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Mal Bien Mexicano – Ramos

Apr 2, 2021

Nose: Floral, also with caramel tones – oh dammit this is americana not rhodacantha. (Context, tried to taste it next to a Mexicano/Tep). That makes so much more sense. Light, pretty, papaya, minty, some thyme for sure.

Palate: Nice pleasant acidity, cherries popping out and that lovely minerality. Damn I just love the Ramos stuff. Green tones, oodles and oodles of sweetness. Melons, cherries, pine, honey, candies.

Thoughts: I love Ramos. Yea.

Rezpiral Tobala / Tepeztate – Berta Vasquez

Mar 21, 2021

The nose is tobala dominant to me, floral, light, honeyed, with soft green fruits like honeydew and other melons, fresh lemon brightness, cilantro and fresh herbs, vanilla, tons of flowers.

The palate shows more of the tepextate, but mosty I’m struck by the light body, delicacy, florality, and subtle complexity. The finish is rather wonderful, wildflower honey and the agaves showing cleanly with a slight pepper heat.

Almost too thin at times, this bottle (and sample that I had) needed air for sure. A little more weight and balance of the great fruits to the other odds and ends would do wonders. Take this rating with a grain of salt!- I imagine this one to be divisive!

Maguey Melate Espadilla/ Tobala – Federico Valentín Alva Ibáñez

Mar 12, 2021

Nose: I’ll have to look up the proportions here – smells tobala dominant with juicy plums and tropical fruits and a little bit of signature “Expo marker”. A little more earthy espadin, mints, violet candies, lemon, spearmint.

Palate: Chemical entry, quickly going through some fresh herbs into tobala fruits, before getting rather spicy and a bit hot on the finish. More of his grilled lime showing up, dry, decently mineral.

Thoughts: Not my favorite, but a solid effort from somebody who is incredibly capable and experienced.

Maguey Melate Tepextate – Marta and Isaac García

Mar 12, 2021

Nose: Roasted, smoky tepextate. Pine smoke, roasted poblano, some touches of evergreen and watermelon. With time some green mango comes out with more watermelon, a little papaya, some lemongrass, avocado, and really gorgeous and floral peppers.

Palate: More centered on roasted peppers, a sweet floral and fruity entry going into that pepper body with ample lime juice without being too acidic, a little minerality / perhaps salt as well. The finish is a touch ashy and diffuse, but with good length. Sadly though, the flavors that linger aren’t nearly as pleasant as the entry and main body.

Thoughts: If the smoke was a little more controlled and the finish better, this could easily go down as an all time favorite tep.

Maguey Melate Cuixe – Juan Antonio Coronel Maya

Mar 7, 2021

Nose: Sweetness, fruits, graphite, ripe tropical fruits and white wine grapes. Really lovely, papaya leading the most of this with slight bubblegum aspects, berries and some cream cheese, a gentle [bell] pepper. Some banana, lilac, playdoh, lemon dance around the edges for complexity.

Palate: Good entry, definitely on the berries and cream side of things for the entry. Some nice acidity, not much presence of bitterness, though a slight umami/salt note is present underneath the main body – like a harder cheese. Finish is long, aromatic, with vanilla playing a nice role.

Thoughts: Tonight is off to a great start. A new producer and area for me! I wonder if this “cuixe” is like other cuixes varietally for comparison… just tons of complex fruit tones.

Conclusion and “t8ke” scale rating: 8/10. Really hitting hard. Just a touch hot on the finish.

Maguey Melate Cupreata – Federico Valentín Alva Ibáñez

Mar 7, 2021

Nose: Oh that’s nice, mineral, meaty, grilled limes for days, really clear agave, light fruits in syrup, floral. This hits on many receptors. My notes go closest to Tyler’s + the cedar notes. Browned butter ever so softly, bacon bits, a little cayenne, cinnamon, this is just fun.

Palate: Acidic in a fun way, confirming the grilled lime on the nose, a minerality, but just a nice agave body with a light astringent white pepper holding it back. The finish is of decent length, and is subtle and subdued though a touch on the smoky side.

Thoughts: The story behind this guy is amazing; he has a good style going and clearly knows what he’s doing.

Conclusion and “t8ke” scale rating: 7/10. Amazing to taste something like this!

