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Maguey Melate Lamparillo – Gilberto Roldán

Feb 13, 2023

The nose is a bounty of berries on a self-pick weekend. Strawberries and blueberries. Hay, straw, beeswax, and a bit of honey even. Even after a few minutes of rest, It’s a wide swath of fresh fruits, veg, herbs, and textiles. Sweet potatoes, fennel, baby butter lettuce, and caramelized onions. Agave nectar, aloe, cactus fruit. There’s a light bitter and herbal green tea note as well. The pleasant balance of sweet vegetables and fruits fades over time. More earthy and funky aromas like palm hearts, artichokes, and carrots along with lime and melon rinds. Lastly, a woodsy lumber spice like fragrant sandalwood or hickory.

A soft floral note of fruit blossoms on the palate. Delicate but intensifying. Starchy vegetables – Yuca, yams, pumpkin, or squash. The fruitier notes on the nose become a wooded blooming orchard. A touch of juniper and pine. Salted grits and buttered toast. Green elements of alfalfa and rocket lettuce. A perfume touch of jasmine and lavender. Mineral spring water with added calcium and sodium.

The finish reminds me much of Derrumbes SLP – raw jalapeño. Peppery and bright vegetal notes. Fruity mango spice rub. The wood elements finalize themselves on the finish with a much more dominant tone. Pinewood and coniferous needles. Wood bark and wet firewood. Salty and savory miso powder. Familiar vegetables – Bell peppers, cucumbers, and underripe tomatoes. Green olives and pickle brine. Tannic and metallic finish with pinewood chips and graphite, like chewing on your pencil in elementary school.

This is a fantastic expression and a gem bottled by Maguey Melate. I love the texture and balance of flavors. It is such a flavor diverse, yet balanced mezcal. Your senses are put to the test with each sip, allowing you to explore for as long as you’d like.

Maguey Melate Reposado – Pedro Santiago Martinez

Feb 13, 2023

Star rating is the higher preference of the two expressions. Ratings are below.

Maguey Melate Reposado 42.3% – Pedro Santiago Martinez

The nose is a familiar mellow, faded oak aroma you’d find in many reposado tequilas. Vanillas with a lot of green agave notes. Parsnips, sprouts, raw potato, and a bit of artichoke heart. Very light and unassuming.

Dried lumber and harsher alcohols on the palate. Dried chilies with that earthy, funky oak note. Decaying, fallen trees. Mushrooms and mosses. Wet bricks, clay, and well water. Very much a wet oak and forest floor vegetation flavor.

Very surprising turn on the finish as it’s actually quite enjoyable. The vanilla is more distinct and characteristic with some soft floral notes. Pine trees and damp garden beds. The final lasting tasting note however is a reminder of fetid oak that becomes intrusive to the experience.

The oak here detracts from the underlying spirit for me. The agave notes are overwhelmed with flavors that just don’t seem to belong anywhere.


Maguey Melate Añejo 42.3% – Pedro Santiago Martinez

3-year barrel aged Espadín in the same inherited wooden barrels. These barrels were used for generations to transport mezcal for sale.

The difference is astounding on the nose. Wet vegetation aroma but now the vanillas and caramels are much more refined. Light peppercorn and chili peppers. Oaky, but not tannic. Soft floral dryer sheets. Honey, brittle, and hard caramels. The agave is a bit more masked now through the dank wood notes. The espadín is more forward than the cask itself. Touch of raw coffee beans and a very mild molasses note.

The palate is a wonderful sweet corn and candied yams flavor. Asparagus, roasted brussels sprouts, and char broiled sweet potatoes. Slightly smoky chipotle and anaheim peppers. Agave and cask are more in harmony on the palate. Nutty sweetness of hazelnuts and cashews. Musty, dank, briney oyster mushrooms. Carroway and candied fennel seeds. Metallic cast iron and a slate minerality.

