Nose: creme brulee, buttered popcorn, caramel, vanilla bean, and slightly green notes.
Flavor follows the nose with lots of big, round, sweet sugary notes with a touch of minerality and funk. A bit too sweet for my tastes but this is a very unique espadin and one of the better angustifolia expressions I have had.
Batch 1, 2018 by Santos Juarez.
Definitely got the funk. Aromas of cheese (blue cheese mixed with cream cheese), strawberries, chalk, play-doh, barnyard aromas, very earthy yet herbal like a good rooibos tea, grilled brocollini, grapefruit pith, and smoldering earth notes, amongst other stuff I can’t quite put my finger on. Taste is very green upfront with loads of roasted agave and tropical notes like papaya and mango along with butter toffee which goes into a beautiful mineral note like wet cement which lasts through the long smoky finish with more roasted agave and blueberries peeking through. This is a wondrous raicilla and one of the best agave spirits I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. So much going on.
Edition: 16, Harvest: 2017, 48%ABV
Rafael Mendez Cruz
Aromas of bubblegum, a bit earthy (bails of hay or dry leaves), VERY “green” of the likes of bell peppers, grilled asparagus, and poblano peppers. Some mango-like tropical notes are evident as well as some green herbal and floral notes. Lots going on here but it’s very harmonious.
Taste is loaded with bright green bell pepper and poblano peppers, very spicy, grassy, more green herbs, vanilla/cinnamon, just a touch of mint, and finishes with a nice earthy smokiness with that chili pepper spiciness still tingling on the tongue.
Awesome Tepeztate! I also have a bottle of the Edition 15/2016 from Ignacio Parada that I’m eager to compare to this one. If it’s anything like this, it’s worth the money.
Edition: 13, Harvest 2016, 47%ABV
Smells of ashtray and paint thinner with some subtle roasted vegetables trying to poke through but keeps being overtaken by alcohol fumes. Taste is a little better with earthy vegetable notes, subtle tropical fruits, and clay-like minerality but then the finish kills it again. Like Tyler said in a review below, it’s reminiscent of menthol cigarettes along with a harsh bitterness. This is by far the worst EJ bottle that I have had yet. For the money I laid down for it, I hope it gets better with time.
Edition 08: / Harvest: 2006 / 47.8% ABV
Rafael Méndez Cruz
Aromas of vanilla, blueberries, grilled asparagus, and slight wintergreen. Flavor has more impact with notes of roasted agave, raw broccoli, vanilla, herbs, and wintergreen atop a buttery caramel backbone. The minty caramel notes continue into the medium-length finish with a sprinkle of black pepper and pine. Pretty smooth for it’s nearly 48% abv. A good espadin but it failed to live up to the expectations that the EJ line instills. Better can be had for less, imo.
Joel Barriga, Oct 2018, 49.4%abv
The nose keeps switching back and forth between butterscotch and cheesy jalapenos (jalapeno poppers). The taste is buttery and green…jalapeno peppers, roasted agave, slight wintergreen mint, backed with some big caramel sweetness. The finish very vegetal but dipped in raw honey and sprinkled with black pepper. A bit hot like most Vagos but I expect it to round out a bit as the bottle volume continues to go down. Great espadin as to be expected from a Vago.
Edit: Recently grabbed a bottle from Emigdio Jarquin (7/2018) and it is a bit different yet just as high quality. Less butterscotch/caramel, more vegetal/fruity. Highly recommended and you can’t do better for the price, imo.
Edition 07 from 2017, Bottle 309/800, Regulo Martinez Parada
Nose is initially of pine nuts, a bit floral, very mineral, with notes of roasted agave poking though but becoming more apparent with more air time. The taste is extremely mineral with flashes of baking chocolate and very slightly minty. Finishes with more mineral, wet cement, and dirt/soil which fades into a long dusty finish not unlike an old book.
Edit: Revisit…all them slightly off notes that were there upon opening the bottle are gone except a faint mustiness that isn’t unpleasant and replaced with pure mango (the flesh nearer the skin) and rose water. Up to 4 stars!
Edition: 13, 2016, Ignacio Parada, 47%ABV
The nose is piney (pine sap), super spicy, mineral, lemon zest, along with some vegetal, roasted agave notes poking through. Roasted agave is more apparent on the taste as well as milk chocolate, juicy fruit gum, lemon/lime, mineral, and some berry fruit notes. Finish is long, semi-dry, ashy mint, a little soapy, and a tad strident. This Mexicano has a thin body but is extremely oily. All-in-in-all: Delicious!
Lot: A-06-C-16, 50.5%abv, March 2016, Aquilino Garcia
Phenomal nose! Big aromas of charred agave, vegetal, light mint, mango, and vanilla. Taste follows suit with roasted agave, wintergreen mint, green bananas, and mango. Finishes minty, roasted vegetation, with a huge peppery kick. Alcohol burn is definitely present and ends slightly dry, bitter, and earthy. Very creamy mouthfeel. This is an in-your-face, big and bold mezcal and I absolutely love it.
