Mezcal Vago by Aquilino Garcia Lopez Elote Mezcal
2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold Medal Winner
Aquilino’s Mezcals have a definite style. Bright, clean and bold without too much smoke. The corn infusion is subtle yet done with great effect. Aroma shows hints of indigenous Mexican corn and toasted nuts. A beautiful mouthfeel, round and with some more body that its Espadin counterpart.
Great enjoyed neat or in a paloma cocktail.
Each of the distillery's unique mezcals is naturally made in a traditional palenque with no additives. On the front label of each of the bottles, all the information is there about who made it, what pueblo, what agave, details in the process, size of batch and more.
This is connoisseur mezcal. Mezcal Vago aims to empower both the master craftsmen with a celebration of his art, and also the consumer by giving them the knowledge they need to find a great mezcal. All of the mezcals are joven (young) and clear, exactly as the mezcaleros have been crafting them for generations.
Aquilino Garcia Lopez is the father-in-law of Mezcal Vago’s co-founder, Judah Kuper. This family connection and his exquisite mezcal were the inspiration to form Mezcal Vago. Aquilino had never produced commercially before working with Mezcal Vago and produces exclusively for Mezcal Vago.
Aquilino grows Maguey Espadín and Maguey Mexicano. He wild harvests Maguey Cuixe (Tobasiche) and Tepeztate. He has taken over fields from his father and also has family and friends with whom he sources agave. His palenque is in Candelaria Yegolé, Oaxaca. This is a river town in a hot and dry climate at an elevation of around 1100 meters. Two rivers converge in a narrow Valley and it is mountainous on all sides. It is a rugged three-hour drive from Oaxaca city.
The palenque is on Aquilino’s ranch where he lives full time. He and his father moved it to its current location 15 years ago. It has moved around from nearby locations over the years. He believes his family has been making Mezcal for at least five generations. Aquilino does nearly all of the work himself.
Mezcal Joven or “young” is bottled within two months of distillation without barrel aging and will appear clear, like a Vodka or Gin. Longer barrel aging, with the principal aim to soften and round a spirit’s flavor profile, is often most prized by connoisseurs. However, many die-hard Mezcal enthusiasts insist that oak takes away from the purity of the agave flavors—ranging from earthy and smoky to sweet and floral, often in the same Mezcal—and that Mezcal Joven is the best expression.