A wonderful agave forward finish. The oak follows with an added complexity that is pleasant and complimentary. Dried lumber and textiles. Black olives, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, and lemongrass. Sage, thyme, juniper, and eucalyptus. A fruity element pops up with honeydew melon and orange peels. A smoldering oak flavor builds like the burnt ear on a fresh loaf of bread. Long grasses and freshly cut lawn rough edge. Dry, sharp black tea notes leave a satisfying finish.

This añejo expression I was searching for adequate notes expecting a flop. I found myself digging for incredible aromas and flavors in the spirit. This is good. Possibly great even, depending on your oak preferences in agave spirits.


Mal Bien Mezcla de 5 Magueyes – Barranca

Jan 26, 2023

An unmistakable clean, antiseptic quality on the nose. Banana leaf, palm fronds, and avocado oil. With even the briefest of rest times, the harsh alcohols fade away. Distinct dark cocoa powder aroma and cream-filled truffles. Tropical fruit peels and waste – Mango, peach, and lime. It’s a sweet nose but think of the more bitter notes from those fruits like peels, pits, and skin left over from your cutting board. Some sweet starchy vegetables like pumpkin and summer squash. Lastly, there’s a touch of seaweed and brine that ties it all together.

The palate is a sweet and fruity sip with a large dose of chili oil. The velvet texture has this mezcal clinging to your palate. Lots of fresh green veg – Cabbage, asparagus, green beans, and salted tomatoes. Sweet cream butter and hominy. Musk melon and honeydew. Yeasted fruit bread flavors with honeycomb, craisins, and dried currants. A woody element in the background reminds me of 2×4 pine lumber with a sap pocket. An earthy sweetness is how best I can describe it.

The “clean” component is back and the wood elements create a drying effect on the finish. It’s not as bad as other mezcals that have this quality but it certainly is not a favorite flavor profile. Thankfully it doesn’t last long and instead, you are left with a more palatable dried fruit flavor. Pineapple, raisins, dried coconut flakes. Mineral-rich water with calcium and slate flavors. The final characteristic of this ensemble is a slowly caramelized sweet onion flavor. It’s bright and sweet but brings a sharp bite that is much needed on the finish.

NETA Madrecuixe, Jabalín, Bicuixe – Miguel García Jarquín

Sep 20, 2022

The nose starts innocently enough. It’s subdued with a wild wisp from the Jabalín every so often. Raw vegetables – potato, yam, baby corn, sweet peas, and eggplant. Savory nose of glazed honey ham with herb and chili butter-basted mushrooms. Fragrant, fresh floral aromas that present themselves like a herb and flower garden. Honeysuckle sweet, green vegetation.

The first comment I want to make about the palate is the decadent texture of this mezcal. It’s rich and clings to your tongue with the flavors enveloping your palate. Stir-fry vegetables, steamed in bamboo. Herb garden – cilantro, chive, parsley, oregano, and a slight touch of dill. There’s a wonderful light wood flavor that I’m discounting a bit. It harmonizes so well with the farmers’ market produce stand flavors. There is a mild sweetness that builds up on the sides of the tongue of honey and agave syrup. It was subtle but you can really notice it with your subsequent sips.

Sublime finish. Simply perfect. Lingers for a long while with a flawless balance of herbs, wood, and vegetables. Vegetable curry. Eggplant, onion jam, stewed ratatouille. Soy, ginger, sesame oil, mirin, and a mild Toban Djan sauce. Some tart and fragrant apple cider vinegar note brings brightness and acidity. Bitter green salad flavors build at the back of the palate of raw radishes and dandelion greens. Finally, a fruity, sweet corn flavor sticks to the sides of your cheeks.

Casa Manglar Espadin y Tobala

Aug 26, 2022

Lot: CM-ET-0821 Bottle: #829 45%

The more tart and sour notes of the espadín come through on the nose. Dried out limes, overripe citrus, or extracts. Foraged, sauteed mushrooms and intense umami richness. Dried spices and mossy, damp forest.

