Cuixe, Maguey Melate, Juan Antonio Coronel Maya. Batch ANT-CUI-001. January 2019. 600 liters. ABV 48.2%
Nose: Funky, barn hay, agave, embers and wisps of smoke, banana runts candy. Is this cuixe??
Acidic, punchy, high toned, round and soft mouthfeel. Lemon-lime soda, funk, orange bell peppers, butterscotch. Hi-chews. Aftertaste of orange punch, white pepper, slightest whisper of ethanol. Not a lengthy aftertaste, but what a treat this was. I can’t believe this is from cuixe, but the palate is more giving to it. I didn’t like cuixe before this, but found it not as green and cucumber-y of previous cuixes I’ve had.
verde mexicano, batch 1118AC
Nose of slate, salted cucumber skins, tamarind candy.
Acidic and noticeably saline. Very little bitterness. A little tannic. Palate of black peppered preserved artichoke, salted green plum. Orange (and dare I say ‘rusty’) sand, not quite like copper. Aftertaste of preserved tamarind, and cucumber. I have the slightest sweet ocean breeze taste 10 seconds later. I would have guessed this was made from a cuixe, and not so much a mexicano. Makes an interesting and fun negroni, few drops of xocolatl (mole/chocolate) bitters and a flamed cinnamon stick. Feels lower in abv than 49%. Challenging but interesting
Chocolate gravy, anise nose.
Acidic, but rounded, thic. Harvest stew! Gravy, pine, caramelized plantains.
Fades out with chocolate, pot roast gravy, banana, anise. Just delicious.
batch TB05-19, of 207 bottles.
Newly opened bottle.
Nose of bright stone fruit, beach mist, corn ethanol, faint wisps of embers.
High toned fruit, bright sweet yellow peppers, buttered white corn. Fades to orange peels, lightly saline beach mist, light mineral dustiness, umami. Further down, a slight sweetness resembling wild clover bee pollen and candy corns. Palate has less trace of smoke than the nose, which was very little. If I had to compare with the Sierra Negra, it is not as complex and dramatic, but bright and tasty. A real treat.
N: Honey pollen, caramel, flowers.
P: Salt, leather, ocean breeze, butterscotch. Yum. Slightly thin mouthfeel.
F: Agave, butterscotch, smokey slightly burnt caramel, some lingering saline.
Try it! I like this and Del Maguey’s Tobala, and they are about the same price.
Nose and finish is living butter lettuce. Really green and vegetal throughout. Palate is darker meaty greens like delicious perfectly cooked asparagus, and white pepper. Finish of bright green agave-like peppers, clove, and a touch of cilantro. Heat is low for being 45% abv even nicer than some gentle 40% stuff. Aftertaste is long but subtle and can only be tasted if exhaled mouth closed through my nose. The butter lettuce finish is what keeps me sipping it, quirky but pleasant. Not exactly my flavor profile, but am still impressed and happy I went with it.
Didn’t get the batch number at the restaurant, but this was well integrated. Complex and interesting for a pechuga for sure. Hard to pick out notes. Aromas of brown sugar agave slightly savory notes of chicken gravy and black pepper. Taste is sweet like peaches, of stewed peppers, braised agave jam, orange blossom. Agree with razorbackmike that it is thick stuff. Pleasant lengthy finish with notes of agave and smokey peppers. Delicious. Persistently distracting me from the dinner.
I do not recall batch and bottle, but it was very interesting and unique to say the least. About $55. Couldn’t really find anything appropriate enough to mix it with either.
Sweet first attack on tongue. Unique funky notes on nose translate well to the palate: pickled and seeded feta-stuffed jalapeno, in pickled radish brine, familiar agave white peppers and overcooked green beans giving way to a lime zest peppermint aftertaste. Really different for sure! Two too many left turns for my palate. Points for being one of the most unique tasting mezcals. Tasted it a year ago, but would give it another try seeing all these shining reviews.
PM02, 111/268, 44.3% abv
This was my least favorite 5 Sentidos when I first tried it, and now 4 months later from my closet, is up there with the best. It was just too… grapefruit-pithy. Even though I prefer this one neat, friends loved the palomas made with this.
Full nose of perfumey pepper, leather, volcanic rock. Taste is sweet and saline like soy sauce and grapefruit juice at the same time. Less-sweetened Pocari Sweat to black leather mid palate, slate, boiled pink peppercorns (undried) leading to grapefruit pith, agave, sand, and saline in that order. Like with all 5 Sentidos I’ve tried, finish is loooooong.
May 2018, 46% abv. lot 1/MNGO, 409 liters total
I like the bottle, lol. Hefty oversized hip-flask, and the owl drawing shimmers in some lights.