Maguey Melate Pechuga de Mezontle

Mar 7, 2021

Nose: It smells dark, roasted, and the “mezontle” aka roasted pinas I think show through here from what I’ve smelled of post-cook agave hearts. Nice aromatics, all the things I love from Guerrero cupreata show: a sweetness and fruitiness, a bright light acidic character, sweet tobacco, some vanilla and clove spice. Extra smoke and fumes, dry grass, and a little kiwi.

Palate: Light bodied and fresh in a really nice way, a great simple texture, getting a touch gritty on the finish. The main palate is full of agave flavor, with a lot of complexity that is a little hard to convey at times. There’s lots of roasted fruits and sweetness. The finish isn’t as long as I’d like, nor as complex or engaging.

Thoughts: Solid, fun, and roasty. Super cool juice, as per usual from Melate.

Conclusion and “t8ke” scale rating: 7/10. Roasty Guerrero, what’s not to like?

Maguey Melate Ensamble – Luis Enrique Juarez

Mar 7, 2021

46.2% – was my sample from a friend labeled wrong?

Nose: Minerals, gravel, hot charcoal, wow this is unique and esoteric. I’ll readily admit I’m having problems pinning this down. Looking at varietals, there’s some barril grass and mexicano chocolates, sure, brisket burnt ends, a few dried herbs like thyme and sage. More chocolates and meat and black pepper are coming through slowly. For all the dark notes, this doesn’t really smell acrid or burnt.

Palate: A full texture on entry, swelling into a mineral ashen sweetness where a mild pepper fights against charcoal and a vague creamy sweetness. MezcalReviews lists this as 42.6%, regardless, this is a bit hot. The finish has a great agave sweetness that’s earthy and subtle.

Thoughts: I haven’t had much like this, it reminds me of some rustic Michoacan offerings. Really unique, and I want to try more!

Conclusion and “t8ke” scale rating: 6/10. Fascinating juice, totally worth trying. Just a bit hot and esoteric.

Maguey Melate Marteño – Antonio Martinez

Mar 7, 2021

Nose: Huge fruit notes, quince, overripe papaya and banana, slightly estery, methinks. Some earthen stink, this is from Minas, a kinda “cheeses and herbs” thing. Sage. Certainly on the more extreme end of profiles. Parmesan, sage, and overripe fruits. Some quality homemade fancy orgeat references, clay, beef fat.

My feet are tappin’ cuz the funk is real! Just when the main palate I think has hit me with the Bop Gun hard enough, dang ol’ Bernie Worrel signs us off on the finish where beef fat, sage, and banana oil ride it out.

Worthwhile experience, not exactly crushable. The balance seems to fascinate me but ultimately I think this is more of a lesson in extremity. Maybe it’s not really that funky, but, idk. Thanks for reading?

Gusto Historico Tepextate/ Arroqueno/ Madrecuixe/ Cuixe

Mar 4, 2021

49.1%

Peanut butter, banana slices, strawberry Laffy Taffy, lemon drops, violets.

Palate is sweet, some earth, some white pepper floral spice. Vibrant acidity, low bitterness. The finish is long, more earth and mineral driven, but sweet with a little vanilla candle. Ramos is fantastic.

La Medida Madrecuishe

Feb 8, 2021

MIA-M1903US/2019/46.35%

Nose: That gorgeous candied cherry, vanilla, peanuts, minerality. Dragonfruit comes to, with other strawberry and pink fruits. Candied!

Palate: Watery entry, but nice agave flavor, complex, candied fruits, pops of citrus, cinnamon, floral, nice long finish.

Star of the show, and totally my style as well. Give me more proof :P.

La Medida Bicuishe

Feb 8, 2021

MIA-B1903US/2019/46.37%

Nose: Gentle, lots of roots, Miahuatlan bicuishe always gives me kinda marshmallow vibes and we’re not far off here. Hamburger wrapper, lots of minerality, mild kukicha or eccentric white teas… can’t quite place it. We’ll see if the palate is a little wetter than the nose.

Palate: Watery entry, a touch of that ash, but nicely complex. White pepper spice, woody finish.

A touch dry, the lower proof I think hurts here as well. Watery, on the eccentric and austere side. I’m usually ok with that,

La Medida Tepeztate

Feb 8, 2021

MIA-T1903US/2019/46.41

Nose: Roasted peppers, almost nutty, some smoke and very nice charcoal notes. Actually kinda surprised at all the nice smoked wood notes. Oregano, more peppers, varied peppers, green peppercorns.