Similar summer flavors with grilled lemons and charcoal. Cast iron seared burnt ends. Hearty and savory flavors. Onions, roasted carrots, garlic, and tomatoes. A well-seasoned steak. Straightforward palate flavors and delicious.

Kindling smoky finish. Grilled meat, rosemary butter. Tyme. The savory notes hold true from nose to finish. Simple again but that focused flavor composition is satisfying.

I found this to be delicious but simpler than the Tobala. I enjoy the flavors and think they harmonize well with one another. The bright citrus of the espadín brings out this meaty, umami note of the Tobala and I think it’s wonderful.

Casa Manglar Tobala

Aug 26, 2022

Lot: CM-T-0821 Bottle: #666 45%

Summer melon aromas on the nose of salted watermelon and citrus. Sage leaves, sandalwood, and grilled aromatics – onions, herbs, roasted agave. Sweet and savory nose. Lemongrass, celery hearts. Raw sugar cane and agave nectar.

Sweet, ripe honeydew and cane sugar flavors on the palate. Caramelized onions and grilled vegetables. Floral elements of bee pollen, honeysuckle, or other edible flowers. Almond extract and cinnamon bark. Wood chips, fresh cut ply, and plastic bags of mulch.

Herbaceous bitter finish. A tinge of salinity with a pickled watermelon rind flavor. Grass and hay flavors dominate for a short bit. Lumberyard or garden center after rain. Mushrooms and topsoil.

This is the first bottle that I can recommend to sip. The flavors are very good and that salinity works well here with the fruity melon and citrus. With all of grilled veg and watermelon, it’s a summer cookout in a glass.

Casa Manglar Espadin y Madrecuishe

Aug 26, 2022

Lot: CM-ME-1 Bottle: #1164 45%

The nose brought on this fall bonfire memory. Herb butter and toast. Wood-scented candles – rosemary, sandalwood, pine but as fuel in a fireplace. Saline – seems like a theme with this distillate at this point. Finally this poolish almost sourdough aroma.

The palate is very gin-like in flavor. Pinecones, juniper, conifer trees, pinewood. Toasted, smoking rosemary. Slate and mineral water. Onion and dried garlic powder. Everything bagel seasoning.

A balanced finish that is enjoyable. Herbal dill and spring onions. Woody and dry but pleasantly so. Burnt matches, sulfur, iron, and copper.

This ensemble is thankfully better together than its individual parts. The woody, juniper-like flavors would be great in a Ranch Water. As a sipper, it’s just ok.

Casa Manglar Madrecuishe

Aug 26, 2022

Lot: CM-M-0821 Bottle: #377 45%

The nose reminds me of the holidays. Lots of fruity notes – plum, cranberry, dried apples. Baking spices. Clove oranges and cassia cinnamon. Calcium-rich water and metallic aromas. Iron, copper, and tin. Warm, sun-soaked flip flop. Lastly, a tiny bit of anise.

Very briny, sea salt flavor on the palate. Unpleasant at first that takes time to acquire a taste for. Driftwood, seaweed, beach air, dune grasses. Fennel, peppercorn, and newspaper.

The baking spices return on the finish. Chai, Chinese five spice, wood bark. Again a paper flavor. Chalk and its associated weird, dry texture. Astringency builds on the finish like oversteamed vegetables. This is salty, not savory.

Very nearly unpalatable. It’s like drinking a mouthful of the Atlantic ocean. This is not balanced at all and the nose is its sole redeeming characteristic.

Casa Manglar Espadin

Aug 26, 2022

Lot: CM-E-0821 Bottle: #867 45%

Citrus and agave forward nose. Fresh lime zest, mineral water, and some pleasant herbal green elements. Some barnyard hay flavors come out with a bit of air. Saline and bandaids. Reserved and safe palatable nose.

On the palate, it’s like a flat lemon/lime seltzer. Simple flavors with your first sip. After you get a bit of the earthy, woody finish, each sip has a bit more complexity. Still very unremarkable.

