shot glass of mezcal with orange slices, chili pepper and worm salt on a old wooden table

Mezcal Reviews: Find Your Perfect Match

Mezcal is an agave-based liquor that many individuals think of as separate from tequila, when in fact these two liquors are more like cousins. All tequilas are mezcals due to their agave base, but not all mezcals are considered tequila. This smokey-sweet and unique liquor is well-known as a component of cocktails, though it can also be sipped on.

Our article gives you more details about mezcal, including an overview of this liquor and our reviews of the best mezcal brands on the market. Next time you go to drink mezcal, you’ll know what you’re looking for and be able to have the best drinking experience possible.

What You Need to Know About Mezcal

Mezcal is a liquor created from agave, traditionally smoked or roasted in a hole before distilling. In fact, it's similar to something like Hornitos Tequila.

Every alcohol that is made from agave is technically a mezcal, though different designations and types of agaves are used to create certain types of alcohol. For example, tequila is only allowed to be produced in one of five designated Mexican regions, and only blue agave can be used in its creation.

The liquor we know as mezcal today has risen to popularity from its smokey flavor that is created by roasting the Espadin agave, which is roasted in a hole before being distilled. There are many different ways to utilize agave and roast it to create mezcal, and it’s important to pay attention to specific tasting notes as you taste a mezcal to get a better sense of the flavor profile.

Mezcal: An Overview

Mezcal is a liquor created from agave, traditionally smoked or roasted in a hole before distilling. This cooking process is what gives mezcal its distinct taste, and many individuals describe the flavor of mezcal as smokey with hints of vanilla, caramel, and a general sense of earthiness. 

The flavor of mezcal can be polarizing, though there are a variety of different brands that offer all levels of smokiness in this liquor.

Most mezcal will appear clear, though you can find some with a gold tinge to it. In general, mezcal is perceived as a unique liquor. While it isn’t the most popular choice for liquor around today, it is becoming more well-known and popular at cocktail bars or dedicated mezcal and tequila bars.

The majority of today’s mezcal is produced in Oaxaca, though ten different Mexican states are eligible to produce Mezcal. These states are designated by the Mexican government in order to uphold the best quality of Mezcal and traditional methods of harvesting and distilling local agave plants.

How to Choose the Best Mezcal

There are a few different factors to consider when choosing the best mezcal, which influence the taste and sipping experience of your liquor. Most of the time, you will be able to find the details you need about a mezcal on the bottle, though you can do more research with the mezcal manufacturer for specific and detailed information.

Things to consider when choosing mezcal include:

  • The type of agave used in the mezcal
  • How the mezcal is produced
  • How long the mezcal has been aged

The main varieties of agave that are used in mezcal are Espadín, Tobalá, Verde, Mexicano, and Arroqueño. A blend of these agaves may also be used, and production styles range from more traditional to artisanal methods of cooking the agave, mashing it, and distilling it. Your mezcal can then be left unaged, aged for around two months, or aged longer than a year.

We include all of these factors in our mezcal reviews, as these are the most important determining factors when it comes to understanding the flavor profile and quality of a mezcal before consuming it.

What Does Mezcal Cost?

Mezcal comes in at a range of prices depending on how it was produced and how long it was aged. More artisanal mezcals will typically come in at a higher cost than others due to the careful production of this liquor. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere between $50 and $300 or more for a quality bottle of mezcal.

Where Can You Buy Mezcal?

Mezcal is becoming more popular today, and you can purchase it from a variety of locations, including cocktail bars or more upscale Mexican restaurants. You may even be able to find a dedicated mezcal bar in your city. 

You can also purchase mezcal online if you are interested in a specific brand, and Speakeasy sells several types of high-quality mezcal for anyone interested in this distinctive liquor.

The Best Mezcals

bottle of mezcal with full shot glass and orange slices on table

The following mezcals are our favorite selections for this liquor, and our choices come in a range of price points and mezcal varieties. Browse our mezcal reviews to get started thinking about which mezcal is the best for you.

Nosotros Mezcal

MSRP: $73.99

Proof: 42% ABV

Tasting Notes: Apricot, citrus, earthy, campfire

Our Rating: 5 stars

Great for beginners, the Nosotros Mezcal is a blend of Espadín and Tobalá agaves. This blend of the two agaves creates a unique flavor profile. Nosotros utilizes an inventive artisanal process to craft their liquor and embrace both the fruity and sweetness of the flavors as well as the earthy, campfire aftertaste.

This mezcal may be one of the milder ones on the market. It is easy to start with for those who are interested in sipping on a mezcal that offers more fruity flavors and provides them with a unique sipping experience from start to finish.


