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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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Rey Campero Tepextate

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.

Jan 22, 2020

5 Sentidos Pechuga de Mole Poblano

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!

Jan 22, 2020

Quiereme Mucho Espadin

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.

Jan 22, 2020

Mina Real Reposado

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

Dec 22, 2019

Del Maguey Tobala

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.

Aug 19, 2019

Lagrimas de Dolores Anejo

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%.

Jun 26, 2019

Fidencio Tierra Blanca

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

Jun 12, 2019

Pierde Almas Dobadaan

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).

Jun 11, 2019

Del Maguey Tobala & Espadin

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)

May 22, 2019

Nuestra Soledad Santiago Matatlan

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. Add some ice and this joven, like most mezcals, takes on a cripsness that makes it just right for for a great sunset. 2018 Edition 19. Bottle 141/300. Master Distiller: Valentin Cortes, Gregorio Martinez.

Apr 12, 2019

Siete Misterios Tobala

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 and ice gives it a little more zest. Lot TBL01/17. Bottle 823/1168. 47.3%. Don Armando G.

Feb 22, 2019

El Jolgorio Tobala

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.

Feb 20, 2019

Los Nahuales Espadin

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.

Feb 20, 2019

Estancia Raicilla Maximiliana

A touch of fresh damp botanical on the nose and taste, citrus and some muted sugars which then grow into a slightly salty caramel at the back of the tongue. Not as robust heavier mezcals, lighter flavours, some syrup and fruit tones through the nose – a touch of smoky toast, maybe, it’s delicate. Enjoys ice in summer (hot day when reviewing) and perfect for cocktails if you must. Refer this to gin drinking friends or just keep it to yourself. I do. Label detail is a good touch. Botella No: 122; Lote No: 008; Alc. Vol%: 40%; Fermentación: Barril Roble; Distillation: Doble; Horno: Adobe; Agave: Maximiliana. There’s an Australian connection which is an interesting bonus.

Jan 22, 2019

Delirio Anejo

Throw in half a star for the bottle alone. Nice on the nose with sugars and some spice at first. Caramel/vanilla hints at the back end. Wait a moment and let the taste settle and there’s perhaps touch of pepper even some fruits at the back of the throat. Repeat. The aging enhances some of the wood flavours – a bit more mature than the sharp (but wonderful taste) in jovens.

Jan 17, 2019

Del Maguey VIDA

I find myself agreeing with the mixer sentiments of other reviewers, but as my daughter bought it for me… another half star. Del Maguey mezcals probably the earliest available in general liquor retailers in Australia so it’s an easy buy. Vida is a touch harsher than some of the others – making it interesting as a sipper, ice helps develop the flavour some. If it’s on the shelf and you need mezcal, buy it, then grab something else next time and keep this a backup or mixer.

Jan 17, 2019

Lagrimas de Dolores Durangensis

This is what makes mezcal exciting! (Lot 5-NGE, bottle 48) This Durango offering differs so much from the mezcal sitting on the shelf next to it. It’s like taking a holiday. Creamy start, a nod to the 45% then the outdoors kick in with wood smoke and yes a touch of pepper. A nice way to top off a tasting night .. ‘and now here’s a nice little taste from Durango!’

Jan 16, 2019

Eterno Anejo

There’s a lot of barrel in this anejo – two years in used oak. Warm taste to the palette immediately which is followed with back notes of light smoke and citrus and caramel/vanilla. More expected mezcal flavours are muted a bit but they wander back in during tasting. Give your palate a bit of time to really pick up on the flavours. This is a sipping mezcal for those who like flavours enhanced by oak. A tequila glass will accentuate the bouquet and flavours. If you drink your spirits over ice, this will certainly suit this anejo.

Dec 5, 2018
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