Explore Mezcals Made Outside Oaxaca

Although most mezcals we see on the market hail from the state of Oaxaca, mezcal can and is made elsewhere in México. In fact, seven other states produce mezcal using various agave varieties. These picks are perfect for mezcal fans wanting to explore the category further.
Oct 06, 2019
  • 10
    10 Miel De Tierra Joven
    84
    Sweet & Earthy
    Hailing from Zacatecas — much farther north than the center of mezcal production in Oaxaca — the Miel de Tierra line seeks to show more elegant and earthy flavors than the typical smoky and wild examples from the south. Although much of the line features aging in local, virgin oak, this joven pours an inviting, crystal clear.
  • 9
    9 Mezcales de Leyenda Guerrero
    85
    Smoky & Sweet
    Mezcales de Leyenda uniquely showcases "terroir" in their traditional mezcals. Working with small family producers they make a mezcal that is representative of its region and preserves the traditional production methods from harvest to distillation. The Guerrero bottling is produced in the southern Mexican state of the same name from agave cupreata. Production starts by cooking the agave for 3 days in an underground oven or pit lined with lava rocks and heated by an oak fire. The cooked agave is fermented in a wooden vat for 3-4 days then distilled in a copper still. 4000 bottles produced.
  • 8
    8 Mezcal Jaral de Berrio
    90
    Sweet & Fruity
    Though mezcal is most associated with the state of Oaxaca, it is also a protected designation in 7 other states. Jaral de Berrio hails from the borough of San Felipe Torres Mochas in Guanajuato, where the Salmiana (the word for "plant") agave for this mezcal grows. It's named for the Marquis of Jaral de Berrio, who was granted permission from the King of Spain to allow the distillation of the first mezcal in the late 18th century in what was then "New Spain" at the family Hacienda, now one of the top tourist attractions in the area. Jaral de Berrio mezcal is produced using traditional methods - clay oven, manual crushing, copper pot distillation, etc. - and is bottled unaged off the still.
  • 7
    7 Mezcal Amarás Cupreata
    90
    Herbal & Rich
    Released in the summer of 2015, this is a mezcal produced with 100% agave cupreata (aka papalote). The agaves are sourced from the slopes of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range and distilled in the village of Mazatlán in the state of Guerrero. Natural fermentation takes place in open pine vats and this is double-distilled in a copper pot-still. Unaged, this is bottled at 86 proof.
  • 6
    6 Mezcales de Leyenda Durango
    90
    Fruity & Sweet
    This blanco mezcal is distilled from 100% agave durangensis, which is native to and grows on the rocky slopes of Durango's central valley. The Mezcales de Leyenda cooperative was formed to promote the sustainable production of unaged mezcals from the Mexican states of Durango, Guerrero, and Oaxaca. All products are USDA and CCOF certified organic.
  • 5
    5 Del Maguey San Pablo Ameyaltepec
    92
    Floral
    This unaged mezcal hails from a new D.O. in the Mexican state of Puebla. Master Mezcalier Aurelio Gonzalez Tobon uses 12-18 year-old wild papalote (aka cupreata) agave hearts which are roasted in an earthen pit oven. They are fermented in the open air with natural yeasts, and distilled to proof in a reflux-style alembic still.
  • 4
    4 Miel de Tierra Joven Agave Salmiana
    92
    Spicy & Sweet
    Miel de Tierra mezcals hail from Zacatecas, a state in Mexico, which is much farther north than the center of mezcal production in Oaxaca. The line seeks to show more elegant and earthy flavors than the typical smoky and wild examples from the south. Notably, Miel de Tierra Joven Agave Salmiana is the only one in the portfolio to feature agaves from outside of the distillery’s home. The wild Salmiana variety used is found to the east in the San Luis Potosi region. Most of their mezcals feature aging in local, virgin oak, but this is joven is not aged.
  • 3
    3 Mezcales de Leyenda San Luis Potosí
    93
    Spicy & Salty
    Introduced in 2017, this bottling from Mezcales de Leyenda uses agave salmiana coming from San Luis Potosí. The agaves are cooked in a clay oven for two days. After crushing, the juice and fibers are allowed open-fermentation in cement tanks for five days before double-distillation in a copper still. Made by Master Mezcalero Juan José Hernández, this unaged mezcal is bottled at 42% ABV.
  • 2
    2 Siembra Metl Cenizo Mezcal
    94
    Herbal & Earthy
    Oaxaca is synonymous with mezcal but it should not overshadow what's being done in other states such as Michoacan. A spirit as expressive of terroir as mezcal makes these “particulars” quite compelling. Produced using the rare agave cenizo in the “method ancestral”, this mezcal is distilled in both oyamel and pine wood stills. Up until certification, everything is measured purely by the senses and instincts of Maestro Mezcalero Don Jose Emilio Vieyra Rangel and his son Emilio Vieyra. In other words made exactly as it would have been over 400 years ago.
  • 1
    1 Mezcales de Leyenda Puebla
    95
    Sweet & Salty
    This mezcal is produced in the Mexican state of Puebla, a recent addition to the recognized area for mezcal production. It is distilled from 100% Tobalá agaves (known in this region as Cenizo). The agaves are cooked in a lava rock lined pit for three days before they are mechanically milled and fermented for a further five days. The mezcal is double-distilled in copper pot-stills by Mezcalero Don Aaron Alba, a 4th generation producer. The agaves are organic and fair trade certified.