Lamata A’hl-Mai 47.5% – Aurelo + Abel García Soto

“Little Agave” from Sierra del Mezquital

This agave spirit was distilled from Agave maximiliana var. baker and aside from some small samples, I haven’t had much Maximiliana. A taste of some Raicilla from Venenosa and a small sample from a previous Maguey Melate batch. Not much at all to compare. Admittedly, I poured this batch of Lamata samples first because of the attractive orange wax color and the name “A’hl-Mai”. Finding out the A’hl Mai meant “Little Agave” in O’odham lead me down the Wikipedia/Youtube rabbit hole learning about the Oʼodham language and it’s history of the Tepehuán people.

The agave in this batch was brought in from hours away near Nayarit. It was mashed with axes as displayed on the logo of the bottle. Cooked underground, and fermented naturally with spring water. It was then twice distilled in a copper and wood still before adjusting for proof with heads and tails.

To me 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.

I get such a “complete meal” vibe from this one. Fruity on the nose, some salinity on the palate and finish. There’s a good mix of everything and perfectly balanced with it’s flavor composition. I like it a lot but it’s a difficult one to rate. Would I buy a bottle, maybe and that’s a somewhat questionable maybe. It feels safe but at the same time perfect? if that makes sense. I’m sure if I compared this to other industrial mezcals, this would just blow it out of the water. I am definitely spoiled getting to taste exceptional spirits and this batch certainly is exceptional. Just going to upgrade this to buy instead of just a maybe.