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Juerte tasting notes

Another of Mexico’s recovered tradition, we can only dream of more that are as good as this one.


  • Location: Tlaxcala
  • Agave: A. salmiana
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Gerónimo Rosainz
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting keywords: Licorice, lactic, molasses sugar.
  • NOM: NA
  • Buy it today


Juerte has a beguiling scent: There’s a touch of lightly fermented tepache, a bit of mango, and molasses richness.


Just wow. It’s all over the place with an amazing amount of flavor for 40% ABV. There are hints of licorice and fennel as well as a lactic blast. The tension between sweet and savory is fantastic.

Method / Background Notes

This is the latest label from Back Alley Imports founded by a few of the people behind Wahaka Mezcal. Back Alley Imports is a side project where they import Mexican wines, beers, and spirits. Juerte is labeled as a “destilado de pulque” which neatly leapfrogs the entire debate over certified mezcal. It’s from Tlaxcala, just the other side of the twin volcanoes which have defined the area. It’s an area full of rich volcanic soils, a long history of pulque distillation, and prehispanic sites abound. It’s off the beaten path and and yet so close to Mexico’s capital.

Back Alley Imports has more of the fantastic background on Juerte and the destilado de pulque tradition on their site. We recently featured Back Alley’s Raza Zaidi and Juerte’s Jorge Viveros on Conversations in Agave – they gave great insight into the brand and category.

Juerte is 40% ABV because it comes from a single pass stainless steel still and it retails for less than $50. That’s a steal for something this rich and fun. I can imagine that this will soon be featured on menus at my favored watering holes.

The very beautiful label features an old fashioned strong man which is an allusion to the brand’s name, Juerte is slang for Fuerte which is “strength” in English. The strong man illustration is based on Mexico City based brand owner Jorge Viveros, obviously a real strong man in this category.

Susan Coss | Mezcalistas Bottle shot of the English language Juerte bottle.

Max co-founded Mezcalistas with Susan way back in 2012. Before that he was a journalist at Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.

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