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Agave fan (I blame National Lampoon magazine's advertising to an impressionable young mind in the 70s) since late teens. Mixtos since replaced by quality tequilas and now mezcals, raicillas , sotols, baccanoras and more. Older and wiser now.
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Alipus Ensamble

Feb 15, 2021

I’ll be sad to see this go. A great workhorse which shows the skills of the maker. Solid taste without too much burn (ABV 47.5%). Fresh citrus, leather then smoke but just enough. Touch of syrup, mint and good tasting agave. In some ways it doesn’t stand out, but that makes it stand out! The espadin edge taken off with 10% bicuishe in the Lote: SAM016/18 Bottle 75/2915. Don Valente Angel Garcia.

La Venenosa Raicilla Sierra del Tigre

Feb 15, 2021

This is a great raicilla to enjoy with summer salads – throw some fetta or blue cheese in (ok, a bit of balsamic vinegar, some cherry tomatoes…I digress). Rich, robust and yes funky, but the palette seems to want to come back for more. You’ll find more flavours hidden if you wait a bit and enjoy the back palette – breathe out slowly. Del tigre can surprise with a few more fruit flavours, some tempered with a bit of age. It’s certainly not a run of the mill raicilla. Don Luis Contreras, 46.7%, Lot 13, 03/18. Bottle 35/70.

Quiereme Mucho Tepextate

Jul 25, 2020

Tart and floral first taste. I find tepeztates have a bitter taste I enjoy. There’s sugars and some grassy flavors with an agave finish. There’s a bit of astringency as well, another plus for me.

Bozal Sacatoro

Jul 7, 2020

Yes I read the notes, but tasting this sacatoro after an espadin… It’s very different. Fresh grass and veges aplenty, even bit of cooked greens. Mineral flavours with a hint of fruits if you wait a bit tween tastes. Sweetness comes next, not enough for candy but… A nice syrupy mouth feel, some lip licking if you linger on your glass. LOT no: 00119 44.8%

La Higuera Leiophyllum

May 4, 2020

Warm smoke and a grassy first taste and nose. Crisp sugars then some coffee, chocolate and hint of mineral. Sotol’s grassy flavours continue on the back palette. At 48% there is a slight mouth burn but all it does it accent the flavours and get you ready for another sip. Sotols are a nice change from a sometimes heavier mezcal but keep you in that smoky place we all enjoy. The label on this bottle features a dasylirion but is the same dasylirion/leiophyllum variety shown here. Distiller Gerado Ruelas, date: 05/17, Lot 5, bottle 56/800.

Lagrimas de Dolores I’gok

Mar 16, 2020

A hint of mouth burn at 47% but that quickly gives way to a rich flavour with chocolate, coffee and butterscotch. Smoke is there but not too strong. Cooked agave, vegetable with a warmth make this feel more mature than a joven, but as an A. Americana that’s part of the flavour profile. You can find some pepper on the back palette and on a second sip there’s a smoothness that makes this a sipper for the evening. The Lagrimas de Delores range adds a significant scope to your agave shelf. Maestro mezcalero Fabiola Avila. Lot: F9EL. Bottle: 12.

La Venenosa Puntas

Feb 27, 2020

That distinctive raicilla taste – a change from the more smokey mezcals on the shelf. Always search out a La Venenosa when travelling as it’s been hard to get in Australia. Sweetness and fruits, currant, grape and apple with a touch of candy. ABV 61.8% leaves a sharpness on the mouth leaving room for the flavours to make mark. Second sip confirms the flavours and perhaps a bit more robustness. Third? OK, I will. It’s also the first chance to own a bottle of La Venenosa, so a special place on the shelf. Lot 4: Bottle 191-300: Date 4/17.

Rey Campero Tepextate

Jan 22, 2020

A coveted 250ml from Oaxaca. Lote: D5007A-T. Mezcalero: Romulo Sanchez Parada. 48.7%. Some alcohol vapours on the nose, then flavour, flavour, flavour. Spice, candy, pepper. If you have only one tepextate on your shelf let it be Rey Compero.

5 Sentidos Pechuga de Mole Poblano

Jan 22, 2020

While explaining Pechuga to a friend I remembered this bottle tasted in Austin in September 2019. The flavours are exciting, the mouth feel intense and… yes it’s chicken and mole! And yes it weirds people out some. If you have the chance taste it, savour it. The richness of flavour is complimented with the ABV (49.9%). It’s all there!

Quiereme Mucho Espadin

Jan 22, 2020

This bottle (Lote A-29) get stars for the conejo and cactus art and for its size, 375ml. It’s also a good espadin with a great ABV – 46.43% – giving a sharp but taste enhancing mouth burn. Agave, apple, maybe even some light candied citrus. Warm agave on the aftertaste. Bottle size? For Australian mezcal fans (or anywhere I guess) a 700-750ml bottle can stretch the budget. This allows variety on the shelf at a reasonable price and yes, the art is a delightful addition.

