a bit of everything in this very well-rounded mezcal: it’s floral and fruity (mango); it has a caramelised sweetness, a peppery spiciness and a pinch of salt. Excellent!
Lot AOMA01. I agree with previous reviewers on the flavours but not the ratings. There is a very dominant perfumy lilac flavour that, in my view, gives it an artificial, soapy character. It is also a bit too hot. It’s not bad, but simply not my type of liquor. Three stars with hesitation.
Lot SLR003/15. A good Espadín which has a bit of everything you would expect: honey sweetness, a little smoke, tropical fruits (mango, papaya). Also a refreshing salty minerality and some good heat. Still, overall, I find it too mellow to make an interesting sipper. An excellent base for cocktails, however.
Lot DC19. Madrecuixe/Tepextate/Tobalá/Coyote/Tobaziche ensamble. A very pleasant surprise in a flight with several other ensambles – the first time I have tasted Convite. A biscuity aroma leads the way to creamy, nutty flavours. There is also vermouth and violets (in particular, Scandinavian violet pastilles!). A very complex and well-balanced spirit.
Lot 01, distilled 2018 by Santos Juárez. Alineño/Cimarrón ensamble. A very enjoyable and well-balanced destilado. It’s creamy and sweet with notes of blueberries, elderflower and cinnamon. Also some tobacco and minerals. Although I believe it’s in reality a raicilla, I don’t find the funk and cheese often associated with that category of agave spirits. Instead, it’s clean and fruity.
Batch ARM-01, distilled December 2017. It starts out sweet with notes of peach and honey, but then it’s quite dominated by the high ABV. While the alcohol is rather warming than burning the throat, I find that it overpowers the flavours (citrus, coffee, earth) that are pushed to the background. A tasty mezcal but lacking a bit of balance to earn a higher score.