Mezcal 2016

Best Mezcal - 2016


The Fifty Best Mezcal Tasting of 2016


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 15 mezcals with 18 pre-qualified judges. Jovens and Reposados were judged separately as individual categories. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the mezcals were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold and Gold medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. Due to the high scores overall, there were no silver or bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes which follow are summaries of the judging panels’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The agave species are identified for each mezcal.



Viejo Indecente - Madrecuixe
Agave Species: Madrecuixe

Nose: Green apples, apple cider, citrus, peach, cherries, dates, honey, creamy, nougat, honeyed herbs, herbal, grassy, sandalwood, dried herbs, cinnamon, licorice, peppercorns, white pepper, roasted pepper, habanero, mahogany, smoke.
Palate: Green apples, apple cider, citrus, peach, cherries, dates, honey, creamy, nougat, honeyed herbs, herbal, grassy, sandalwood, dried herbs, cinnamon, licorice, peppercorns, white pepper, roasted pepper, habanero, mahogany, smoke.
Finish: Layers of fruit, berries, white toffee, vanilla, creamy, spicy, peppery, agave, smooth, crisp, big and bold.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Viejo Indecente Madrecuixe Joven Mezcal

Jaral de Berrio Joven Mezcal

Jaral de Berrio
Agave Species: Salmiana

Nose: Pralines, candy corn, cotton candy, spun white sugar, cream soda, toffee, honeydew, peach, tropical fruit, sweet floral notes, cinnamon, light herbal, anise, light plantain, olive, vegetative.
Palate: Pralines, caramel, honey, sweet cream, cream soda, peach puree, plantain, corn, dried fruit, lime zest, honeyed herb, gardenia, sweet mint, anise, vegetal tones, earthy agave, white pepper, spicy, briny, toasty, well balanced, pleasant.
Finish: Honeyed herb, creamy, sweet, peppery, jalapeño, grass, earth, mineral, clean, soft, tantalizing, elegant.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Elixir del Corazón
Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Vanilla, café au lait, whipped cream, cotton candy, caramel, nougat, sweet pastry, fig, pear, green apple, lemon, floral, mint, green grass, briny.
Palate: Sweet cream, creamy, vanilla, cream soda, honeyed herb, tropical flower, sweet corn, plantain, light toast, herbal, grass, jalapeño, smoky agave, toasted oak, balanced.
Finish: Pear, honey, hints of chocolate, herbs, mint, peppery, spice, silky, clean, exceptionally smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Elixir del Corazón Joven Mezcal

Marques Plata Mezcal

Agave Species: Salmiana

Nose: Butterscotch, white toffee, vanilla, fruity, pear, pineapple, raisin, mint, hints of anise, sandalwood, white linen, leather, peaty, woody, smoke, mesquite, wet stones, desert after rain.
Palate: Caramel, creamy, buttery, honey, cane sugar, papaya, orange peel, tangerine, blood orange, citrus, melon, poached pear, dried fruit, agave, plantain, sweet corn, bell pepper, fennel, herbs, toasted mint, spearmint, white pepper, spicy, stone, oak, woody, burnt wood, smoky, clean, crisp.
Finish: Toffee, caramel, maple, orange, honeyed herbs, cinnamon, white pepper, jalapeño, spicy, oak, smoke, clean, smooth, silky.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal


Tres Papalote
Agave Species: Wild Cupreata

Nose: Butterscotch, light citrus, melon, fruit, agave nectar, cactus, floral, herbal, mint, pepper, leather, wet clay, dry wood, smoke.
Palate: Honey, tropical fruit, pineapple, citrus, melon, fig, cherry, dried fruit, fruity, spice, cinnamon, mint, pepper, spices, stone, pine, oak, smoke, silky, smooth.
Finish: Citrus, spicy, peppery, cinnamon, tobacco, pine, smooth, well balanced.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Tres Papalote Joven Mezcal

Sacrificio Joven Mezcal

Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Nougat, vanilla, caramel, hint of café au lait, baked plantain, popcorn, roasted agave, light olive, vegetal, chamomile, lemon zest, spearmint, wood barrel, smoky.
Palate: Pineapple, papaya, tangerine, dates, honey, roasted agave, rye, sandalwood, anise, spice, pepper, white pepper, tangy, light tobacco, wood, cedar, oak, smoke.
Finish: Light pear, agave, pepper, light herbs, spicy, embers, smoky, very soft, smooth, delicate, elegant, dry.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Los Amantes
Agave Species: Tobala & Espadín

Nose: Vanilla, honey, honeyed herb, tropical fruit, baked apple, ripe pear, unripe banana, earthy agave, olive, grassy, dried herbs, sandalwood, hay, delicate.
Palate: Café au lait, caramel, honeysuckle, sweet fruit, peach puree, melon, agave, green olive, white pepper, floral, mint, white flour, light toast, silky, easy drinking.
Finish: Praline, sweet, butter, anise, sauterne-like, bright, crisp, elegant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Los Amantes Joven Mezcal

