Details

  • Location: Bañuelos, Zacatecas
  • Agave: Blue Weber (A. tequilana)
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Jaime and Fortino Bañuelos
  • Quantity: 1996 bottles / 1497 liters
  • Vintage: 2018
  • Lote: 21
  • ABV: 40.7
  • Tasting keywords: Classic caramelized agave.
  • NOM: Z73C
  • Buy it today

Nose

Very light with a hint of oregano

Taste

Rich and nuanced the Bañuelos has that delightful tequila like caramelized agave flavor that fills your mouth with honey, sandalwood, and a touch of chalk. Like some other recent tasting notes, low ABV doesn’t necessarily mean less flavor.

Detail of Hacienda de Bañuelos’ rear label.

Method / Background Notes

Price isn’t everything but considering that Hacienda de Bañuelos retails for +/-$33 it’s an outrageous value. It could easily be a sipper or a cocktail mezcal but its best place is probably in a tasting with tequilas and other blue agave spirits like Caballito Cerrero, Derrumbes’ Zacatecas bottle, and others to demonstrate just how responsive this agave is to terroir. We can always hope that more distillers out there will take this route.

The story of Bañuelos ties together all the questions about spirits in Mexico. Zacatecas is traditionally tequila country. Geographically it shares a long border with Jalisco but the town of Bañuelos is just 10 kilometers outside of the Tequila Denominación de Origen (DO) and just inside the Mezcal DO, hence the legal designation. But historically Bañuelos would have been considered a tequila so add it to the Tequila In Name Only group that includes many labels and projects like Clayton Szczech’s recent initiative in Zacatecas.

The great irony is that Hacienda de Buñuelos may be producing spirts that more closely reflect the “Gusto historico” or historic taste of tequila because their production methods are much closer to what tequila used to be. While they only use Blue Weber instead of a diversity of agaves they steam roast and use wild yeast which may account for the very distinctive flavors in this label.

Hopefully we’ll see more of the Bañuelos bottles in the US soon. They also produce a Tepemete which confounded in our blind tasting at this year’s Mexico in a Bottle San Diego. Nuance and diversity like this deserves a wider platform.