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400 Conejos Espadin / Cuishe

Mar 30, 2024

Middle of the road mezcal. The aroma is mildly smoky, clean, and almost minty but less herbal and more like peppermint candy. The taste is more herbal with singed grass over clean agave, then sweet like white sugar syrup. There’s some heat to it in the form of cracked peppercorn but not a whole lot more going on here. The body is light but not disappointingly so, and legs run lighting quick in the glass leaving behind just a few drops here and there. The finish is balanced, short to medium in length, and has just a nice lingering smokiness and woody agave note plus a bit of bright citrus like lime or Meyer lemon. A great starter mezcal perhaps or definitely good enough for cocktails.

Nose: 6
Taste: 7
Body: 6
Finish: 7

400 Conejos Joven

Mar 30, 2024

Waitress served me the wrong one ; )

Del Maguey VIDA Clásico

Nov 22, 2023

Nice, clean and smoky nose that isn’t overwhelming or funky. Notes of sweet grass, anise, mint, charred pine wood, and even a hint of buttery chocolate cheesecake. On the tongue it’s peppery yet mild, sweet and herbal. Fresh cracked pepper, mild cooked agave, gobs of sugary sweetness, fresh fennel, and some verbena like citrus. The body is light to moderate in weight and viscosity. The finish is semi dry and has a mild minerality to it, as well as lingering sweetness, woodiness, and just a hint of mint. It’s pretty mild and may seem a little watered down to the seasoned mezcal drinker, but it would make a great jumping off point for someone new to the game or a beautiful base for some smoky margaritas or palomas.

El Silencio Espadin

Feb 20, 2023

A mild fruity nose, with notes of honeydew melon, citrus peel, and a little pineapple. There’s the classic wet slate note, no funky cheeses (if anything cream cheese), some cucumber, a touch of anise seed, and just a whisp of smoke. Clean and sweet on the tongue, there’s light agave syrup, spicy cinnamon, a suggestion of licorice, and slight mineral oil, but not much else. Light to medium bodied, it forms a nice tight beaded skirt in the glass with sparse scattered legs. The finish is quite dry, with more slate, green grassy, almost woody notes, some lingering sweetness, a pinch of mint, and a hint of smoked pepper that’s almost peat like. Overall, it’s very mild, clean, and enjoyable though lacking depth and character in the taste. However, the finish overstays it’s welcome with nothing but the somewhat unpleasant taste of green wood lasting on and on.

Nose: 7
Taste: 6
Body: 6
Finish: 5

El Sarao Oaxaca Cuishe

Jan 30, 2023

Batch# S0JC01-20 Bottle 199/720A
Sweet spicy and vegetal to the nose. Gentle smoke wafts over agave nectar, soft spearmint, licorice, ground white pepper, and a hint of roasted poblano pepper stuffed with sharp Cotija cheese. Quite sweet on the tongue, much more so than is typical with many Espadín mezcals I have tried. I get lots of agave nectar, mint, pink peppercorn, anisete, and char. The body is a little on the thin side but satisfactory. The finish is semidry, with a tannic quality that is reminiscent of oak despite this being a joven. In fact, the vanilla sweet, earthy smoke that lingers would make me think I detected a note of scotchy peat if I didn’t know better. The woody bitterness wins out in the end however.
Nose: 9
Taste: 9
Body: 7
Finish: 8

Del Maguey Chichicapa

Aug 17, 2022

Hints of sweet licorice on the nose with a very clean fresh vegetal note like snow peas underneath a layer of fine cold pine smoke. Smoked, slightly underripe pineapple and chilis waft in and out too. In time, queso fresco appears as well. The palate is sweet and smooth with quickly vanishing butterscotch notes, a pinch of cayenne pepper and lots of woodsmoke, a touch of licorice, and mineral. The body is soft and velvety, but not quite full bodied. It leaves a nice mist behind in the glass. On the finish it becomes much drier, with a lingering fruit sugar sweetness, perhaps yellow apple or pear, but much more vegetal and mineral like parsnips baked on hot slate over a rubber tire fire. A very enjoyable Mezcal to sip.

Ilegal Joven

Nov 19, 2021

(Batch 104 161, Bottle 08846/10080 2020-2021)
Gentle on the nose, slightly vegetal with a subtle pepper spiciness and plenty of sweetness. Notes I get are eucalyptus, green apples, white pepper, a hint of candied pineapple, and a whisper of smoke. The entry on the palate is mild and sweet, but it quickly heats up with cayenne pepper then shifts to sugared grapefruit. Somewhat thin in texture, with very quick yet fat legs. The aftertaste is a little bitter and dry with a touch of alum, but finishes with a lingering grassy sweetness, smoke, and a pinch of fennel. This would be a great bottle to introduce someone to Mezcal for the first time.

Sacrificio Tobala

Aug 2, 2021

A gentle nose with mild sweet fruity notes, some mamey sapote, caramelized pumpkin, bitter almond, a touch of vanilla, green notes of aloe, some dried basil, and cheese stuffed green olives in brine. On the tongue smoke comes through, full and ashy. Mostly sweet though, flavors include agave nectar, fire roasted sweet peppers, sweet potato, but also a spicy hint of black pepper, and even a little fresh mint. The body is full and viscous, coating the mouth nicely with an almost syrupy feel. The legs in the glass are pretty nice too. The long finish is semidry with a lingering sweetness but plenty of minerals, some acetone, mango peel, licorice root or sarsaparilla, and the slightest hint of charred oak. This Tobala is definitely one of the sweetest mezclas I’ve tasted, and certainly uniquely flavored compared with Espadin.

Yuu Baal Espadin

May 17, 2021

Batch:YJ16-18, Bottle:884/3840
This one has a lot of funk on the nose at first, with lots of sharp briny cheese, and even bit of rotten agave. Given time to breathe, the aroma softens and sweeter scents appear including sweet pickled cherry peppers, and a hint of smoked pineapple. There’s also a note of agave syrup, as well as a dusting of white pepper, and some rock salt. The flavor is sweet and spicy with some dry minerality. The sweetness fades rather quickly with faint licorice and citrus evaporating from the palate while cayenne lingers. The body is a bit thin, even watery. The finish is all wet slate but for a whisp of smoke from the charred agave.

Vago Espadin – Joel Barriga

Dec 13, 2020

Production date: May 2019
Batch size: 988 liters
I found the nose to be inviting with a funky sweetness to it like queso blanco in whey with sweet anisette. There’s also a vegetal note reminiscent of the leaves of a pepper plant. On the tongue it’s sweet, clean agave, some heat from the relatively high ABV (50.8%) and quite peppery with a touch of woodsmoke. It has a nice viscous mouthfeel but is relatively light bodied. The finish is caramelized cane sugar, soft lingering charcoal, and slightly damp slate. Very interesting and satisfying.

Montelobos Espadin

Sep 2, 2020

A nose of roasted green peppers, burnt mild white cheese, a touch of mineral, and a hint of sugar water. The taste is sweet and vegetal at the same time, with notes of fresh agave, charred wood, and white pepper. Thin, yet viscous mouthfeel. The finish begins with a hint of salt and green citrus, like lime or pomelo, more spicy pepper, and then fades to a nice semidry smokiness.
This is the first artesanal mezcal I’ve ever tried, and only the second mezcal ever if you count Monte Albán, so I don’t have a lot of experience to draw from. However, I’ve tried over 100 scotches in my time and I tend to lean towards the Islays. As a lover of smoky libations I can tell you, you can’t go wrong with this!

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