Inaequidens, Madre Cuishe, and a Chuparrosa
I switched over my subscription to the club mini box mostly due to running out of space with the 375ml bottles. Honestly, this has helped tremendously to actually consume the mezcal rather than simply taste it a few times before plopping it on my shelf.
For the April and May boxes, you were presented with an Inaequidens (Alto/Bruto) from Miguel Ortiz Villagomez, a Madre Cuishe from Silvestre Jimenez Peralta, and lastly a 100ml mini of Chuparrosa from Sergio Martinez Rodriguez.
Full details on these batches as well as how to subscribe, can be found over at Maguey Melate.
Maguey Melate Inaequidens 48.8% – Miguel Ortiz Villagomez
I should preface this with a note regarding proof/batch. As I have the mini box the proof on my label stated 48.8%. During the taste and chat, we learned there were multiple batches with varying proofs. Some of the 375ml bottles stated 53% and others were I think 51%. The way Miguel makes “mini” batches can be seen on Youtube. He blends puntas/colas until he gets the right perlas consistency.
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.
I immediately finished off my mini it was that enjoyable. Aside from the off flavors on the finish, I really thought this expression held up well. Both weird and good which is what I hope all Maguey Melate bottles are. Since I only had a mini, I’m going to be purchasing a couple of bottles from the store.
Maguey Melate Madre Cuishe 47% – Silvestre Jiménez Peralta
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.
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 to be balanced. Calcium, metallic, sodium. Plaster, concrete, mortar. Seaweed, nori, raw carrots, turnips and radishes. 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. It’s just ok to me. 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 Chuparrosa 49% – Sergio Martinez Rodriguez
Right from the nose, rubbing alcohol and weirdly grape skins. It’s like a really unappealing grappa. Bitter roots, lime zest/pith, tree bark, avocado leaves. Fresh cut grass you clean out from the mower. Moldy bread like from that elementary school science experiment you did as a kid. Barnyard, wet hay. A particular nose that you really have to appreciate to enjoy. Medicinal with the most unusual combination of aromas.
Tastes like a really bitter, spoiled white wine. Lots of wood flavors with an overly acrid note. Not many flavors here to be honest. Rubbing alcohol soaked in wet grass, hay, moss-like forest flavors. Citrus pith, and only the pith. Bitter. A fresh pour is actually better than letting it sit for a bit. More of a tannery flavor to this like raw leather, metals, and oils as you let it sit. The one thing it does have going for it is the texture is amazing.
Unpleasant, astringent and bitter finish. Very nearly undrinkable neat to me. Incredibly dry on the finish like after you rinse with mouthwash. A lot of alcohols with some slight grass and hay. Not much to this one.
This is the second time Maguey Melate has bottled a Chuparrosa and the first was significantly worse. This reminds me much more of a drier sotol. The Sotoleros bottles that combine Agave and Sotol do better for me personally. This mezcal sets up a base and I’d be curious if adding a higher sugar content agave might help balance it out. This is definitely an acquired taste glass that grows on you.