Chacolo Azul Telcruz 48.6% Jan. 2018 batch
Nose: Mint and french fries. The fries are slight burnt.
Palate: Sweet powdered sugar is followed by an interesting acidity that’shard to describe. Maybe like lime juice from a lime that’s been left out too long. Some of that burnt fry note from the nose comes in.
Finish: Burnt fry note. Medium-long. I actually like this note so I enjoy this finish.
Overall: Fun profile. Despite my lack of notes there is some complexity.I think a touch more oomph on the palate would help.
47.1% Jan. 2020 batch
Nose: Cherry jolly ranchers and blood orange.
Palate: Cherry and raspberry. Blood orange joins after. Then there’s this odd fluoride mint note that reminds me of going to the dentist.This doesn’t feel cohesive, but it’s fun.
Finish: That fluoride lasts. When I first tasted this with friends I got a vomit note that I hated, but it wasn’t here this time. Long length.It actually turns into a more refreshing spear-mint like note.
Overall: The fruit and mint combo is kind of fun. I just don’t like the acidic blood orange notes. Reminds me of brushing my teeth after drinking orange juice.
Chacolo Ixtero Verde 46.5% Apr. 2020 batch
Nose: Smells like what tropical skittles taste like. Some artifical fruit.
That salinity and potato note I get on some of these chacolo. Nice!
Palate: Lime and grilled pineapple. Parsley. This is nice. Tropical fruit and juicy.
Finish: Medium length. Pineapple remains.
Overall: Kind of reminds me of Cuentacuentos’ tepeztate from Alejandrina or the tobala from Tomas Garcia Cruz that Neta bottled. It’s got that tropical fruit. Unfortunately, it lacks the character of the other two.
Chacolo Ixtero Amarillo 46.5% Jun. 2019 batch
Nose: Lime, parmesan, balsalmic vinegar, and brussel sprouts. Acidic and vegetal. Chlorine!
Palate: Ash, blood orange, and salted edamame. Improves with air time and this mushroom note emerges.
Finish: Medium-short finish. Edamame and ash remain. Some of that blood orange.
Overall: I don’t like this, but I can drink it. Better than the ensamble with Brocha, in that it’s drinkable but not something I would buy–especially not for the money.
Chacolo Ixtero Amarillo/Brocha 47.4% Sep. 2016 batch
Nose: Smells like fluoride and mint. Big dentist office vibes. Not appealing. Some baker’s chocolate emerges with air time.
Palate: Not as much of that fluoride mint up front, but then chemicals and burnt brussel sprouts emerge towards the finish. Dank vegetation.
Finish: That fluoride mint note remains.
Overall: I did not like this at all. There’s some complexity, but I did not enjoy the notes and I struggled to finish this.
Chacolo Brocha 48.3% Dec. 2017 batch
Nose: Sweet mint that’s ice cream like. Lime. Smells like a mojito.Potato chips.
Palate: Good mouth feel. Vanilla bean, peppermint, and a hint of lime.
Finish: I like this finish. Good length with lots of mint.I love good mint notes. Fries and mint ice cream.
Overall: I’m a fan of this. Not super complex, but the profile really jives with me.
Nose: Cinnamon and cumin. Lots of minerality. Smells like wet stone in a creek.I detect a hint of some acidity. Something like a particularly tart kiwi. There’s something on the nose that reminds me of grape leaves in lebanese food. A nutty note also jumps out. Cashew maybe. Really fun to smell a lot ofthings here.
Palate: Good sweetness and cinammon up front. Then some sweet ripe banana arrives.A dank moss note comes in after this sweet entry.Then lots of acidity that wasn’t present on the nose. This is very interesting. Kind of like tart red grapes. This is kind of a wacky profile yet, I dig it a lot.Mouthfeel is good too. Not gripping but it wears its proof well.
Finish: The grape leaves and cinammon meld on the finish. That cashew is there too. Medium-long to long length. The minerality lingers long at least, even after other flavors fade.
Overall: This is an oddball profile. If someone got the impression that Neta bottles a lot of clean and pretty distillate (which they do), then I’d pour this as a counterpoint. It’s not that it’s not clean so much as the profile brings a lot of interesting notes to the table that you don’t find often. The complexity is there even though it doesn’t feel entirely cohesive.It doesn’t rise to the highs of Neta’s best batches, but it’s just fun and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every pour of it.
