Our Favorite Agave Spirits From October

We reviewed a bunch of tequilas and mezcals in October, but these 10 were our favorites!
Nov 02, 2016
  • 10
    84
    Sweet
    Casa Dragones Tequila Blanco is 100% Blue Agave manufactured in a thoroughly modern method. Instead of the traditional method of roasting and crushing the agave to extract the juices and sugars they send the raw agave to a diffusor which extracts the starches from the shredded raw agave by hot water. It is distilled multiple times in a column-still. It is then filtered through an "ultra-modern" filtration system.
  • 9
    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
    92
    Rich & Smoky
    Gracias a Dios is committed to fair trade and sustainable practices, under the leadership of maestro mezcalero Oscar Hernández Santiago. The organic espadín is 8 years old at harvest and undergoes double-distillation. The spirit spends 4 months in ex-bourbon casks.
  • 7
    89
    Earthy & Mineral
    Tequila Ocho single-estate Tequila is dedicated to showcasing terroir ( a sense of place) in Tequila. Each production is from Blue Agave harvested at the peak of ripeness from a single rancho. The Los Mangos rancho is 1600m above sea level with brown soil similar to that in the Tequila Valley. The rancho grew mangos and cherries prior to being planted with agave in 2000. The agaves were 9 years old at harvest and had an average weight of 48 kg with the largest weighing in at over 85kgs (187lbs).
  • 6
    87
    Rich
    Nuestra Soledad is El Jolgorio's line of single-village mezcals. Their mezcal from Ejutla, in the south of the Valles Centrales region, is made from espadín agave. The agaves are roasted with mesquite and oak in pit ovens, fermented in open air, and distilled twice in copper alembics.
  • 5
    85
    Fruity
    Tequila Chamucos was started by three friends - a movie director, a caricaturist, and an entrepreneur - who first sourced the tequila for their own private consumption. Now released to the public, this 100% agave tequila is produced in Jalisco Alto. The blanco is made from agave harvested at 8 to 10 years, with piñas steamed in an autoclave and distilled in stainless-steel column-stills. It is bottled unaged fresh off the still. Fun fact: If found in the original box, there are cut-outs that fold into three-dimensional figures.
  • 4
    82
    Fruity
    Cat tequila is spirit about which it is very hard to find information without contacting the brand, though if you like pictures of cats in sombreros, it's a fun internet search. It's made from 100% agave grown in Jalisco. It's bottled unaged straight off the still.
  • 3
    88
    Herbal & Fruity
    Tequila Ocho is the first brand to follow a technique reserved until recently the wine business. Ocho is the only single-estate vintage tequila on the market. Since all agave is harvested from individual family farms, each is allowed to showcase nuances found only at those estates. El Refugio is located at 2055m above sea level and has soils rich in red iron oxide. Agave from this area and climate have a very high sugar content.
  • 2
    84
    Sweet & Fruity
    “Las Pomez” is one of the 12 estates where Tequila Ocho harvests its agave. At 2055 meters above sea level the soil is rich in iron oxide. The agaves themselves are purposefully over-matured at this estate which allow a uniqueness to this particular tequila. After distillation the Plata is allowed to rest in open air for 48 hours to oxidize a bit, or as Carlos Camarena so eloquently put it to "Feng Shui" the tequila.
  • 1
    79
    Herbal
    El Ladrón (The Thief) is distilled in Santa Cruz, California from agave juice sourced from the highlands of Jalisco. The Reposado is aged from 3-6 months in a combination of new and used whiskey barrels and is bottled at 94 proof.