San Luis Amatlan’s finest Mezcaleria
Reina’s Tepextate batch from Maguey Melate is probably one of my favorite mezcals ever. When the new releases of Rezpiral were announced, I immediately grabbed this Cuishe/Madrecuishe offering from her.
This ensamble was processed by hand with axes, as well as a mechanical mill. Cooked for 15 days in an earthen oven and fired with mezquite and guamuchil wood. Fermented for 12 days before being double distilled in a copper alambique still. This batch produced 180 liters. Adjusted with heads and tails, the final proof was bottled at 46.7%.
I have to compare this nose immediately to Wray and Nephew overproof rum. It’s bursting with tropical fruit and rum like esters. Strawberry, mango, unripe banana, fermented pineapple. While very fruity, it is tamed a bit with some air time. More of a green vegetal agave note comes forward. Hay, long grass, rose water, and clover. A healthy green smoothie kind of vibe. Lastly, there’s a more pungent alcohol vapor to it like acetone. Curls the nose hairs and spoils the aromas a bit.
That fruity nose turns into a vibrant vegetal flavor on the palate. Sweet agave nectar initially with a postage stamp or envelope glue note. Briny. Scallion, edamame, eucalyptus, parsley, and lemon grass. Tinge of soft metals – Tin and nickel. Fresh muscles and sea weed. Lemon rind. Turmeric. A musky, mossy wood note. There is a slight cleaning detergent flavor as well that I feel needs noted.
The finish is all raw vegetables. It’s like a salad bar where you are picking out a peppery mix of dandelion greens, mesclun, spinach, carrots, celery, and cauliflower. A mellow but building capsaicin hit from an Indian dry spice rub. Turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, and coriander seeds. Herb and garlic butter. Dark cocoa, mole. My lips have a fruity aftertaste like flavored chapstick where the finish is more on the bitter herbs and vegetable side. Quite a weird sensation.
The more I tasted through this bottle, the less I seemed to enjoyed it. I could sit here with a glass and smell it all day but the windex-like flavor I got occasionally was not enjoyable and it’s a shame. It’s a good expression that needs a bit of time to rest and soften it a bit. The last glass from this bottle tasted more cohesive than the first but that first brought all those funky esters that I love.
I enjoyed other batches from Reina but this one has something to it that takes more away from the spirit than I’d like. Reina’s series 6 Espadín and Arroqueño are really well made and don’t have this chemical note to it.
I’m glad I got to enjoy this bottle but my money will go towards buying another bottle of her Espadín instead.