Very watery, and a little sweet. Purely a mixer and prob not even that good of one at that. There are cheaper mixers on the market; a lot of them. Way too expensive for what it is. I see no reason to ever buy this.
Batch L-0011 2012 52.3%abv Espadin 10yrs
Don Lorenzo Angeles Mendoza
Lots of clay and acetone on the nose as well as hints of lavender and vanilla. More clay on the taste along with vanilla, light smoke, delicate mint, and strawberry rhubarb pie. Clay and smoked strawberries and mint linger on forever in the finish. Surprisingly smooth given the very high ABV. One thing is for sure: the folks at Real Minero are masters of their craft.
Lot: DS00 8A-C 48.3%abv
Nose is very vegetal, charred zucchini, fruity with a touch of earthiness, citrus lime, banana, buttercream. Taste is more vegetal notes of roasted agave, banana, toffee, with mint on the back end along with an alcohol bite. Finish is dry and a bit chalky. This is really great but I do wish the finish was a bit longer. Still rock solid.
Smells of musty leather with a hint of fruitiness trying to poke through. Taste is dark, earthy, and smoky. Complete opposite of most of the mezcales I have been sipping on lately. Leather, forest floor, black olives, portabello mushroom, sticks/dried leaves, tobacco, with notes of blueberries trying to balance out all them dark earthy flavors. Finishes with a lingering smokiness. Big, creamy mouthfeel on this one as well. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one but I very much so dig it.
Tastes slightly sweet and loads of burnt rubber. Not to be sipped…Fine as a mixer I guess if you desire some “smoke” but this one is more akin to funky burnt-out tires than smoke.
Batch No. RML-07, 48.9% abv
Right off the bat there is roasted peanuts on the nose. Along with the peanuts, I picked up coconut, lime, slightly floral, slightly vegetal, and slightly minty. The aromas are very nuanced and delicate. Taste is equally nuanced and balanced to a tee. Vegetal like fresh lightly roasted greens, spearmint and wintergreen minty notes, there is a citrus element poking through, some tropical notes….there is lots going on here but it’s all so delicate and nuanced showing off the superb talents of the mezcalero. Very creamy mouthfeel and the minty and vegetal finish goes on for what feels like days on end. I can’t get enough of this finish! Also, if you happen to burp, it tastes like peanuts. This is a superbly crafted mezcal and is dangerously smooth. I can’t say enough about this mezcal and look forward to seeing how the spirit evolves during the lifespan of my bottle. 5/5 stars without reservation.
On the nose it’s slightly smoky with a bit of earthiness, vegetal, juicy fruit gum, mango, and pineapple. Initially the taste is roasted agave/vegetal and peppery then morphs into delicious tropical fruit bomb with mangos, papaya, pineapple, lots of juicy fruit gum that slowly fades away to a chalky finish with a touch of cinnamon. Very good.
Subtle smoke on the nose along with earthy, dusty, and vegetal notes…nothing too big. The taste changes all that though. Fruity (lemon/lime), earthy, vegetal, minty (spearmint), and some smoke all in one balanced package. Peppery/piney finish with subtle notes of burnt rubber. A bit thin on the mouthfeel but it’s a classic for a reason.
Lot 02A/18, 52.4% ABV
The nose is initially quite muted with notes of acetone but opens up wonderfully after a few minutes with truckloads of berries, white grapes, and vegetal roasted agave notes. The taste is slightly mineral with pez candy, roasted agave, mango, strawberries…loads of bright fruitiness. It finishes with a peppery kick and tropical fruitiness. This is a very bright, fruity, and zippy espadin with a full-bodied mouthfeel. I know that it goes against the entire philosophy behind this release (diluting the abv with the “puntas”) but a couple drops of water opens everything up even more. Wonderful espadin.
Edition 5 from 2016. Batch: PV0ES081117NS
Very faint whiff of smoke on the nose. Predominantly fruit forward (white grapes, honeydew melon), some lavender, and some chalky element going on. Flavor is also very fruit forward, extremely mineral, wet cement, clay, perfumy, a bit soapy, and a touch harsh on the finish. More perfume on the finish which I think another reviewer nailed when he said it’s reminiscent of jasmine; which I’m not a fan of. I’d prefer some more vegetal notes and less perfume/floral but it’s got a good stuff going on too and it’s obviously quality.
Lot 14, 09/2018, 43.9%abv
The nose very “green” akin to jalapeno/poblano peppers with undertones of cheese…perhaps a touch of onions in there as well. Basically, it smells like jalapeno poppers in a glass. Taste is more of the same with a pepper spice kick. The green pepper flavors cling to your palate forever. Overall, a solid and distinctive mezcal that pushes a lot of great buttons and is an absolute bargain. I just wish that it had a higher ABV which I venture would bring out more depth which it lacks. I recently had a taste of a Mezonte Jalisco Raicilla that shared a lot of these flavors with tons of extra depth and complexity and blew my mind.