NETA Arroqueño 2020 50.7% – Hermógenes Vasquez Garcia + Paula Aquino Sánchez

Mezcal Brothers Exclusive Batch for France

This batch of Arroqueño from Hermógenes and Paula was produced using 9 piñas purchased from a local friend in a nearby community. Machete and shredder processed, then twice distilled in copper pot stills. Bottled at 50.7% with hearts and tails adjustments as well as a común cut from the first distillation. Batch ARQHMG2004 yielded about 60 liters exclusively bottled for Mezcal Brothers in France.

See NETA’s page for Hermógenes for more details on production and the info card can be found here.

Tasting Notes

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.

There is so much going on with the flavors that I imagine this is polarizing. To some, you’ll get an easy to sip but complex glass. Others, myself included, are left a bit confused and bewildered.

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.