In recent years, the fervent world of Mezcal has witnessed a burgeoning rise in popularity, transcending its rustic roots to grace the shelves of premium liquor stores worldwide. As connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike venture deeper into its rich, smoky allure, a handful of brands have risen to prominence, embodying the finest expressions of this age-old Mexican spirit. These brands, steeped in heritage and craftsmanship, offer diverse flavors and nuances, catering to novices and seasoned aficionados. Here, we delve into some of the most celebrated Mezcal brands, encapsulating their essence, legacy, and the unique offerings they bring to the ever-expanding Mezcal market.
Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
- Launched: 1995 (The Vida variant was introduced later in 2010).
- Price: Around $35 – $50 for a bottle of Vida.
- Flavors: Notes of fruit, spice, and a hint of honey accompanied by a smoky finish.
- Distillery: Del Maguey operates several distilleries, with the Vida variant generally produced in San Luis Del Rio, Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Alcohol Percentage: 42%
Del Maguey Vida is a popular choice for mezcal enthusiasts and spirit newcomers. Launched by the pioneering mezcal brand Del Maguey, Vida brings to the table an approachable yet nuanced profile that appeals to a broad audience. Its reasonable price point and vibrant flavor profile, which balances smokiness with sweetness, have made it a favorite in cocktails and a reliable choice for sipping. It reflects the brand’s dedication to traditional production methods, offering a genuine taste of Oaxacan mezcal culture.
Dos Hombres Mezcal
- Launched: 2019
- Price: Around $60 – $70 for a 750ml bottle.
- Flavors: Notes of apple, mango, local Oaxacan fruits, wood, and smooth smoke.
- Distillery: Located in San Luis del Rio, in the heart of Oaxaca
- Alcohol Percentage: 42%
In 2019, actors Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston introduced Dos Hombres Mezcal to the world, a venture rooted in friendship and a shared love for this distinctive Mexican spirit. Made from espadin agave, the Mezcal perfectly balances the earthy tones and the subtle smokiness, evoking the rich, natural landscapes of its place of origin. A testament to quality craftsmanship, Dos Hombres offers a gentle introduction to the complex world of Mezcal, inviting enthusiasts to experience its nuanced profile.
- Launched: 2018
- Price: Approximately $50 – $75 for a 750ml bottle.
- Flavors: Hint of tamarind, mango, fresh herbs, and a slightly smoky finish.
- Distillery: Situated in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, known as the world capital of Mezcal.
- Alcohol Percentage: 40%
Casamigos, a brand initially known for its Tequila, ventured into the Mezcal market in 2018, further enriching its reputable line of spirits. This mezcal, crafted from 100% Espadín agave, offers a smooth yet complex profile, striking the right chord between traditional and modern palates. The meticulous production process, where the agave pinas are roasted in earthen pits, results in a drink with a distinguished smoky hint, complemented by a rich array of flavors, providing a truly authentic and pleasurable experience. The brand stands as a testimony to refined taste and excellence.
- Launched: 2016
- Price: Generally ranges from $50 to $100, varying with the specific variant
- Flavors: Known to have many flavors, including notes of earth, light citrus, and a robust smokiness.
- Distillery: Produced in various small villages in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Alcohol Percentage: Ranges between 47% and 52%, depending on the variant.
Bozal Mezcal celebrates the wild side of the Mezcal spectrum, offering a range that showcases the diverse agave species found in Mexico. A testament to the wild and undomesticated, each bottle captures the authentic essence of the regions where the agave is sourced. This mezcal embodies tradition and a deep respect for the craft, delivering robust and complex flavors that surprise and delight the palate, making it a favorite among mezcal enthusiasts.
400 Conejos Mezcal
- Launched: Around 2010
- Price: Approximately $30 – $50 for a 750ml bottle.
- Flavors: Notes of green apple, fresh agave, and a hint of citrus, rounded off with a gentle smoky undertone.
- Distillery: Located in the fertile regions of Oaxaca, a known hub for mezcal production.
- Alcohol Percentage: 40-42%
400 Conejos is a mezcal brand that caters to the modern palate while preserving the ancient traditions of mezcal making. This beverage delights with its light, fresh flavor profile which includes notes of green apple and a subtle citrus tang, harmoniously blending with the smoky nuances derived from its artisanal production process. Being a relatively new entrant in the market, it has quickly gained popularity for offering a high-quality, accessible mezcal that serves as a great introduction to the complex world of mezcal for newcomers and a refreshing option for aficionados.
- Launched: Around 2011
- Price: Approximately $35 – $60 for a 750ml bottle.