  • Blend of agaves that creates a fruity, earthy flavor profile
  • Artisinal mezcal
  • Great choice for beginners or those who prefer mezcal blends


  • Not the best choice for someone who prefers a more aged or very smokey mezcal

Montelobos Espadín

bottle of montelobos espadin
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 MSRP: $39.99

Proof: 43% ABV

Tasting Notes: Grass, earth, honey, citrus, asparagus, smoke

Our Rating: 5 stars

The Montelobos Espadín is a perfectly balanced mezcal with hints of sweetness and a fine balance of grass and earth. This liquor is created through a totally sustainable artisanal creation process, and it has an entry-level price point for individuals who want to learn more about the world of mezcal but don’t want to overspend on their first bottle.

This liquor is great for sipping or mixing into cocktails due to its versatile price point, and it is less smokey than other mezcals on our list, though it is still full of flavor. Keep in mind that if you prefer a stronger smoke and earth flavor in your mezcal, this may not be the brand for you.


  • Sustainable, artisanal creation process
  • Less smokey, though still full of flavor
  • Great for sipping or mixing into cocktails
  • Entry-level price point


  • May be too sweet for those who prefer a stronger, smokey mezcal

Eléctrico Mezcal Espadín

MSRP: $167.99

Proof: 47% ABV

Tasting Notes: Ripened fruit, mulled spices, hay, smokey glow

Our Rating: 4 stars

The unique Eléctrico Mezcal Espadín uses glass to age their mezcal instead of oak barrels. This is done as part of an artisanal process to create a smoother drink and a silkier finish. The flavor profile of this mezcal invokes the fruits of autumn. It has hints of mulling spices and a smokey glow that lovers of a stronger smokey mezcal will appreciate.

This mezcal is aged for three years, something that allows it to become smooth, rounded in flavor, and develop a distinct flavor profile. Individuals who enjoy a more well-aged mezcal will find themselves appreciating this liquor.


  • Unique autumnal flavor profile
  • Aged in glass instead of oak barrels
  • Long age length to create a smooth, silky taste


  • Not the best choice for individuals who prefer their mezcal to be aged in oak barrels

Ilegal Mezcal Añejo

bottle of ilegal mezcal anejo
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MSRP: $97.99

Proof: 40% ABV

Tasting Notes: Maple, clove, bitter orange, sweet agave, chocolate

Our Rating: 4 stars

The Ilegal Mezcal Añejo is one of the best-aged mezcals on the market today. This liquor is aged for 13 months to create its smooth, round, and full flavor. With a unique history, the Ilegal brand of mezcals is a popular producer of this liquor, and the Añejo variety is particularly crowd-pleasing.

This liquor is handcrafted in Oaxaca, Mexico, using small batches. It is double distilled and aged in both American and French oak barrels, something that gives the Ilegal Mezcal Añejo its distinctive sweet agave and chocolate aftertaste.


  • Aged Añejo mezcal with a full flavor
  • Handcrafted in small batches
  • Great choice for sipping on a smooth, round mezcal


  • May not be the best choice for beginners
  • Cannot be obtained in certain states due to shipping restrictions

Eléctrico Mezcal Tobalá

MSRP: $194.99

Proof: 42% ABV

Tasting Notes: Spicy, herbal, slightly numbing, grassy, fresh

Our Rating: 4 stars

A great choice for experienced mezcal drinkers, the Eléctrico Mezcal Tobalá features both a fresh botanical and spicy flavor profile. While the first sip of this liquor offers a numbing heat that stimulates the saliva, and some individuals may find this sensation unpleasant, the flavor profile develops further as you keep drinking.

The Eléctrico Mezcal Tobalá can be used in cooking and marinades, and it’s a great choice for sipping on throughout the night. You’ll want to use a traditional mezcal cup, called a copita, to allow the flavors to truly blossom and to get the most out of your sipping experience.


  • Botanical and spicy flavor profile
  • Useful in cooking as well as for sipping
  • Flavor profile develops as you sip
  • Good for experienced mezcal drinkers


  • Initial numbing heat may be too strong for some

Enjoy the Right Amazing Mezcal for You

Mezcal is one of those liquors that can be very divisive, as its strong, smokey, and earthy flavor tends to be more on the hit-or-miss side of personal preference. However, there are a range of mezcals out there, and this liquor is known to be a unique addition to a cocktail or simply a distinctive drink to sip on throughout the night. If you're not a fan of clear liquor, it's worth a try, because it has a similar flavor profile as some dark liquors like Mitchter's Bourbon

Our reviews of mezcal can help you get started thinking about which flavor profile you might prefer as you begin to explore this wonderful Mexican liquor.

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