Behold The Most Collected Mezcals

These ten mezcals show up in more user collections than any others. They may be on to something!
May 10, 2016
  • 10
    10 Mezcal Alipús San Andres
    91
    Alipús is a product line of traditionally made village mezcals created by the group behind the Los Danzantes (aka Los Nahuales) line of mezcals. Each expression highlights a different village and distiller. San Andrés is fermented using wild yeasts in cypress vats before it is double distilled in a copper pot still. Don Valente Angel Garcia Juárez distills this espadín mezcal in the village of San Andrés in Xitlapehua, Oaxaca.
  • 9
    9 Ilegal Mezcal Reposado
    90
    Ilegal mezcal starts with 100% espadín agave grown in the fields of Tlacolula, Mexico and harvested at nearly 10 years of age. Their piñas are roasted for 5-7 days in an earthen pit lined with river stones then the cooked agaves are crushed using a horse-drawn tahona. After natural fermentation, it is distilled once in stainless-steel alembic stills and then again in copper alembic. The reposado is aged 4 months in American oak.
  • 8
    8 Del Maguey Arroqueño Mezcal
    98
    Del Maguey, the company that put high end mezcal on the map in the US has introduced a line of Mezcals highlighting rare wild species and very special terroirs. They call this “Vino de Mezcal” meaning “Wine of Mezcal” .Highlighting the wild and rare, very large and prehistoric looking Arroqueño species of agave this is a rare treat for any spirits lover.
  • 7
    7 Del Maguey Pechuga Mezcal
    95
    Pechuga mezcal is an age-old tradition among mezcal producers throughout Mexico. It is produced in tiny amounts for friends and family on very special occasions with the exact recipes closely-guarded family secrets. For Del Maguey, their Pechuga production starts with the finished Del Maguey Minero Mezcal which gets returned to the pot-still with a mix of wild mountain apples, plums, plantains, pineapples, almonds, white rice. A raw, skinless chicken breast is used to hang above the still for the distillate to travel through. Always bottled at strength without dilution.
  • 6
    6 Ilegal Mezcal Añejo
    94
    Ilegal Mezcal started as a spirit that was smuggled from Mexico to Guatemala by John Rexer and shared among friends at a tiny bar called Café No Sé. Its (now perfectly legit) Añejo is a 100% agave mezcal. It is double-distilled from espadín agave and aged for 13 months in a combination of American and French oak. Each bottle is hand corked, labeled and numbered.
  • 5
    5 Sombra Mezcal
    90
    Sombra was created as a passion project of famed sommelier and wine negociant Richard Betts of Betts & Scholls. Created as a stance against the “Vodka-ization” of Agave spirits, this is meant to jump out in a cocktail. It is 100% espadín that are first grown in the villages of San Juan del Rio and San Juan before being uprooted and planted on the slopes of the Sierras in Oaxaca. After roasting for 2 days in a stone pit with an oak fire source, the agaves are crushed in a tahona (stone wheel) and then allowed to ferment naturally for 8 days.
  • 4
    4 Ilegal Mezcal Joven
    82
    Some time in the late 90s/early 2000s, John Rexer visited Oaxaca and fell in love with a certain mezcal, which he smuggled back to his bar in Antigua, Guatemala. It was so popular among the regular crowd of rag tag artists and musicians at Café No Sé that he decided to import it legitimately. The joven, made from 100% agave espadín, is bottled un-aged.
  • 3
    3 Montelobos Espadín Mezcal Joven
    87
    Montelobos (mountain of wolves) is an unaged mezcal produced from organic espadín agave. The agaves are sourced from Loma Larga in Santiago Matatlán Oaxaca. After roasting for 5-7 days in a volcanic stone pit, the agaves are crushed with a tahona and allowed to naturally ferment. Montelobos was created by Dr. Iván Saldaña and is produced by 5th generation mezcalero, Don Abel Lopez.
  • 2
    2 Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal
    94
    Driving through the villages, in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico you'll come across several "palenques" or distilleries each telling a tale. The stories coming out of their stills are of a particular place: the soil, the elevation, the growing seasons, the species of agave as well as the skill and sensibilities of the mezcalero (distiller). The Del Maguey “Chichicapa" comes from the valley floor of the village of Chichicapa, made entirely from agave espadín and hand-crafted by Faustino Garcia Vasquez.
  • 1
    1 Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
    84
    Introduced in 2010, Del Maguey Vida Mezcal is an artisanal single-village organic mezcal made from espadín agaves. These agaves are harvested from the village of San Luis del Rio in Oaxaca. Roasting of the agaves lasts for 3-8 days followed by an 8-10 day wild fermentation. The mezcal is twice distilled in wood-fired copper stills. Bottled at 84 proof.