47.3% ABV. Lot ENSPMV2010
Nose: Vanilla. Kind of like an orange cream soda. Really lovely nose.A touch of that kimchi I sometimes find with Miahuatlan jabali.
Palate: Wow bright and fruity. Big orange notes with a bit of lemon.A bit of underripe pineapple and perhaps some canteloupe.Some salinity. That kimchi is there too. Just this nice combination of these yellow/orange fruit and a bit of saltiness. Decent mouthfeel.
Finish: Spice on the finish. A bit like cayenne. Fun transition. The salinity and minerality is on full display. Medium-long to long length.
Overall: Wow this is stellar. I feel like a lot of these older CA exclusive Pueblo de Sabor batches are just bangers. I’ve only had one of these batches I didn’t like and several were great. Mouthfeel is one of the few areas this could be better. The only drawback is that though all aspects of the profile are great, they don’t feel completely cohesive at times. This profile agrees with me. I think I might acquire a bottle.
This ensamble of Mexicano Verde and Bicuixe was a batch for the June Hotel Swim Club. I believe that the Mexicano Verde used for this batch were 30+ years old and planted by Primitivo’s father. 46.3% ABV
Nose: Chocolate. Orange zest. Wood. Green beans.
Palate: Big chocolate notes. A bit of salt. Those green bean notes. Then more chocolate. A bit of damp vegetation.
Finish: Loads of chocolate. A slight bit of salinity.
Overall: Really tasty for those who like those chocolate notes in their Mexicano. Really desserty profile. Has gotten more desserty with air time in the bottle. A very good mezcal that’s just missing that little something for me that would make it a great mezcal for my palate. A bit more oomph would just push it over the edge. But the chocolately profile with a hint of we vegetation is nice.
2 lots to review:
I forgot the lot number on this first batch and couldn’t find the batch info on Mal Bien’s site. I do remember it ended with VR, though.
Nose: Such a strong fruit gum note. Strawberries. A hint of leaves.
Palate: So much bubble gum up front. It’s followed by cherry and then an odd spice. It kind of reminds me of cherry limeade.
Finish: There’s some spice and earthy veggies (potatoes and carrots?) toward the finish. Good length.
Overall: This is a nice value. I have my biases. The Ramos duo hits often for my palate. Victor’s mezcal especially.
The second lot is: 0520ER. I’m assuming this is Emmanuel Ramos since this lot ends with ER, and the other I tried ends with VR.
Nose: Lime. Wet bushes. A hint of gum. Nose is dominated by the lime/citrus note.
Palate: There’s more gum on the palate, but the lime persists along with some wood notes and spring mix esque notes. There’s a bit of a petrol note that’s off putting.
Finish: Herbs appear in the finish and join that tart lime. On the shorter side, length wise.
Overall: I got this for a good price, so I’d say the bottle is worth it, but it’s not my favorite pour from Emmanuel Ramos. It’s better than the Madrecuixe/Bicuixe/Tepextate but not as good as some of his other bottles with Mal Bien. I like the slightly candied lime that appears, although there’s other notes that detract from the experience for me.
This batch of Arooqueno from Hermogenes and Paula was made from 9 pinas of Arroqueno from a nearby community. This was their first 100% arroqueno batch due to its scarcity in the area. This was a batch for the EU market.This will be the first of quite a lot of Neta reviews from me, as Neta is arguably my favorite brand.
Nose: Cinammon, brown sugar, and plantain lead the way. There’s a bit of a funky acidic smell along with a kitchen cleaner like scent.
Palate: Lots of round brown sugar up front. Then acidity joins it. It’s some lime and orange. There’s an odd almost pita-bread like note in there too. I’m not totally in love with the profile, but the mouthfeel here is very good and the complexity is there.
Finish: Wood hits towards the finish. The finish feels slightly odd in its transition and it dries out the mouth. Moderately long length.
Overall: There’s good complexity and strength of character here, but the profile just doesn’t quite jive with me.
This is 45% ABV. Lot A9.
Nose: Black tea leaves and lemon. A bit of creamed corn. There’s an herbal note. Maybe oregano? There’s some slightly funky cheese note that reminds me of cotija.
Palate: This has a sweet entry. It really reminds me of southern sweet tea. A bit of that creamed corn from the nose returns. The mouthfeel is sadly a bit thin.