Alacrán Mezcal

Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Pear, peach, banana, plantain, vanilla, buttery, creamy, licorice, lemony, earthy agave, pickled green beans, fresh cut grass, herbal, spicy, pepper, smoky.
Palate: Cream soda, vanilla, nougat, roasted agave, baked apple, herbaceous, grassy, floral, citrus-mint, touch of mint, rye, peppercorn, peppery, deep wood, smoky notes.
Finish: White toffee, hint of vanilla, a bit sweet, black pepper, peppery, spicy, herbaceous, floral notes, dry, smoky.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Desaire Edicion Especial
Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Baked apple, pineapple, apricot, sweet caramel, sweet cream, honey herb, citrus blossoms, tropical flower, lavender, sandalwood, olive, grassy, raw green beans, pickled jalapeño.
Palate: Honey, creamy, tropical fruits, plum, tarragon, grass, herb, sandalwood, tobacco, earthy, leather, mineral, briny, smoky.
Finish: Papaya, dried herbs, mint, light anise, olive, vegetal notes, pepper, light toast, light tobacco, wood, smoky, clean, smooth, dry.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Desaire Edicion Especial Mezcal

Viejo Indecente Ensamble Madrecuixe & Espadin Joven Mezcal

Viejo Indecente - Madrecuixe/Espadin
Agave Species: Ensamble Madrecuixe & Espadín

Nose: Fig, dates, dried fruit, berries, pineapple, papaya, tropical, citrus, fresh green beans, olives, herbaceous, lavender, cardamom, minty, mustard seed, wheat, stony.
Palate: Tarragon, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, white pepper, honeyed herbs, pear, fig, ginger, mint, sandalwood, tobacco, earthy, slate.
Finish: Honey, buckwheat honey, tropical fruit, agave, touch of black pepper, spice, bright, hint of smoke, dry.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Agave Species: Durangenesis

Nose: Earthy agave, roast pepper, plantain, fennel, anise, wheat grass, citrus, bright mint, chamomile, dried herbs, herbal, brine, mineral.
Palate: Fig, dried fruit, roasted agave, jalapeño, spice, dried herbs, floral, spearmint, earthy notes, ash, wood, bark, smoky, well balanced.
Finish: Pretty fruits, café au lait, earthy agave, herbs, cut grass, embers, smoky, super soft.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Bosscal Joven Mezcal

Sangre de Vida Reposado Mezcal



Sangre de Vida

Nose: Sweet cherry, lemon, melon, fruity, agave, vanilla, marzipan, almond, walnut, herbs, mint, moss, grassy, leather, earthy.
Palate: Honey, black cherry, melon, lemon, orange, citrus, fruity, smoky agave, cactus, flowers, herb, walnut, spice, mint, wet grass, grassy, moss, chocolate, tobacco, leather, smooth, clean, approachable.
Finish: Agave, vegetal, walnut, spicy, peppery, chocolate, oak, smoky, earthy, silky, soft, smooth, wonderful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Los Amantes
Agave Species: Tobala & Espadín

Nose: Golden cane sugar, honey, caramel, crisp apple, citrus, agave, plantain, white flower, toasted almond, toast, light leather.
Palate: Pineapple, papaya, banana, tropical fruit, fig, date, lemon meringue pie, honey, buttery, vanilla, nougat, toasted almond, light anise, agave, sandalwood, oak, woody, light smoke, balanced.
Finish: Dried herbs, dried fruit, subtle pear, creamy, soft, smooth, amazing.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Los Amantes Resposado Mezcal

Marqués Reposado Mezcal

Agave Species: Salmiana

Nose: Vanilla, white sugar, molasses, taffy, caramel, sweet cream, cinnamon, pineapple, honeysuckle, white rose, floral, light jasmine, citrus, spice, eucalyptus, light oak.
Palate: Cream soda, vanilla, honey, banana, tropical fruit, roasted agave, lime, citrus, tangy, cinnamon, spice, white pepper, slight pepper, bouquet of herbs, sandalwood, touch of wood, perfect wood, perfect smoke, well balanced, very appealing.
Finish: Caramel, vanilla, toast, mint, spicy, jalapeño, embers, lovely wood, soft, smooth, elegant, lingering, enjoyable, perfect, fantastic.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal


Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Fig, banana, exceptionally fruity, vanilla notes, bread, herbaceous, licorice, root.
Palate: Honey, nougat, dried fruit, plantain, anise, fennel, agave, soft vegetal notes, tangy, spice, clove, white pepper, black pepper, wood, toasted oak, smooth.
Finish: Creamy, vanilla, honeyed herb, light spice, very smooth, clean, just right, elegant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

 Sacrificio Reposado Mezcal




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Comments and Suggestions:

Wed. November 16, 2016 12:31 PM - by: Antonio
Try this El Yope by Don Porfirio (46 Proof) can't go wrong about this true artisanal which I came across in my last trip to Oaxaca.
Thu. April 7, 2016 6:42 PM - by: daniel
very nice list. I have tried 3 or 4 on list, all delicious.. have not tried one I didn't like! unlike tequila, which I also love,You need to be very selective with tequila.I have bought bottles of tequila I didn't like..Salud!!
Wed. August 19, 2015 11:01 AM - by: karla Moles
I would like to recommend you Mezcal Enmascarado,
Mon. March 9, 2015 9:43 AM - by: Federico
You are missing two best: ARREBATO and ZAUCO

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Fifty Best > Spirits Archive > Mezcal 2016
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