The finish is the best aspect of this mezcal. Some chili and lime zest. Calcium, earth, and wet gravel notes. Some woodsy elements bring a nice astringency to the citrus and capsaicin kick.

If not for the finish, I would write this espadín off entirely. It’s not just a safely composed spirit but boring. Knowing how well espadín can be, this disappoints me even for a bottle targeted for mixing in cocktails.

NETA Arroqueño – Hermogenes Vásquez + Paula Aquino Sánchez

Jul 20, 2022

Batch: ARQHMG2004

Quite the perfume-forward nose especially for a mezcal. Lavender soap, hibiscus, and rose water. I almost get this familiar toasted elote note on the nose as well like popped popcorn. Fresh cut grass and roasted agave. Plenty of garden green notes of artichoke hearts, fennel, and green bean salad. Some aromatic elements of citrus rind, avocado leaf, and apple cider vinegar. There’s also sweet agave nectar. Finally, some of the metal and mineral influences come out. Aluminum, copper, sulfur, chalk, and graphite. Floral minerals is how I can best describe this nose.

At first sip, you get this diluted fruit tea flavor that quickly coats your palate. Below that facade is a rather complex and confused spirit. Hickory, walnut, hardwood heirloom furniture. Sweet corn and grits. There’s a fermented element of pulque and kombucha. Mushrooms, scallions, dried anchovies. Not a fresh lime but a preserved citrus flavor or extract. Green tea with dried fruit, almonds, hibiscus, and sweetened with raw sugar cane. Green coffee. Leafy vegetables, cucumbers, and sweet peppers. No metals on the palate but some slate, chalk, flint, and wet concrete-like flavors.

After that wild ride on the palate, the finish brings much more composure. Tobacco, leather, and lumber notes. Dull lingering spices of turmeric and coriander spiced chai. Bitter but fruity black coffee. Unseasoned dried meat jerky. Burlap, carpet, rope, rough construction textiles. Colored pencils. Still some weird flavors on the finish but seemingly more focus. While the spices and residual capsicum linger, the other flavors are rather short-lived.

I don’t know whether this mezcal is composed in an odd way or if it’s the perfect example of terroir.

The spirit might be wild but it comes down to the composition for me. Too much going on despite all the lovely flavors. I think tasting the metals and minerals gives you some hints at distillation, the local water, and soil. It’s good but ultimately not a batch I need to buy. I do recommend trying it though. It will certainly entertain your senses.

Creador Espadín

Jul 12, 2022

March 2020 150L Batch

The nose brings a relatively clean and vegetal spirit. Full of raw green elements and touches of citrus. Roasted poblano, dried ancho chilies, adobo sauce. Lime and avocado leaf. Eucalyptus, lemongrass, bell peppers, and aloe. Grilled cactus leaf tacos. Some sweetness with dates and figs. Herbal bubblegum. There are also some more astringent chemical aromas with some rubber innertube, some cardboard, and natural gas. The distillation and fermentation methods are present here as well with a very iron-heavy earthiness that I really enjoy. It’s the scent of a brick sidewalk you can smell after rain.

Summer squash, sweet potato, and seasoned grilled zucchini dominate the palate. Fresh vegetables with a slightly lactic note. Hard crumbly but mild cheese like asiago or cotija. Herbal notes bring more fresh flavors of cilantro, parsley, chives, and lemongrass. There are also some more funky vegetables with some artichoke, fennel, and asparagus flavors present. I also get some fresh lumber notes but not typical pine. Perhaps the walnut is lending a different type of flavor to the spirit. The chemical notes from the nose are not noticeable on the palate at all.

The best part of this mezcal is undoubtedly the finish. Ripe vegetables, tobacco, and lumber notes. It’s dry with more pleasant woody flavors. Dried tobacco and black tea. Odd note but pan-fried tofu in a citrusy Szechuan style sauce. Citrus oils and chili powder. Long grasses, cactus, clover, and dandelion greens. Sugar snap peas and green beans. Finally, my favorite elements are these dense earthy and metallic notes clearly evident from the clay used. Slate, cast iron, and fresh rubber notes give this spirit some depth to an otherwise vegetal espadín.

