35 Responses

  1. Elizabeth at |

    I have many of the mezcals on this amazing list..just want to make one recommendation..Clase Azul..one of my absolute favorites.

  2. woodchip at |


    First of all, thanks! I dig your site; great information with your personal touch. It has been extremely helpful as I carve my way into the world of mezcal.

    I was raised in San Diego (30+ years) and loved tequila. I didn’t start drinking mezcal until I moved to Raleigh, and went to Gallo Pelon last year. Spent over $300, and had a great time sampling various mezcals.

    Just 2wks ago, I bought my first bottle – Wahaka Tobala, and yesterday, after looking at your list, I decided to try an El Jolgorio product (Madrequixe). It arrives Monday – can’t wait.

    Again, thanks, for your efforts – keep it going!!!

    Btw, I also purchased some Jicaras and Sal de Gusano through your site.

    Take care,

  3. K D Kearney at |

    Hello Mezcal PhD and thank you for the starter lists . I have been exploring mezcal for about 2.5 years and have sampled about 2 dozen different joven / blancos and am looking to broaden my palate and experience .

    I have two questions :1) which bottles do you consider to be the finest mezcal anejos – can you recommend 2-4 different items or so ? and 2) I have the feeling that you do not like when worms / gusanos are placed in mezcal bottles . What are your thoughts, then, on Scorpion mezcal? Can you in good faith and good taste recommend any of their products?

    Thank you for any advice and information you can share .

    K D Kearney

    1. K D Kearney at |

      Thank you for your swift and thorough reply . Now I really regret not buying the Ilegal anejo when I saw it last week. Well , there is always next time .

      Thanks for the tip on Scorpion , I think I will pass on their products as I like the smokiness of a mezcal vs. tequila .

      Feliz Pasqua !

  4. Dylan Sinclair at |

    Agree with De Leyenda line: all I’ve tasted have been very nice. The Guerrero was exceptional. I also was told Siete Misterios is available in the US, but I don’t know where to find it. Their Coyote and Pechuga are both very nice! 🙂

  5. Robert Skok at |

    How would you rate a Mezcal named OaxBCN-I was given
    A bottle but know nothing about it and the website oaxbcn.com is all Spanish and could not find a translation.
    Thank you

    1. Edward at |

      Here’s an article in English on the OAX-BCN mezcal:

      Other details from their OAX-BCN website:

      The mezcal is produced by a fifth generation mezcalero using traditional methods, but they add “Mediterranean” plants and herbs to the agave during the fermentation step for a unique taste profile.

      The agave they use is silvestre madrecuixe. They appear to use a tahona to crush the agave (at least it’s in the pictures). The mezcal is double distilled using a copper still.

      And they only produce 1000 bottles per year.

    2. Edward at |

      On the pro side they are using traditional methods and appear to be very particular in the product they are producing.

      But a couple things struck me as “off”.

      First, it’s not quite entirely mezcal in that it’s flavored with other plants. That’s not to say it’s bad. I suspect it is likely very good. But there will be differences in taste from other mezcals.

      And the other article made a point saying how these guys are avoiding the “drawbacks of other mezcals.” Excuse me? You can extol the virtues of your product with dissing everyone else.

      1. Cgard at |

        Flavoring Mezcal with fruit and herbs goes back a long way. Don’t diss what you just don’t know. I haven’t tasted this particular Mezcal, only reacting to your comments about “not quite entirely Mezcal”. If you walk into Casa de Mezcal, an old mescal-driven saloon near the B. Juarez market in Oaxaca with a long history, you’ll have your choice of at least herb infused Mezcals. My personal fave is Albahaca….infused with fresh basil.

