Review: Del Maguey Vida Puebla Mezcal

Review: Del Maguey Vida Puebla Mezcal

God bless Ron Cooper and Del Maguey for the instruction of “Sip it. Don’t shoot it.” printed directly on the bottle of his mezcals, the latest of which is a single village version of the entry-level Vida called Vida Puebla. Made in — you guessed it — Puebla, Mexico, Vida Puebla joins Vida Clasico and Vida de Muertos as the third installment in the Vida line, and like the other two bottlings it is intended to be an expressive and mixable mezcal offered at a low price point.

This single village mezcal, much like all Del Maguey bottlings, is crafted through artisanal methods in a state-of-the-art palenque near the base of the volcano Popocatépetl in Axocopan, Puebla, with agaves roasted underground, naturally fermented, and twice distilled in small copper stills.

It’s a fruitier expression of Del Maguey, notes of baked apples and grilled pineapple tempered by smoldering mesquite, rather than the other way around. A bit of charred vegetable ash adds a savory, slightly umami note to the aromatics, offering a pleasant, pastoral quality — perhaps even barnyardy at times — to the proceedings.

The palate finds that fruit taking a slight lemon tack, again offering a grilled quality that takes the citrus notes in a different direction. Cooked agave, baking spice, and notes of rye bread dough are percolate behind that fruit, moving slowly toward smokier climes — again filtered through a slightly vegetal character that makes me think of ember-roasted cabbage, in the best possible way. The finish sees a reprise of lemon — perhaps more vivid than early on in the experience — with lingering notes of campfire smoke.

All told, it’s a very well-balanced mezcal that drinks perfectly well on its own, but which is perfectly priced so you won’t feel guilty using it in cocktails.

80 proof. NOM-O41X.


Del Maguey Vida Puebla Mezcal




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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