Mina Real Reposado

Dec 22, 2019

Clay and mineral flavours at first, the aging is light on with some citrus and wood. Candy and butterscotch hints on the back palate as well as dried fruits. The ABV of 42% gives this reposado a sharpness that belies the aging giving it a more immature taste than some others. Low smoke and only a touch of leather. Lot: MR-048

Del Maguey Tobala

Aug 19, 2019

The tropical tastes aplenty with this tobala – pineapple, mango and even a hint of burnt papaya at first taste. Fresh green scent and a slightly green taste behind the fruits. Feels good in the mouth with a little burn (45%) but then it sits nicely on the tongue before the reward of the back palette – a rich liqueur sensation followed by an agave stickiness and maybe a touch of mint that has you looking for more. TOB- 161.

Lagrimas de Dolores Anejo

Jun 26, 2019

This is an anejo from the first hint. Barrel, age and honey notes hit you before tasting, then you are assured it’s a mezcal with smoke and a touch of new leather. There is a smooth mouth feel with enough agave and some earthy flavours to remind you the origin of the spirit. Caramel and even some coffee and honey notes can be found on the back palate. Without opening mezcal’s barrel and aging debate this is a splendid sipper and worthy of your agave shelf. If you enjoy your tequilas (or other spirit) aged and are looking to dip into mezcal this is a perfect choice. Lot 5.15E. Bottle 27. ABV 40.5%.

Fidencio Tierra Blanca

Jun 12, 2019

Strong earthy and old fruit taste which is almost immediately lifted by the ABV (50.9%) to return on the back palate. A drier mouth feel thanks to the ABV which leaves you wanting another taste to pick up those flavours again. If you have sweeter mezcals on your shelf this is a great change. Lot TB14. Bottle 1170/1344

Pierde Almas Dobadaan

Jun 11, 2019

The warmth of this starts with the nose offering a berry-rich aroma. The sweetness is apparent on first taste followed by a nice mouth feel (51% ABV) which lifts the flavours. Some burnt caramel on the back palate with smoke and a mild leather and a hint of spice and more fruit. The sweetness stays in the mouth which made it a great closer for the evening with a savoury cheese. Lote: 11-D. Mezcal is a rarity in Australian restaurants, so a great find (only three mezcals on the list).

Del Maguey Tobala & Espadin

May 22, 2019

Wow, seems I got lucky here in Australia! Decided on a blend mainly for price I was blown away with this mezcal. Fruit, rich tastes, full flavour and a stickiness that reminds me of mangoes on a hot summer day. Lick your lips. A touch of leather, a hint to smoke and the 49% ABV only shows at the beginning leaving a smooth back palate. I’m with Tyler on this one – an all-day sipper. This bottle definitely an endangered species in this house as it suits all tastes. Label shows only 260 six-bottle cases made. Thank you Del Maguey. (A note for US tasters – this bottle cost $AUD165. A Del Maguey 100% Tobala Single Village Mezcal – $AUD225 – May 2019)

Nuestra Soledad Santiago Matatlan

Apr 12, 2019

Banana. It’s in the aroma and the taste followed by a rich full mouth and flavour. Some richer flavours perhaps chocolate can follow. Little burn (45%) making it a nice sipper Smoke is low and more on the back palate to remind you that this agave spirit is a mezcal. 2018 Edition 19. Bottle 141/300. Master Distiller: Valentin Cortes, Gregorio Martinez.

Siete Misterios Tobala

Feb 22, 2019

Earth and agave notes at first, then a rich sweetness thanks to the Tobala. Less syrup than my last Tobala, but enough to keep on the top shelf for sipping, although I will confess to making a mezcal margarita on Margarita Day 2019. Flavours linger with a hint of fruits and some citrus on the back palette. Makes a nice slow sipper. Lot TBL01/17. Bottle 823/1168. 47.3%. Don Armando G.

El Jolgorio Tobala

Feb 20, 2019

Sweet and fruit on the nose, syrup and a nice feel on the tongue. Touch of agave at the start, some green, then honeycomb with a nod to pineapple and pepper. Letting this sit in the glass for a moment a slight smokiness and leather wander back in as you finish. The sweetness is very enjoyable and certainly shows off the Tobala agave. Would it be rude to call it a dessert mezcal? Tasted at a new restaurant here in Australia where mezcal is enjoying its place in the sun.

Los Danzantes (Los Nahuales) Joven

Feb 20, 2019

A surprising find in Vanuatu duty free! There’s sugar notes on the first sip with a warm smoky flavour wandering around before the 43% makes itself felt, but not too harsh. The agave sugars remain as some warmer caramel/vanilla flavours hint. I enjoy a mezcal straight where the flavours stay warm to the palette but with ice there’s a subtle change in texture and smoothness which is enjoyable and adds to the flavours.

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