About Tequila, Mezcal and Agave Spirits from Mexico

About Tequila, Mezcal  and  Agave Spirits from Mexico
Mexican spirits are all about beverages made from the agave plant, with the two most famous products being tequila and Mezcal. These products range from rustic and rough to polished and world-class; they are enjoyed by the common man as well as celebrities and they are consumed throughout Mexico as well as in the United States and many other countries. While both tequila and mezcal are made from the agave plant, mezcal can be produced from many varieties from several area, while tequila can only be made from the blue agave and only from the Jalisco district. There are several types of tequila, from the most basic, clear examples that can be sipped or serve as the base of numerous cocktails, all the way up to aged (añejo) versions that have gold or amber colors, smoky, caramel and honeyed aromas and a long, elegant finish that are meant for after dinner enjoyment on their own or with a cigar. Tequila had become an enormous industry in Mexico and today the product is made by small family-owned companies as well as large multimillion dollar beverage giants. There is also a small amount of liqueurs made in Mexico, such as those made from honey, coconut and even local flowers such as the Xtabentun; production is limited, but quality is quite high.

Top Picks for Mexico

Tequila, Mezcal and Agave Spirits

Tequila Tapatío Excelencia Extra Añejo
98 points
$150
Bronze color. Aromas of fresh lumber, luxury tobacco, caramel, prune, eucalyptus, and vanilla-scented black tea with a fat body and a very long cherry-almond, dark roasted agave, sandalwood, baking spices, and root beer finish. A superlative sipping tequila that combines elegant wood with rustic, authentic agave flavors; an outstanding spirit.
Awards: 2018 Best Extra Añejo Tequila
El Tesoro Paradiso Tequila
97 points
$129.99
Gold color. Attractive aromas of cedar, caramel, crushed pineapple, eucalyptus-vanilla, and fine tea with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, very long allspice, lime leaf, dried mango, smoke, and sea salt finish. Exotic aromas and superb integration make this the Cognac or Single Malt-lovers Tequila; a must-try.
Awards: 2019 Best Extra Añejo Tequila
97 points $129.99
Fuenteseca Blanco Tequila
96 points
$89.99
Clear color. Earthy aromas and flavors of sweet potato noodles, smoked poblano, tajin, palo santo wood, oregano tea, and roasted carrot with a satiny, vibrant, dry light-to-medium body and a warming, very complex, long finish with shades of pineapple finish. An intensely herbal and earthy Tequila that will appeal to Mezcal lovers; serious agave spirits enthusiasts take note.
Awards: 2019 Best Blanco Tequila
96 points $89.99
Alquimia Reserva de Oro 14 Years Barrel Strength Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points
$250
Amber color. Spicy aromas and flavors of dark caramel on rye, cedar plank, galangal, nutmeg, dark chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, and toasted almonds with a slightly chewy, lively, fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, very long finish evoking notes of flamed orange, toffee, flan, and dark roasted agave finish. A rich and decadent Extra Añejo Tequila with excellent intensity of flavor and memorable style.
Tequila Tapatío Blanco
96 points
$35
Clear color. Aromas of black pepper on ripe green pears, coconut flesh, and fresh yellow bell pepper with a fat body and a very long finish. A soulful blanco tequila that exudes "Mexican countryside"; a must for connoisseurs.
Awards: 2018 Best Blanco Tequila
Olamendi’s Ultra Premium Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points
$300
Brilliant golden amber color. Savory, rustic aromas and flavors of peppered prosciutto, smoked pear, bread and butter pickles, marinated artichoke hearts, grilled pineapple and sweet peppers, chocolate dipped orange peel, and cherry wood with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, very complex, very long finish that exhibits notes of oregano, elotes, fine tobacco, and desert grasses finish. A wildly attractive and complex Extra Añejo with authentic style and a smoky edge; sip with respect.
Grand Mayan Ultra-Aged Tequila
96 points
$89.99
Medium copper color. Sweet, oaky aromas of cinnamon rice pudding and black tea, jamaica drink, honey cake, and leather with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, compelling, medium-long chicory coffee, cinnamon-honey, jalepeno, and cola finish. A rich, honeyed and nectar-llke tequila.
Awards: 2017 Best Tequila, 2017 Best Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points $89.99
KAH Tequila Blanco
96 points
$40.99
Brilliant clear color. Roasted, fresh floral aromas and flavors of roasted sweet potatoes and peppers, vanilla nougat, and cedar with a satiny, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, captivating, very long finish conveying notes of papaya and figs, anisette cookie, wet stones, and bison grass finish. A silky, smooth blanco sipper.
96 points $40.99
GEM & BOLT Damiana Infused Mezcal
95 points
$37.99
Clear color. Complex, herbal aromas and flavors of spearmint, oregano tea, sliced cucumber, banana creme, licorice, and pit roasted sweet potato with a round, vibrant, dryish medium body and a warming, very complex, long finish with accents of white chocolate, bergamot, sweet tea, hibiscus, and hot rubber finish. Delicate, complex herbaceous notes mingle with an excellent quality mezcal; terrific acidity, length and depth of flavor make this a go-to choice when seeking a complex sipping spirit, a creative cocktail ingredient, or unique pour to show off to friends.
95 points $37.99
ArteNOM Seleccion de 1146 Añejo Tequila
95 points
$69.99
Amber color. Aromas of peanut brittle, ripe apple, flamed orange, cafe latte, leather, foraged mushrooms, and brown butter with a chewy, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, very complex, very long spiced peach chutney, luxury tobacco, and red tea finish. A flavor-packed, cognac-like Añejo tequila with delicate fruity nuance and big toasty brawn.
Awards: 2019 Best Añejo Tequila
95 points $69.99