RANKED! The 10 Tastiest Smoky Mezcals For National Mezcal Day
If you’re new to mezcal, you should first know the phrase “all tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila.” That’s because the overarching title for all agave-based spirits is mezcal. But, tequila needs to be made in the area in and around Jalisco and made with only Blue Weber agave (among other rules). Mezcal can be made anywhere with any type of agave. Although most of it is made in the area in and around Oaxaca.
The name “mezcal” translates to “over-cooked agave.” It’s known for its smoky flavor due to being cooked underground in earthen pits before fermentation and distillation.
Since Oct. 21 is National Mezcal Day, we decided to rank the 10 tastiest smoky mezcals to sip on. Check out all of our favorites below.
Photo: Matthew Micah Wright (Getty Images)
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10. Bozal Ensamble
Like all “ensamble” style mezcals, this one is made with three different ingredients. These include maguey Espadin, wild maguey Barril, as well as maguey Mexicano. It’s smoky, herbal, and sippable.
9. Del Maguey Vida
One of the most popular mezcals on the market, Del Maguey is subtly smoky and full of sweet, vegetal notes perfectly suited for chilly weather.
Photo: Del Maguey
8. El Buho Mezcal
This well-rounded mezcal is filled with subtle smoke as well as hints of sweet, salted caramel, rich vanilla, and vegetal sweetness from cooked agave.
Photo: El Buho
7. El Silencio Espadin
This 43 percent ABV is chock full of flavors including dried orange peel, charred oak, vegetal sweetness, and of course a healthy dose of smoke.
Photo: El Silencio
6. Fidencio Pechuga
This mezcal is as complex as it is mellow. It’s also made in a very peculiar way. It’s tripled distilled and fresh fruit is added to the process. That’s not the strange part though. A raw chicken breast is hung in the still. You read that right.
5. Ilegal Mezcal Joven
This mezcal is a great combination of smoothness and smoke. The heat lingers throughout, along with subtle pepper and sweet agave flavors.
Photo: Ilegal Mezcal
4. Mezcales de Leyenda Guerrero
Made from 100 percent Cupreata agave, this mezcal is perfectly suited for sipping or mixing with its hints of vegetal sweetness and rich smoke.
Photo: Mezcales De Leyenda
3. Montelobos Ensamble
This offering is complex, well-balanced, and perfect for fans of smoke. It gets its name because it’s a blend of three different plant types: Cupreata, Espadin, and the tails from the brand’s Tobala.
2. Marca Negra Dobadán
If you’re looking for a mezcal that bridges the gap between sweet and smoky, look no further than Marca Negra Dobadán. It’s filled with hints of dried fruits, butterscotch, and smoky, roasted agave.
Photo: Marca Negra
1. Vago Tobala
Produced from a type of agave that grows at very high altitudes, Mezcal Vago Tobalá is filled with vegetal sweetness and subtle cooking spices.
Photo: Mezcal Vago
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