The tequila boom is not over yet, the mezcal trend is just starting to take off. Whether you're looking for something to mix in a cocktail or a bottle to sip neat, here's our list of best Mezcal bottles to try right now.
Best Mezcals in 2023
- Best Mezcal: Alipus XX San Andres
- Best for mixing: Montelobos Espadin Joven
- Best sipping Mezcal: Derrumbes San Luis Potosí
- Best allrounder: Del Maguey Tobala & Espadin Mezcal
- Best Tobala Mezcal: Del Maguey Tobala
Montelobos Espadin Joven
Montelobos uses an organic Espadin agave and only produces small batches to perfect flavor, taste, and balance.
With its smooth, crisp, and smoky flavor Montelobos Espadi Joven is an excellent choice to drink neat. -But it's even better in cocktails.
Produced in Santiago Matatlan Valley of Oaxaca, this Mezcal works perfectly in a Margarita. It is light, a bit smoky, with notes of citrus and vanilla.
Legend says that founder John Rexer smuggled it out of Mexico to Antigua, Guatemala. That is why Ilegal became the name of the brand. The Mezcal is still served in his bar in Antigua, Café No Sé.
Agave de Cortes
Agave de Cortes is a high-quality Mezcal with an earthy smell and smoky taste. It is one of the best choices if you're after good value for money.
The earthy, spicy scent combined with its sweet and smoky taste works excellently in cocktails.
Nuestra Soledad San Baltazar
San Baltazar is a creation of the Soledad family, a brand that manufactures a whole variety of Mezcal.
For San Baltazar, the Mezcalero uses century-old traditional methods to create this amazing spirit. Its deep flavor profile is outstanding: Bee pollen and grassy notes with smokiness and hints of bacon.
Del Maguey Tobala & Espadin Mezcal
Del Maguey is one of the first Mezcal brands that reached a broad public. It is a classic, high-end product that you should enjoy neat.
This expression is a blend of maguey Tobala and Espadin. The quality and flavors are excpeptional. It's warm, extremely smooth, citrusy, and fruity without being too sweet. Certainly one of the best Mezcal right now and a great addition to any bar cart.
Alipus XX San Andres
Alipus is one of my favorite Mezcal brands at the moment. The XX San Andres bottle has everything I want from a Mezcal. It is clean, elegant, rich, complex, and woody Joven with a bit of minerality. These clean flavors make it also an ideal choice for beginners.
El Silencio Espadin Mezcal
A beautifully designed black bottle is the first thing you notice about this Mezcal. But not only the mystic-themed exterior is a winner the inside is just as good. The flavor profile contains notes of chocolate, fruits, baked sweets, and a bit of char. Simply a full-flavored Mezcal that won't disappoint.
Gracias a Dios Mezcal Espadin
The makers of Gracias a Dios are very passionate about their Products. Their Espadin Mezcal contains typical earthy and smoky notes combined with hints of pepper, grass, and mushrooms.
It's a well-made Oaxacan product with a classic profile. If you're looking for a great all-around Espadin, that one will be the perfect option.
Del Maguey Tobala
Another entry from Del Maguey. This Mezcal is made of the rare Tobala agave. That sort of agave plant only grows on a few mountain slopes in Oaxaca. That is also reflected in the price. But I promise you it is worth it.
Derrumbes San Luis Potosí
This is a unique Mezcal from the state of San Luis Potosí. Made of wild-growing Salmiana agave and steam roasted in a brick oven instead of traditional pit roasting. That result is a super unique Mezcal.
You'll notice none of the usual smoky taste. Instead, notes of eucalyptus and bell pepper create a unique flavor profile.
Del Maguey Crema
Del Maguey Crema is a dangerously addictive Mezcal. It is based on Del Maguey Vida but with the addition of Miel de Maguey. A syrup made of roasted agave.
The result is a sweet, smoky, and creamy spirit. Very appealing when drunk neat and even better when used in cocktails.
Bozal Ensamble Mezcal
Bozal Ensamble is a handmade artisan Mezcal. A good selection if you're looking for one that is sweet and smoky but not too smoky.
The smoky flavor is balanced nicely with citrus, floral notes, and hints of grass. While Bozal is best enjoyed neat, it also works fine in cocktails.
Our recommendations for the best Mezcal bottles to try in 2023 are an excellent start to dive into the savory and smoky flavors of this agave spirit.
Mezcal is often described as a smoky Tequila. While that's not entirely true, it provides a general idea. But "it's not just smoky Tequila," as Ivy Mix, the author of Spirits in Latin America, pointed out. And I can only agree - you can read how Mezcal and Tequila compare here.
If you want to try some of our recommendations, make sure to drink the Mezcal neat. At room temperature, you can best taste the full array of aromas and flavors of this beautiful spirit.
In case the flavors are too strong at the beginning, try to incorporate them into cocktails first. You can mix it into drinks like a Mezcal Margarita or a Mezcal Mule. The other ingredients like lime and ginger beer will balance the bold flavors of Mezcal and make it more approachable.