RANKED! The Mandatory 10 Best Mezcals to Buy
Sure, you know all about tequila, the blue Weber agave-based Mexican spirit from brands like Jose Cuervo, Don Julio, and Patron. But, did you know that technically tequila is a mezcal? Yeah, that’s right. The name for agave-distilled spirits (sort of like the all-encompassing term whiskey) is mezcal. But, if you’re like many of us, while you’ve ventured into the world of tequila over the years, you’ve probably never even dipped your toe into its smoky relative. Well, we want to put an end to that right now.
That’s why we decided to make a list of the 10 best mezcals you can buy pretty much anywhere. Better yet, because we’re ever so helpful, we decided to rank them for you. Check them all out below.
Photo: bhofack2 (Getty Images)
Mandatory Staff Picks: The 10 Best Premium Whiskeys
10. Sombra Espadin
This mezcal is a great combination of spice, smoke, and fruit. It’s well-rounded and perfect for cocktails are sipping neat.
9. Del Maguey Vida
Del Maguey is another brand beloved by bartenders. Del Maguey Vida is an artisanal, small batch mezcal with hints of citrus fruits, honey, caramel, cinnamon, and soft smoke.
Photo: Del Maguey
8. Los Amantes Joven
This triple-distilled joven is made from 100 percent espadin agave. It’s subtle, nuanced, and full of tropical fruit, vegetal sweetness, and a subtle kiss of smoke.
Photo: Los Amantes
7. Mezcales de Leyenda Oaxaca
Made from 100 percent espadin agave, Leyenda Oaxaca is smooth, robust, and full of flavors like caramelized sugar, citrus, and smoke.
Photo: Mescales de Leyenda
6. Banhez Ensemble
This 90 percent espadin agave/10 percent barril agave-based mezcal is perfect for slow sipping. It’s light and full of vegetal sweetness and caramelized pineapple.
5. Casamigos Joven
George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s brand extends beyond just tequila. Back in 2018, Casamigos launched a mezcal joven. It lives up to the Casamigos name with its smooth, subtly smoky, rich mezcal.
4. Montelobos Mezcal Joven
If you’re looking for a gateway mezcal, look no further than Montelobos Joven. This award-winning mezcal is a balance of smoke and sweet. Unlike some mezcals which can be smoke-centric, this one is smoother and easier for novices to get acquainted with.
3. Yola 1971
Made using a classic family recipe, Yola 1971 is smooth, earthy, clean, and full of just the right amount of roasted agave smokiness. Perfect in cocktails, but shines on its own.
2. Ilegal Mezcal Reposado
This is one of the most well-respected mezcals in the bartending world for a reason. Aged for four months in American oak barrels, it’s full of dried orange peel, caramel, and vanilla hints.
Photo: Ilegal Mezal
1. El Silencio Espadin
This 100 percent espadin agave mezcal is perfectly balanced with vegetal sweetness from the agave and the rich, smoky flavors from the baking process.
Photo: El Silencio