Palate: More neutral entry, and a little simple. That ash on the nose translates into a slightly acrid burnt taste. Finish is plain and short.

I think I’ll probably be in the minority, but too “burnt”. Some really good stuff going on otherwise!

Sotoleros Mario and César

Feb 7, 2021

Nose: Wool?, earth, old cedar chest, lightly floral and nutty.

Palate: A little grippy and spicy and wooly. Not really a fan, funkier. Lots of dirt.

Thoughts: Not for me, though I get the potential appeal.

Conclusion and “t8ke” scale rating: 5/10. I’ll try again when there’s a different release!

Sotoleros Lalo and Nando

Feb 7, 2021

Nose: Thin, minty, perhaps some acetone. A little beef jerky, teryaki?,

Palate: Chemical, thin, but somehow pleasant. The mints are really lovely, with touches of sage and basil and more mints.

Thoughts: Hard to understand this but it really grew on me.

Conclusion and “t8ke” scale rating: 6/10. Excited to try more from this producer!

La Higuera Cucharilla

Jan 16, 2021

Lot 1 48.2% $157.99/750

Wow. The sotol name is “ludicum rose”, and there’s definitely some rose petal notes to this. I went and smelled some essential oil thereof to be certain. Fresh linen, chlorine, chrysanthemum as well in good amounts. Gentle “rain on rocks” minerality, as we say, but yea it’s about the most floral expression I’ve had.

Sweet entry, sweet palate with some crabapple and other red orchard fruits. When you swallow, the more classic sotol profile comes through. Minerality, dried herbs, light mint, more florality, a light almond flour. Good texture and viscosity. A light wooliness on the finish, though pleasant.

This is a fascinating bottle. A very kind person was gracious enough to give me a sample about a week ago, I promptly bought a bottle and am excited. I really do like sotol, and the excessive floral nature is very up my alley.

Higher proof I think would’ve been nice, just a few points. Not much to complain about. I’m just now seeing the watermelon note in the official tasting notes – good call.

Sotoleros Bienvenido Fernández

Jan 16, 2021

Lot 1 50.8% (80% Wheeleri 20% Shrevei) $95/750

Tasted side by side with a similar Clande lot.

Meaty, with dessicated tropical fruits like plantain in with a nuttiness as well. More floral, almond flour, culantro, some kind of rubber, Xylitol.

Palate: More “grip” to the texture and more rubber flavor, with more nuttiness showing here on a less explosive main event of flavors that’s more even and measured with less development through the finish of desiccated plantain, minerality, light semi-fresh herbal notes, and burnt match. Very complex, austere.

Conclusion and “t8ke” scale rating: 7/10. Interesting form to this, and the different agave is making nice subtle changes. Rockstar producer!

Rancho de la Luna

Jan 7, 2021

Overly “smooth”, nearly lifeless, the texture is strange, floral. Inoffensive, incredibly boring, completely forgettable. So forgettable in fact that I remember exactly what it’s like months later. Yea. Figure that one out.

5 Sentidos Bicuixe-Madrecuixe

Jan 7, 2021

Smells much more like toasted oak, drier spices, forest floor, some sotol-adjacent references. Actually reminiscent of some Bienvenido Fernandez sotol (bottled under Clande), who I was just thinking about purchasing some bottles from. Some similar candied fruits, though recessed, more watermelon and muskmelon. A little nutty, though I can’t quite pin that down.

A little more “chemical” / hot rain on cement driven, which I do like. Perfumed, lightly spicy and drying, complex.

7/10. Fantastic, drying, spicy, complex.

5 Sentidos Bicuixe

Jan 7, 2021

That lightly fishy funk that I’ve come to know with his bicuixe and style, sage, marshmallows, twig tea (kukicha). Actually, yes, that’s almost a perfect note. Kukicha and other such interesting teas! Some mild candied fruits, like watermelon or honeydew canteloupe.

Round, mineral and sweet entry, pushing heavier into minerality before a balloon of fruit flavors bursts on swallow fading into the fun tones described, with kukicha recessed wonderfully.

Compared to other batches I’ve had, the balance here is a little better. Not as brutally earthy and drying… which I do like either way.

8/10. Masterful bicuixe; I’ve been picky about it as a single varietal offering before.

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