Maguey Melate Madre Cuishe – Silvestre Jimenez Peralta

May 4, 2022

Savory and briny note that’s difficult to place on the nose. Mushroom risotto, scrambled eggs, onions, salted tomatoes, and roasted poblano. There’s a chemical funk to it like iodine. Heavy mineral water – wet concrete, asphalt, a bit of sulfur. It’s not an inviting nose every so often. Sprouts, alfalfa, chives. Very odd nose on this expression.

Very unique sour lemon flavor as it coats my palate followed by a big kick of capsaicin. Those minerals from the nose are present on the palate as well and reminds me of well water that needs balanced. Calcium, metallic, sodium. Plaster, concrete, mortar. Seaweed, nori, raw carrots, turnips and radishes. Very odd composition of flavors.

The finish leans more into those herbal and grassy notes with a much kinder flavor profile. A metallic and antiseptic flavor still sits on the palate and is not appealing to me. Celery greens, spring mix, arugula. Citrusy vinaigrette – olive oil, black pepper, citrus pith.

This opened up a bit over time and that initial kick of lemon really intrigued me. It didn’t last long however and the minerality took too much away from the good aspects. There is a lot of terrior in this glass. From the water source to the still, I felt like I could taste it all.

Maguey Melate Inaequidens – Miguel Ortiz Villagomez

May 4, 2022

Batch: 48.8% Mini Bottle

Wild nose. Mushrooms, earth, mango, banana peels. It’s got a fermented, yeasty quality. Like a fermented sweet agave nectar, mead-like quality. Coconut water. Dulce de leche. Cheesecake, cream cheese. When you first pour it that lactic quality is very present. Let it sit a bit and more sweeter, overripe, fruits come out.

Noticeably thin on the palate initially. As I was sipping the texture really started to transform in the glass. Incredibly floral. Dryer sheets. Lots of funky woodiness. Orange liquor, lime leaf. Very sweet with those overripe fruit notes then takes a turn with a more dry and bitter profile. Banana skin, plantain. More mushrooms. Creamed butter.

Long and dry finish. The funky fruit gives me summer mead vibes again on the finish. Lactic sour beer. Green lumber. Bit of a chemical note that I do not enjoy. Slightly antiseptic, sterile bandage note.

Rayo Seco Sacatoro

Apr 17, 2022

Lot 202105 Bottle 414/432
Familiar earthy, wet gravel-like nose. Lots of heavy minerality scents. It is sweet, but in a leafy and floral kind of way. Aloe vera, medicinal. Floral citrus blossoms. Cherry wood, cedar lumber and sawdust. Roasted agave. Plantains. Root vegetables – sweet potato and carrots. Allspice dram with a demerara raw sugar flavor. Oyster sauce. Lastly, a sweet and sour vinegar, Kansas City BBQ sauce flavor.

At first sip, you get this really foreign tropical fruit flavor. Fresh apricots. Mineral water and a slight aluminum or cast iron metallic taste. Citrus leaning sweetness with more bitter pithy flavors. Juicy Fruit aluminum gum wrapper.

There’s a really bold clove cigarette flavor on the finish with that minerality maintaining throughout. Slight salinity. Lime peel and leaf. Very clean flavors if a bit dry. The citrus note nags at your palate with a bitter lemon tea flavor.

This is an equally delicious batch from Israel. I however give the Maguey Melate batch just a slight edge as I preferred the briny sourness vs the more vegetal and tobacco finish of the Rayo Seco.

