Top Espadín Mezcal

Espadín is by far the most popular agave to use in mezcal production. Here are our top picks!
Sep 05, 2017
  • 10
    10 Fidencio Clásico Mezcal
    89
    Earthy & Fruity
    One of the few mezcals that are both organic and biodynamic. Fidencio Clásico is made using 100% espadín agave from Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca. The agaves are roasted for three days in a traditional method using a stone-lined earthen pit. Fermented using ambient yeast and twice-distilled using an old cognac-style still.
  • 9
    9 Mezcal Pierde Almas Espadín
    89
    Umami & Herbal
    Like the entry-level La Puritita Verda, the Pierde Almas Espadín is a young mezcal that’s less than one year old at bottling. According to Pierde Almas, the Espadín’s ABV ranges between 49% and 52%, depending on the conditions specific to each lot. It is crafted with local organic methods from 100% Agave angustifolia at a family-run distillery in San Baltazar Chichicapam.
  • 8
    8 Mezcal Vago Espadin
    89
    Umami & Spicy
    Espadin, an ancestor of the Blue Weber agave used to make tequila, is known for its high sugar content and the transparency with which it transmits characteristics of a distiller's individual style. In the case of fifth-generation mezcalero Aquilino García López, this means a very narrow "cut" (the part of the distillate that is kept rather than discarded or re-distilled) resulting in a bright, clear flavor profile.
  • 7
    7 Sombra Mezcal
    90
    Rich & Smoky
    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.
  • 6
    6 Wahaka Mezcal Espadín
    91
    Herbal & Umami
    This entry-level espadín mezcal from Wahaka is made from agave that’s sustainably grown on a palenque that mezcalero Alberto “Beto” Morales describes as “a place of respect and harmony, where no arguments or even bad words may be uttered.” Certified organic by the USDA and Mayacert, Morales’ distillation process includes the use of a traditional tahona and double distillation in a copper alembic.
  • 5
    5 Mezcal Marca Negra Espadín
    92
    Smoky & Fruity
    Distilled from estate-grown espadín agave averaging 7 to 10 years of age, and is double-distilled in pot stills after the agave hearts are roasted in traditional stone lined pits. The Marca Negra expressions each detail things such as location of the distillery, production details, and the name of the Master Mezcalero. The square bottle is marked with a black handprint intimating the hand of the mezcalero (distiller) which in the espadín expression is Abel Nolasco Velasco.
  • 4
    4 Mezcal Amarás Espadín Joven
    92
    Fruity & Sweet
    The brand, which translates to "you will love," was founded by Jorge Rodríguez-Cano and Santiago Suárez Cordova. It's a collaboration between 5 mezcaleros in the village of San Juan del Río in Oaxaca. It's made from 100% Espadín grown in the surrounding hills near the distillery that is roasted for 5 days in conical ovens over Holm Oak logs. It's made the traditional way with horse-drawn mills for grinding, open pine containers for fermenting and copper pot distilling. Both the agave and the logs used to roast it are used sustainably, with a number of replanting for every one taken.
  • 3
    3 Rey Campero Espadín Mezcal
    92
    Fruity
    Mezcal Rey Campero translates to "King of the Countryside" - a reference to the wild plants cultivated to make the distillates. This mezcal is 100% espadín matured 6 - 7 years before harvest, fermented in open air with wild yeasts and double-distilled in copper stills.
  • 2
    2 El Jolgorio Espadín Mezcal
    94
    Herbal & Smoky
    The Cortes family has been producing mezcal since 1887. The artisanal El Jolgorio line uses traditional methods - pit-roasting, crushing with a mule-drawn tahona, open fermenting and double distillation in copper pot stills. The wild espadín agave is harvested at 10 years.
  • 1
    1 Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal
    94
    Rich & Sweet
    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.