Finish: The herbal oregano like note lends a drying finish that balances out the sweet tea that appeared earlier. The length is on the shorter side of moderate, though it does remain for more than a moment. The transition between the palate and the finish is nice.
Overall: A nice spring/summer sipper. It reminds me of drinking sweet tea on a porch or patio in the hot Louisiana summer. It’s good but unfortunately it lacks both the complexity or strength to get into very good territory.
This Cenizo comes from Enrique and Federico Cruz at 52.5% abv. So far the Familia Cruz bottlings have been favorites of mine from the Lamata lineup, along with Sosimo
Jarquin’s various expressions. This is one of the more affordable bottlings in the Lamata lineup. Lot CEN-C 12/1/2020
Nose: Watermelon jolly ranchers! There’s a hint of balsalmic vinegar. There’s also some tart strawberries.
Palate: The attack is a strong helping of watermelon, candy, and balsalmic. It feels less candied than the noses suggests. It’s tart like jolly rancher candy, with some nice acidity. There’s a thick mouthfeel on this. With water added some bubblegum joins in to mellow out some of the acidic watermelon nose.
Finish: Unfortunately, the finish is a tad hot. The 52.5% makes itself none. There’s also a bit of an acrid plastic note. It’s joined however by this nice basil and balsalmic note that reminds me of caprese salad. The finish is drier than the palate and feels slightly disjoint.
Overall: This is a fun and powerful expression and the palate is right up my alley, sans some of the heat. Some flaws on the finish hold this back from excellence, but I still really enjoy this pour overall. Water helps tame some of the harsh notes, although I rarely feel inclined to proof down mezcal.
Cuentacuentos Tepeztate by Everardo Garcia Salvador (Mezcal #2)
This batch of Tepeztate by Everardo is hybrid distilled like his madrecuishe batch. This I believe is one of Everardo’s last batches before he passed away.
Aroma: This is less sweet than his madrecuishe batch on the nose. I get lots of lemongrass and minerality. There still is a sweet thread throughout this that reminds me of the cornbread I grew up eating in Louisiana.
Palate: This is sweeter up front on the palate than on the nose. These hybrid distilled batches match up really well on the nose and palate. The minerality and lemongrass come towards the finish. I feel like there’s also some slightly green banana imparting a slightly tart note. The balance between the green notes produced by the tepextate and the sweeter cornbread notes and minerality that I would guess come from the clay run is exceptional. Whereas the madrecuishe felt a bit more cohesive, this feels like a tug of war where neither side is gaining dominance. Great mouthfeel on this.
Finish: Fantastic finish. The minerality and banana intertwines, but the banana feels sweeter than it initially was on the palate. Good length.
Overall: Wow, what a wonderful batch from Everardo. The balance here is fantastic. It’s hard to complain about anything, but if I had to nitpick I think a hair more complexity would make this an all-time favorite with me. The bottle is still relatively untouched, so I’m hoping I find that touch of complexity with a bit more time working through the bottle.
Cuentacuentos Madrecuishe by Everardo Garcia Salvador (Review #1)
This batch of Madrecuishe by Everardo is interesting due to being a hybrid distillation with a clay pot run and a copper pot run. Everardo hails from San Pablo Mitla, which is an area I have not had mezcals from other than those from Everardo.
Aroma: Sweet up front. There’s a beignet-esque scent here with a balance between sweet sugary notes and buttery pastry notes. There’s a hint of wet cement followed by wet green bean.
Palate: This is wonderfully sweet and round. The palate follows the nose quite well with the pastry notes a bit more subdued, but the mouthfeel is full and buttery. The clay pot doesn’t totally cover up the karwinskii green bean and spinach notes I often get. But this isn’t woody like some madrecuixe can be.
Finish: Moderate length. Reminds me a bit of those small grocery store donuts.
Overall: This hybrid distillation is wonderful. I haven’t properly reviewed his copper pot tobala, but I prefer this. Typically, I’m not the biggest clay distilled karwinskii fan. I feel like the clay tends to dominate the karwinskii on many of the expressions from Minas I’ve tried. I really feel like the clay influence here really compliments the madrecuixe instead of smothering it. It’s not the most complex madrecuixe I’ve had, but it’s a great value and one I could drink regularly.