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Vago Ensamble – Aquilino

lot curry-30. 51% mexicano, 49% madrecuixe. 162 liters. january 2016. 51.8% abv. exactly like what i imagine the two expressions from vago poured into the same glass would taste like. interesting that the two are so distinguishablein this ensamble. doesnt ever really become its own flavor but rather oscillates between the two seamlessly. delicious but not mind-blowing nor revelatory, which i kind of hoped for for an ensamble of my favorite magueys from one of my favorite producers. if you manage to stumble upon this, you can scoop it ip knowing the juice is worthwhile to boot.

Oct 21, 2018

La Herencia de Sanchez Ponche de Frutas

lot D5002-FR, nov 2016, bottle 156/181. it took me a while to figure out what this one smelled like. runts, epsecially banana. fruit and spice galore on entry, agave nectar, hot on the end. very tasty but a little rough around the edges. perhaps needed a little more time in the glass to open up and even out. giving it 4 stars in good faith, as my experience with freshly opened bottles is that they really come into their own as soon as a week after being exposed to the elements. as of now it’s drinking like a 3.5.

Oct 21, 2018

Rancho Tepúa Bacanora Blanco

lot 002/05/17, matured in glass for 182 days, 48% abv. floral minty-ness with wafts of confectionary shop in the background. a hint of mesquite on the nose is a bit more present on the palate. forestral sweetness, fresh mint without the menthol, slate, desert sand. very elemental. packs a pleasant bite too. finish is long and very nice, maybe my favorite part of this dram. big bang for your buck here. will happily keep this stocked on the bar.

Oct 21, 2018

5 Sentidos Bicuixe-Madrecuixe

batch EN02, 48.2% abv, bottle 233/268. holy karwinskii! perhaps the best i’ve had, though i think i give mezcalero #16 the edge. more herbaceous on the nose than i’ve had before but otherwise, luscious and bold karwinskii notes, lovely and round vegetal sweetness, musty hot sand. someday i’ll figure out exactly how to articulate the way karwinskiis hit my senses and fire off all the synapses in the pleasure center of my brain. the palate is big but as smooth as eggs, pulling every which way while silkily gliding along the tongue. wish i could’ve spent more time with this one. will be grabbing a bottle asap. i suggest you do the same.

Oct 18, 2018

5 Sentidos Papalometl

batch PM02, 44.3% abv, 152/268. 4.5 stars. didn’t get a chance to read or take a picture of the back label. earthy, barnyard funk runs rampant on the nose much like the 5 sentidos sierra negra, though not as intense/complex. it’s the top note upon entry but quickly morphs thereafter. starts leathery and gives way to lovely tobala fruitiness. fun to drink, very nice. a little thin on the palate though and perhaps suffered by comparison to the other two i drank this next to (5 sentidos sierra negra and bicuixe-madrecuixe).

Oct 16, 2018

Real Minero Tobala

RMT-02, 2015 harvest, 49.5% abv, don lorenzo angeles mendoza. very autumnal. deep, ripe pears, hint of mulling spices, earthy clay and distant campfire toastiness give the impression of burning leaves. palate is rich, deep, and round in a way that i haven’t had in any other tobala. i imagine that’s the clay influence. it almost tastes like a jabali to me. mineral driven from midpalate into the finish. medicinal at the very end, unfortunately. really good otherwise. finding that i like tobala as part of an ensamble more than on its own.

Oct 6, 2018

El Jolgorio Tobala

edition 9, 2015, 47.8% abv, gregorio martinez g. fruit forward nose with a lightly ferment-y twang, baking spices. anonymous fruitiness leads the palate followed by that jolgorio clean agave greenness, pink peppercorn. the finish is like walking by a bath & body works store. obviously a high quality product but lacking in anything truly exceptional.

Oct 6, 2018

El Jolgorio Mexicano

edition 6, 2014, 47.1% abv, ignacio parada. smells like a warm greenhouse full of agave and rocks, with a waft of boozy sweetness somewhere between acetone and floral notes. quite nice on the nose. light and smooth on the palate. vegetal sweetness, slightly toasty, mineral-heavy finish. leaves a nice aftertaste. very pleasant all around. trying not to let my love of other mexicano expressions weigh on my ranking of this. this is an easy 4, but relative to other mexicanos i’ve had that are among my favorites (mezcalero special #2, marca negra, vago), this verges on negligible. more a testament to how good those other ones are than anything else.

Oct 6, 2018

5 Sentidos Jabali-Tobala

batch EN03. 48.1% abv. bottle 48/87. i’m having a hard time picking this one apart, as there is a ton going on and it’s rather elusive in the glass. seems to morph and develop by the minute. like the 5 sentidos sierra negra from the same mezcalero, it’s at once rustic and refined. HUGE nose. upfront is a fragrant fruitiness that i can’t quite pin (overripe apples, grilled pineapple, ???) , roasted agave, toasted oak, slight barnyard funk. sweetness on the palate is very earthy, slightly vegetal, with musty minerality and all the fruitiness from the nose harmonizing in the background. very deep and round in the mouth, unbelievably smooth with a pleasant warming buzz as it goes down. long, long finish elegantly fades into hot desert rocks. tremendous mezcal. must try the rest of the line.