Cuentacuentos Cuish

Apr 7, 2022

Lot: MGG13C September 2020

Incredibly vegetal nose to this one like an alfalfa shake. Lots of citrus oils both lemon and lime. Lime leaf, avocado oil richness. Dark literal earth flavors. Slate, gravel, calcium. Hint of tropical acidity. Chili spiced, glazed and grilled pineapple. A touch of cinnamon. Aloe vera, agave like medicinal aromas.

Bold earth and minerals. Really rich flavors on the palate. Mushrooms. Match sticks, sulfur. Some sweetness is here but not a ton. Pine needles, tobacco, clove cigarettes. Really nice spice with peppercorn, woody cinnamon bark and all-spice berries. Wood and resins. Leaves, hay and dried grass. Green onion and scallions. More of those simple herbs like parsley and spouts

Much more vegetal finish. Dried tobacco and black tea. Pine sap. Agave syrup. Mint, parsley, chives, and celery root. Walnuts, pecans. Boggy moss flavors. Green lumber with a virgin oak spice quality. A very dry lingering finish.

The more I tasted the more I just kind of felt meh about it. Just very one dimensional flavors and having rested an equal amount of time, I felt like this didn’t improve like the other samples from Serafín did. Just a bit disappointed in the flavor after a rather interesting nose.

Cuentacuentos Tepeztate – Serafín

Apr 7, 2022

Lot: MGG12T September 2020

Banana skin or leaves on the nose. Wet 2×4 and plywood lumber. Lots of subtle vegetables – green chilies, raw potato, mild white onion, tomatillo. Some other fruit esters peek out but more align with sweet vegetables like tomato, green beans and cucumbers. With a bit more time in the glass some blue and blackberry comes out. It’s pleasant on the nose if a bit unassuming at first.

Those lumber notes really stand out on the palate here. Roasted chilies with some slight acidity like grilled onions and lemons. Some dried grasses and hay with a limestone water minerality. Calcium rich water. A hearty toasted spice blend – All-spice, maybe a bit of fennel seed, pepper corn, red pepper flakes.

Mellow smoke with similar woodsy notes. On the dry side for a finish. Eases you in with some bitterness that’s rather pleasant. Still that big grass and hay flavor as well. It’s lacking that acidity or sugars from the palate. I sat the glass down to taste another sample and when returning 15 minutes later the berry and honey sweetness came out more on the finish.

Really well made and a great introductory bottle. I think just that additional rest time will really allow you to dive deeper and explore this bottle much more than just a 2 ounce sample can.

Cuentacuentos Espadin Ancestral

Apr 7, 2022

Lot: ACR033 ESP-A July 2020

Big tropical bubble gum nose. Mellows out fairly quickly with a more vegetal, green aroma. Lumber yard and a unique spice. Plum, raspberry, mango, kiwi. Bubble gum spices and herbs – ginger, cardamom, cotton candy artificial “Blue Raspberry”. It’s rather sweet smelling. Lemon verbena, stevia. Clover and violets.

The fruity and sweet nose is not present at all on the palate. Bitter, sour cherries. Tart. Cigar ash, tobacco leaves. The floral notes bring a dried tea flavor. Leaves, kindling, a touch of hay. Definitely changes to a more bitter profile with hints of those tropical flavors catching the sides of your tongue. Flavored tobacco. Maple, cherry wood. Hazelnuts. Faint orange blossom water.

A lingering murmur of smoke on the finish. Earth, gravel. Toasted spices – Nutmeg, pink peppercorn, dried ginger. Again, just wisps of fruit when you exhale after a sip. Unripe strawberry. Cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg. Lime and diet RC-Cola.

This honestly is a great mix of flavors except for this back and forth sweet to bitterness that I experienced. Compared to other Espadin I’ve had, this is outstanding. On it’s own, it’s just not that strong of an expression to me. Will have to revisit this one and perhaps try more from this producer.

