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
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
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
Mezcal Vago Espadin Mezcal Artesanal
96 points
Clear color. Aromas of strawberry pineapple smoothie, ripe honeydew melon, hints of coconut cream, peach pie, spring blossoms, and banana taffy with a lively, fruity medium body and a warming, intricate, very long raspberry, spring peas, lime spritzed jicama, and strawberry rhubarb compote with tropical spices finish. A fruity, wildly accessible spirit that’s a great Mezcal entry point for first timers but also an exceptional choice for connoisseurs; outstanding concentration and depth.
96 points $53.99
Alquimia Reserva de Oro 14 yr Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points
Golden amber color. Aromas of cream puff, toasted panettone, bananas foster, and polished fine furniture with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long honey-roasted nuts, peppered crackers, spiced tea, and sweet corn finish. A pastry shop of creamy flavors and well-integrated oak awaits the contemplative sipper; dry and balanced
Los Amantes Añejo Mezcal
96 points
Gold color. Smoky, medicinal, complex aromas and flavors of smoked nuts and gusano, chocolate halva, hint of iodine tincture, and prairie fire embers and rubber with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long finish displaying notes of grilled citrus, smoked peppers, and mesquite honey finish. A delicious and satisfying añejo mezcal that coats the palate with lingering warmth and smokiness.
Fuenteseca Blanco Tequila
96 points
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
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
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
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.
Cazcanes No. 9 Blanco Tequila
95 points
Clear color. Earthy aromas of frijoles negros, roasted squash, toasted pepitas, sauerkraut, and grilled lime with a supple, vibrant, dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, very long white pepper, hints of ancho chile, dark chocolate, and condensed milk finish. An outstandingly good Blanco Tequila; bottled at an atypically higher proof, this Blanco delivers rich body, sophisticated peppery palate and endless savory complexity.