  6. Bill at |

    First off, thanks for your excellent website and book, which have been a great guide for my mezcal journey (current collection of 24 bottles)! This is a great list, and I’m happy to see I’ve managed to dip into some of it. I’m surprised there aren’t more Mezcaleros – I’ve tried others, but own and love the Mezcalero #10 Sierra Negra and the #9F Arroqueno (I think the “F” might denote a different batch than the one you found less than stellar in your tasting). The Mezcaleros can also be gotten somewhat less expensively than other brands’ offerings of the same varietals. I also want to mention Ocho Cientos Sotol Blanco, which I enjoy quite a bit (pit roasted, smoky sotol, unlike Hacienda de Chihuahua, which it also crushes). Finally, I stumbled on an Extra Anejo Mezcal that I haven’t seen you mention: Donaji. It comes in an impressive bottle – pyramid shaped with jaguars climbing up the side, and maybe the most informative label, in terms of method of production specifics, that I’ve ever seen. And the stuff inside is pretty darn good! Where the Illegal Anejo is a dessert of butterscotch and caramel, the Donaji is cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking spices, along with lovely roasted agave.
    Anyway, thanks again for all you do, and if you ever make it out to Las Vegas, NV, I’d be more than happy to share!

  7. Eduardo at |

    If looking to experience the range of organoleptic qualities that mezcal can offer, and on a budget, “de leyenda” offers an interesting trifecta to start.

    If well connected, try to get hold of a crate of “Mal Mezcal”. This gourmet mezcal is cherished by the chefs of Mexicos luxury restaurants, and is only available to the public by a letter of recommendation!

  8. […] you want to elevate your gift to another level, check out my post on Mezcal – Premium Edition. When price is no object, this is the place to look.  Some unbelievable bottles can be found here! […]

  9. Rimas at |

    Thanks so much for compiling these lists. Even though there’s not a ton of brands out there (at least compared to tequila), it can still be overwhelming to navigate the different brands, styles, expressions, etc…

    Your guidance allows me to make my purchases with confidence!

  10. Andrew at |

    I’m happy to see such a list. Only though mass-communication can we all help support this industry.

    That said! I have a few additions for you, all of which are available in the ‘States.

    1) Alipus
    2) La Niña del Mezcal
    3) Mezcales de Leyenda
    4) Mezcal Unión Uno
    5) Nuestra Solidad
    6) Siembra Metl
    7) Mezcal Tosba
    8) Vicio
    9) Xicaru

    There’s actually more than that which are available or will soon be available, but…that’s a good start.

    Here at Liberty in Seattle, I have over 100 mezcals, so when y’r in town, please don’t hesitate to stop by and see what’s new.

    Keep up the good work!

  11. mike at |

    Thanks for the great list!

    Are you much of a pechuga drinker? Would you consider doing a similar list for pechuga?

  12. Miles at |

    Any of the WAHAKA mezcals other than the Tobala are excellent tasting and can be found for less than $100. They are much more smoke and fermentation-character forward; less of the raw agave and caramel taste. Savory and not for everyone.

    (Bitchy moment here for Canadians: they’re all well above $200 in Canada at the few places I could source them)

  13. Jerry at |

    Dear PhD:

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, ‘taste or preference is in the palate of the beholder’ and consequently always personal, subjective exercise. Probably the other key thing you mention is that price does not necessarily mean quality. This is especially true with wine more then any other beverage.

    I would be curious to know which on your list(s) are highlands vs. lowlands and your opinion of them on that basis.

    The retail sources you cite for the most part are 1) typically the only US source and, 2) thence typically the most expensive. You might explore Mission Liquors’ roster.

    Also, lumping Sotol in with Mezcal on your list is probably not the most equitable, productive or accurate characterization and categorization. It would be like comparing Bacanora with Tequila. Granted, they can all be considered Mezcal, I suppose, but probably not the most reasonable delineation.

    Probably the best one on your Premium list is Marca Negra Arroqueno, which also happens to be one of the most expensive. Here we go again. Price vs. quality? Subjective palate? Most economic source?

    I feel one of the currently best priced Espadin Mezcals is Tosba, at about $45.00, if you can find it.

    And, again, thanks for an enjoyable review.

  14. Jesse Torres at |

    Thanks for putting together this amazing list! I would just like to add that Real Minero and Rey Campero are both here in the States and have been on our back bar for nearly a month. So I know they are in Texas and I’m pretty sure they are in Washington, New York, California, and Illinois. Definitely some of my favorites! Salad!


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