Cuentacuentos Coyote Ancestral

Apr 7, 2022

Lot: ACR046 Dec 2020

It’s a whole orchard in a glass. Apples, honey, wood bark. With time, that sweetness predictably fades for more spiced, herbal, vegetables notes. Cilantro, coriander. Earthy walnuts. Lime leaf, grapefruit peel. Sesame oil rich savory aromas. Maple sap in fresh cut lumber. Grasses and edible flowers. It’s mostly sweet on the nose with a savory undertone to it.

An amazingly intense dried tobacco flavor on the palate. A really fine cigar, rich oaky humidor. Expressed orange peel. Green coffee beans. Roasted carrots and yams. A touch of ash but not in a smoky way but more like a charcoal minerality. Salted peaches. Burnt ends with herb butter. Pine needles.

Nice mildly dry oak. Moss and dry grass. It’s like a tannic red wine finish. Dark fruits – plums, figs, and currents. Grape skins. That charcoal ashy flavor is present on the finish as well. It’s a musky campfire. Lots of those herbs and grasses. Sage, rosemary, celery, and parsley. Bit of old leather with a pine wood resin flavor.

I absolutely love this. It’s unassuming and full bodied. Well rounded fruit and woodsy flavors.

La Luna Pechuga de Jabali

Mar 24, 2022

Lot 31 – 48.51%

Right off the nose you get intense stew aromas. Like walking into a kitchen with a slow cooker dinner ready to eat. Roasted fennel, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Some raw potato and root vegetables. Barnyard like scents – wet mulch, moss, and hay. Floral dryer sheets. A fresh green lumber smell. Peppercorns, all-spice berries, with a very light lime leaf. A bit more brine than distinct meat salinity that I expected. Kind of like a salt cure.

On the palate there’s a slightly sour or fermented flavor. Salted green tomatoes. Almonds and cashews. Oatmeal. Mushrooms with a lox and capers. Tinge of wood smoke in there at the back of the palate. I’m missing those herbs I got off the nose. There is also an unexpected sweetness like sugared dates and cooked granny smith apples. A very unique flavor for sure.

The finish has that herb kick I was searching for. Dry rosemary and sage. The stew flavors are also returning with more fennel and green onion. A bit of aniseed and all-spice. Bitter earthy wood flavors like a wet, mossy forest floor. Mushrooms coming through well and true. Kind of a balancing act with the nose and finish complimenting each other.

This is a rather unique mezcal. I expected more salinity but what I got was fantastic nonetheless. I really rather enjoyed the fennel, aniseed flavors in combination with a tomato based stew. It really grounded the flavors against the earthy root vegetables. Comparing this against the Borrego from Antonio Sonido, I might lean more towards Mal Bien’s offering if I was looking for a bit more salt than the tangy brine flavors I got from this La Luna bottle. The addition of fruit really played a nice a role in the recipe. It reminds me of thanksgiving stuffing with spiced sausage and apples.

Lamata A’hl Mai

Mar 3, 2022

This starts out as a fruit smoothie on the nose. It’s tart with some raspberry and cherries, ripe cantaloupe and blueberries. I’ve had this happen to me before so I let it sit just a bit in my copita. Over time, the flavors changed in my glass and that fruit turned to these wonderful savory notes. Sweet potatoes, yams, roasted carrots and butternut squash. The fruit wasn’t entirely gone, but some citrus zest and oils came forward instead.

The flavors on the palate are quite harmonious. Savory and slightly sweet like a sweet potato pie with browned butter and burnt sugars. Green beans and grilled onions compliment a nice capsaicin kick that brings a welcoming warming spicy sensation to the tongue. Citrus, apricot marmalade glaze over fresh vegetables. There’s a savory salty note that reminds me of nori. It’s got this slight brine note that I really enjoy. Some bitter tea leaves and leans slightly earthy or mineral as it sits on your palate. Finally a faint floral quality at the very end.

Pinewood and roasted onions on the finish. It’s more of a green wood flavor. Some nice salinity and slightly dry finish. Raw salad greens. Notably metallic like stainless steel or tin. A high mineral content sparkling water flavor. Raw brussels sprouts, sugar snap peas, and edamame.

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