Top Rated Affordable Mezcals

Want to learn more about mezcal but don't want to spend an arm and a leg? We can help with that! These are all highly rated and won't break the bank.
Nov 15, 2016
  • 10
    10 Mezcal El Silencio Espadín
    87
    Earthy
    This is the second release from El Silencio following up their Joven ensemble bottling. It is meant as more of an introductory bottling and is priced accordingly. Made from 100% espadín, this is distilled in San Baltazar Guelavila, Oaxaca and made by Master Mescalier Pedro Hernandez. It is produced traditionally with agaves roasted in a mesquite-lined pit and the agaves are crushed by a horse-drawn tahona. Natural fermentation is allowed and the mezcal is double-distilled in copper pot stills.
  • 9
    9 Mezcal Nuestra Soledad San Luis del Rio
    88
    Rich
    Nuestra Soledad is El Jolgorio's line of single-village mezcals. Their mezcal from San Luis Del Rio, in the east 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, distilled twice in copper alembics.
  • 8
    8 Koch el Mezcal Espadín
    88
    Fruity & Rich
    Espadín is a work horse. It matures in a relatively short time 5-8 years, it produces a lot of sugar, and it is easily cultivated. It is so easily marked by the hands of the mezcalero that it can take on a multitude of characteristics and levels of quality. Made traditionally in Oaxaca by Pedro Hernández, this mezcal is double-distilled in a copper still and is bottled at 94 proof.
  • 7
    7 Mezcal Pierde Almas La Puritita Verda
    88
    Umami & Herbal
    La Puritita Verda is a young mezcal (less than a year) that’s bottled at a lower proof than other Pierde Almas releases, with an eye towards mixing in cocktails. This entry-level mezcal is made from espadín agave at the family-run distillery in the remote village of San Baltazar Chichicapam. La Puritita Verda is made with the same organic methods that are used to produce the rest of the Pierde Almas line.
  • 6
    6 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.
  • 5
    5 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.
  • 4
    4 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.
  • 3
    3 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.
  • 2
    2 Mezcal de las Hormigas
    94
    Sweet
    Mezcal de las Hormigas is an offshoot of Espíritu Lauro that is made with the same dedication to natural processes. It's produced with no added sugars and is fermented without the use of yeast. This mezcal is composed of 100% espadín grown around the distillery and its neighbor, aged 6-7 years old before harvest, and it is only once distilled. Fun fact: the donkeys who pull the mill to mash the agave are father and son, and apparently argue incessantly!
  • 1
    1 Los Vecinos del Campo Espadin Mezcal
    95
    Umami
    Los Vecinos del Campo Mezcal brand is a partnership between Sazerac and Casa San Matias. The mezcals are produced in small batches by a group of ten master mezcaleros in the Valles Centrales of Oaxaca. This Espadín expression is double distilled and bottled at 90 proof.