Upon pouring it has aromas of ripe but uncut mango among delicate notes of cooked agave and a touch of sandlewood smoke. Simple bouquet smells nice – if not a bit subdued – I started seeing fruit flies shortly after pouring. Taste is simple and full succinctly of candied but fresh white and green peppers, with a medium-ripe mango showing in the mid-palate. In fact, I worried it would have been either overdone or boring after this point of the taste. The espadin distillate presence and mango notes are integrated better than I had expected. Aftertaste of mango pulp, saline, slate, and a familiar hint of smokey incense that grows more apparent after emptying the glass.
for price and versatility in pretty much any mezcal drink. it’s costco’s best kept secret, and for the lowest price i’ve seen. it’s a higher proof workhorse.
try it in an el camino, with a rye whisky, you manhattan fans will be blown away. can have an edge sipped neat – as rakhal reports with the bitter and isopropyl notes – but after oxidizing, opens up to be a bit more sweet and having pollen notes on palate. i actually didnt like most of the first bottle i bought, and was only until a month or two later revisiting that i wondered what happened. im on the 5-6th bottle
Batch Xjm21-17, total of 5325 bottles. From my local Trader Joes! Seeing this on their liquor shelf definitely made everyday grocery shopping more exciting.
Nose of straw, hot red iron-y rocks, acetone, faintest hint of diesel-soaked tennis shoes. Big agave on the front, is spicy and vegetal… but you don’t recall that for long because the aroma of that rust and slate come back, along with some more steamed bittermelon sprayed with WarHeads Blue Raspberry sour candy spray dilution… Balanced immediately by aftertaste of diesel.. and then mellowing to the sweet/sweaty agave taste you know and love. Medium-thin feeling. A no-frills high-octane espadin I prefer to keep on hand. Not the most elegant or complex, but that is not always desired for a casual sip. Has a bold but nice balance of diesel smokiness. 5 stars considering species and price.
XFM37-18 bottle 342/3200, 48.3% abv.
Local Trader Joes has no more! Found this one at a liquor store.
Butter, bright hot peppery agave, violets / flor on nose. Sweet and salty taste. Palate of violets on mossy soil, big note of grapefruit pith, fresh hot rubber, deep green agave, butterscotch leading way to ground white pepper, cooked agave, freshly heated beach rocks (hint of… sulfur? More floral however). I’d have to rate this one slightly lower due to the pervasive bitter grapefruit pith that lingers through the palate. Finish of sweet purple-fruited saline that lasts. 4 stars.
One of the most interesting and complex spirits ever. The goat-milk funk is very real. Dab some on your hand, let it dry, and smell the goat cheese. Agave is there in full force, in a cherry and perique tobacco robe. I agree with dusty and refined. Long aftertaste of this.. cereal-like agave taste. And the craziest part about this bottle, is that it never stopped morphing and blooming for the entirety of its lifespan. It got more barnyard’y and funky – less of that tobacco dominance. I may not be giving this spirit justice, but it deserves attention.
Smells of leather, agave, smoke, coconut sugar, roasted goat marrow, cow’s cheese.
It is mildly acidic, peat, violets, stems of sourgrass (aka Bermuda buttercup), smoky agave. Palate quickly fades to slate, perfume of violets, dehydrated coconut meat… and after a minute my mouth tastes both peaty and milky. It eludes to the dusty yet refined characteristic! Overall I found this specimen both peaty and floral at the same time but not as savory as I was expecting. This batch is different, and more interesting than the first I had.
Joel Barriga, July 2018, 50.5% abv. Great for the money as usual with Vago.
Bold as usual, Vago and flavors galore. If I were to try and compare this to a tequila, it’d be Fortaleza’s blanco. But with big mezcal flavor of course. At first opening this, I found the flint and bitter aftertaste to be a bit rough. After a few days and pours later (more than 3/4 bottle remaining), it has balanced wonderfully.
Nose of cooked oily agave and flint and mossy flor. A bright hint of wood. Texture is medium. Dry mouthfeel. Medium-heavy body. Immediately taste a sweet and acidic rainwater on flint – but not quite metallic yet. Piney big agave. Minerality. Medium-long aftertaste that chases and tapers from flint, to wood, to rainwater. 4.5/5 with price ($50) and availability considered.
cantaloupe, banana, clovers, campfire, rubber. in this order. smell and palate mimicking. reminds me of the similar palate as their tobala. aftertaste is short-medium: agave sweetness and butter. pleasant and balanced. nice experience. as someone who has had his share of mezcals, i want more finish. nothing bad about this mezcal, maybe a tad bold for teetotalers (but what isn’t bold for mezcal newcomers?)
June 2016, Emigdio Jarquin
Paint primer on the nose (sweet charred plantain with acetone, sure), background notes of soft agave. Minerality in the taste. Palate and taste follow through – seemingly not with differing palate from the nose – until the immediate aftertaste. Oh man the aftertaste. Tamarind, chile lime… rust. If there was a word to describe all three otherwise, I’d say it, but it’s there. Long lasting, sure, but an obscure aftertaste indeed. Obscure experience. Not undesirable, but interesting. If you are one to enjoy bold and borderline-line metallicy terrior and earth, then this is for you.