Sep 28, 2018

Marca Negra Arroqueno

batch MJ20-15, 48.6% abv. smells and drinks like a bourgie candy shop. sweet with a lot of depth… red fruits, banana, bubblegum, flowers, hint of roasted beets, nice hit of salinity. like all don beto mezcals, super clean. finish is a bit short. a great arroqueno. 4.5 stars.

Sep 24, 2018

Vago Cuixe

lot A-06-C-16 by aquilino, 50.5% abv. bitey roasted agave and charred vegetables, earthy, acetone, campfire, a bit spicy with undertones of unsweetened cocoa and chalk. big mezcal with a kick. hunting lodge juice.

Sep 21, 2018

Mezcalero Special Bottling No. 2

found a couple bottles.

GOOD GOD. unbelievable mezcal. without a doubt the best nose i’ve come across in the world of agave spirits. its completely transportive. smells like a desert oasis—fruit blossoms, spring water, warm sand, wet rocks, cucumber, toasted marshmallow. tastes of vanilla bean flan, spa water, bright ripe peach, tingly baking spices, a slight touch of green peppers and leather, deep deep minerality. perfect harmony. otherworldly mouthfeel, silky and ethereal. the finish goes on forever. booze is undetectable, smoke is all but absent save for a very pleasant toastiness. don valente is a wizard.

really is the finest mezcal in bottle.

Sep 21, 2018

Del Maguey Arroqueno

almost a 5, my favorite of the DM range. stewed fruit and burnt sugar on the nose. dark flavors reminiscent of heavily sherried single malt, complete with sulphurous char. burnt vanilla and blistered chilis. rich creamy finish. brooding and robust. a drink to end the night with.

Sep 18, 2018

Del Maguey Santo Domingo Albarradas

smells like a scented candle shop. musky sandalwood, apples, dried flowers, plastic-y synthetic tinge to everything. vague hints of warm baking spices and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Sep 18, 2018

5 Sentidos Sierra Negra

batch SN02. barnyard is the overarching note to this. waxy pear, new rubber soles, slight cheesy funk, clean burning embers. much brighter on the palate with sweet, mouthwatering acidity. eucalyptus, new shoes, leathery finish with a faint hint of smoldering campfire. long mineral finish with a touch of goat’s milk. this is among the most beguilingly and enjoyably complex spirits i’ve ever tasted.

Sep 11, 2018

Lalocura San Martinero

2017, 47.1% abv. first barril. gorgeous and full. the aromas are that of a shaded river bank, vegetal sweetness, big high tone fruits. vivid karwinskii deliciousness. faint clay on the finish. priced a bit aggressively but this is damn fine mezcal. 4.5 stars.

Sep 11, 2018

Marca Negra Dobadan

MJ09-14. impossible to pick apart. everything is so beautifully and fully integrated that it’s just its own beautiful whole. very bright and fragrant, floral, sweet. if this had a silkier mouthfeel, it would be my new favorite. lights out good.

Sep 9, 2018

Vago Mexicano

lot A-37-M-14, the legendary october ’14 90/10 blend. scoured the internet based on the reviews for this particular batch, and after much ado found a store that had it. initial impressions upon opening skewed towards underwhelmed but it’s settled into itself considerably. fragrant, sweet, and spicy. a touch thin on the palate and medicinal on the finish. 4 stars.

lot A-08-M-17. 100% mexicano. 51.9%. peaches and gingerbread, buttery undertone that gives this immense richness. gets a bit floral as it opens up. a hint of maple syrup kicks in during the long, sweet and earthy finish. radiant warmth as it goes down. very autumnal. mel torme singing “agave roasting on an open fire.” not particularly complex, just stupid delicious. 5 stars.

Sep 9, 2018

El Jolgorio Espadin

edition 07, 2014, 47.8%, pedro vasquez. one of the sweetest mezcals ive come across. deep, sugary nose with a bit of ethanol. tastes a bit like drugstore rainbow sherbet with mouthwatering acidity. a touch soapy, with ashy bitterness on the finish.

Sep 7, 2018

Real Minero Espadin

batch L-00401, ‘08, don lorenzo angeles mendoza. fragrant and floral nose that makes it seem more like a sake or gin. roasted agave becomes more apparent as it opens. drinks mineral spring water. smooth and very refreshing. clay is at the upper end of the threshold for being pleasant, which is a great thing. easy and very pleasant drinking with this one.

Sep 6, 2018

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