- Flavors: Prominently features complex notes of smoky wood, along with hints of citrus and sweet agave, balanced with a touch of earthy undertones.
- Distillery: Located in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, renowned for being the epicenter of Mezcal production.
- Alcohol Percentage: Approximately 43.2%
Montelobos, which translates to “Mountain of Wolves,” is a brand revered for its meticulous approach to mezcal production, orchestrated under the watchful eye of biologist and distiller Iván Saldaña. The brand takes great pride in fostering sustainability and adherence to organic farming methods, leading to a rich and complex product. The meticulously crafted drink is recognized for its smoky and woodsy flavors, which are beautifully complemented by the freshness of citrus and the sweetness of agave, offering a harmonious blend that is bold and balanced, appealing to both novices and connoisseurs alike.
Clase Azul Mezcal
- Launched: 1997 (Clase Azul, the company started with tequila; their Mezcal line is more recent).
- Price: Starts from around $200 for basic editions, but the prices can soar into thousands for special editions.
- Flavors: Complex with layers of smoke, spice, and the sweetness intrinsic to agave.
- Distillery: Clase Azul Distillery, located in a small village in Jalisco, Mexico.
- Alcohol Percentage: Around 40-45%, depending on the specific variant.
Clase Azul is a celebration of traditional Mexican craftsmanship and luxury. Their mezcal, a newer addition to a well-established line of premium tequilas, carries forward the brand’s commitment to quality and artistry. Each bottle, a work of art in itself, encases a spirit that sings of the rich, volcanic soils and the time-honored methods of mezcal production. It is a premium choice for enthusiasts seeking a sip of the extraordinary.
El Silencio Mezcal
- Launched: 2013
- Price: Roughly $70 – $100 for their premium bottles
- Flavors: A complex palate featuring notes of citrus, figs, and a touch of pepper, mingling with a distinctive smoky flavor
- Distillery: Located in San Baltazar Guelavila, Oaxaca, Mexico
- Alcohol Percentage: 40-43%, depending on the specific variant
El Silencio, a relatively recent entrant to the mezcal market, quickly became synonymous with quality and tradition. Their offerings, often characterized by complex, layered flavors, are crafted using artisanal production techniques. Though their products come at a higher price point, they’ve been hailed for offering a premium, authentic mezcal experience, which appeals to aficionados and newcomers alike who are willing to invest in a finer sip.
La Luna Mezcal
- Launched: 2016
- Price: Generally ranges from $40 to $100, depending on the specific variant.
- Flavors: Notes of cooked agave, fruit undertones, and a subtle smokiness, accompanied by earthy tones.
- Distillery: La Luna Mezcal is crafted in the village of Etucuaro, Michoacán, Mexico.
- Alcohol Percentage: Varies between 45% and 50%, depending on the variant.
La Luna Mezcal carries the soul and tradition of Michoacán in every bottle, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship that goes into producing this remarkable spirit. With an emphasis on sustainable and organic farming, the brand ensures quality and authenticity in each of its offerings. The complex flavor profiles and rich aroma make it a sought-after choice for both novices and connoisseurs in the mezcal world.
Monte Alban Mezcal
- Launched: 1970s
- Price: Approximately $20-$30 for a standard bottle.
- Flavors: Known for its bold, smoky flavor with a hint of citrus and earthy notes.
- Distillery: Produced in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Alcohol Percentage: Usually around 40%.
Monte Alban is a well-established Mezcal brand that has been offering its unique, smoky spirit to the market for decades. Positioned as a budget-friendly option, it is a great introduction to the Mezcal world. Despite its affordability, Monte Alban doesn’t skimp on delivering the authentic, rich, and earthy flavors that Mezcal enthusiasts have come to love. It’s a choice that brings a piece of Oaxacan tradition to tables globally.
- Launched: 2016
- Price: Generally around $50-$60 for a 750ml bottle.
- Flavors: A harmonious blend of smoky and sweet notes and hints of earthiness and herbal tones.
- Distillery: Produced in the regions of Tlacolula and Yautepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Alcohol Percentage: About 40%.
Despite being a relative newcomer in the Mezcal market, Creyente has managed to carve out a niche for itself, offering a blend of two different Mezcals that brings forward a rich and smooth profile. The brand focuses on showcasing the natural beauty and complexity of the agave, presenting a product that encapsulates Mezcal’s modern, evolving face — a seamless blend of tradition and innovation. It aims to create a Mezcal that’s both accessible to newcomers and satisfying for long-time aficionados.