Mezcal 2019

Best Mezcal – 2019

The Fifty Best Mezcal Tasting 2019


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 8 mezcals with 17 members of our spirits judging panel. 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 highest. Double-Gold, Gold medals and Silver are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no 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 and municipalities of origin are identified for each mezcal.



Alacrán Mezcal Joven
Agave Species: Espadin
(Oaxaca) 92° proof

Aroma: Vanilla, cream soda, honey, poached apple, pineapple, lemon, lime, citrus, green olives, green beans, grass, herbaceous, mint, anise, licorice, tarragon, white pepper, peppercorn, tobacco, mineral, brine, clay, smoke, wet bark, wood, pine.

Palate: Vanilla, creamy, cream soda, cane sugar, banana, tropical fruit, melon, lemon, citrus, grass, eucalyptus, anise, tarragon, almond, light pecans, pepper, peppercorns, spicy, tobacco, earthy, burnt clay, toasted wood, sweet smoke, light amusing smokiness, smooth, airy.

Finish: Vanilla, melon, charred pineapple, herbs, grass, pepper, white pepper, spicy, tobacco, smoky, minerals, smooth, easy, gentle.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

   Alacrán Mezcal Joven


GEM&BOLT Mezcal Joven

Agave Species: Espadin
(Oaxaca) 88° proof

Aroma: Vanilla, honey, pear liqueur, pineapple, pineapple juice, tropical fruit, melon, lemon, lime zest, fresh cut grass, green leaves, eucalyptus, mint leaves, menthol, vegetal, green pepper, dill, tarragon, oregano, spice, nutty, tobacco, mineral oil, brine, earthy, slate, wet stones, ocean mist.

Palate: Vanilla, creamy vanilla, cream, Juicy Fruit gum, corn, melon, citrus, fresh floral, candy cane mint, spearmint, fennel, vegetal, dill, grassy, sandalwood, tarragon, pink peppercorns, peppery, salty, mineral, chalky, charcoal, wood, oak, cedar, pine, full mouthfeel, creamy, rich body, pleasantly round, smooth.

Finish: Vanilla cream, green olives, eucalyptus, grassy, pepper, peppercorns, peppery, spicy, sweet spicy, BBQ smoked ribs, light smoke, smoky, cedar, fresh soil, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

GEM&BOLT Mezcal Joven

Casta Tribal Mezcal Ensamble Joven
Agave Species: Espadin/Tepeztate
(Oaxaca) 84° proof

Aroma: Green apple, peach, lime, mint, peppermint, grassy, green herb, herbaceous, vegetal, habanero, pechuga, salinity, mineral, perfume, incense, bright green fire, earthy, peaty, char, smoke, very smoky, hearty, rich.

Palate: Prickly pear, citrus, agave, smoked Asian pear, orange blossom, herbaceous, herbal, eucalyptus, anise, grassy, braised greens, roasted vegetables, potatoes, oatmeal, pechuga, tobacco leaves, chili, tangy, salty sweetness, funk, peat, very light smoke, nice smoke, woody, well-balanced, smooth.

Finish: Agave, desert cactus, citrus, eucalyptus, mint, herbaceous, vegetal, dried leaves, moss, earthy, leather, soot, char, smoke, wood, balanced, tangy, clean, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

   Casta Tribal Mezcal Ensamble Espadin Tepeztate

Mezcal Marca Negra Espadin Joven
Agave Species: Espadin
(San Luis del Rio, Oaxaca) 100.6° proof

Aroma: Kettle corn, butterscotch, buttery, vanilla, honey, agave, vegetal, lime, herbal, anise, green pepper, bread yeast, salinity, leather, mineral, earth, burning leaves, char, light wood, clean, classic.

Palate: Pineapple, pear, citrus, lemon peel, ginger, thin mint, spearmint, herbal, agave, vegetal, black olives, pimento, green pepper, anise, thyme, white pepper, peppery, incense, mossy, forest floor, charcoal, charred, smoky, smoke, sharp oak, complex, balanced.

Finish: Vanilla, bubblegum, peach, pear, agave, citrus, minty, spearmint, anise, pepper, spicy, salted nuts, smoky vegetal, smoke, well balanced, hearty, smooth, pleasant, amazing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

   Mezcal Marca Negra Espadin

Mezcal Marca Negra Ensamble Joven
Agave Species: Espadin, Sanmartin, Mexicano
(La Noria, Ejutla, Oaxaca) 98.6° proof

Aroma: Vanilla, vanilla bean, cream, honey, agave, sweet corn, buttered popcorn, warm butter, coconut oil, strained banana, grilled pear, herbaceous, herbal, incense, minerals, charcoal, char, gentle smoke, delicate.

Palate: Ripe agave, Meyer lemon, lemony, lime, pear, rose, herbal, mint, peppermint, leaves, unripe watercress, green pepper, peppery, toast, red slate, peaty, charred, smoky, nicely sweet, well-balanced, very creamy, velvety, smooth.

Finish: Agave, ginger, dried fruit, herbal, green pepper, peppery, white pepper, black pepper, roasted nuts, dusty, crisp, mineral, peat, light smoke, balanced, super-light, solid.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Mezcal Marca Negra Ensamble Espadin Sanmartin Mexicano

Casta Tribal Mezcal Joven
Agave Species: Espadin, Tobalá, Madrecuishe
(Oaxaca) 92° proof

Aroma: Peach, nectarine, pear, lime, citrus, charred agave, charred grapefruit, pickled fruit, floral, herbal, herbaceous, peppermint, grassy, mustard, tabasco, mineral oil, mineral, tobacco, musty wood, burning palm fronds, smoke, hearty.

Palate: Agave, melon, tart citrus, honey, charred guava, caramelized pineapple, sweet black olives, cucumber, grassy, cilantro, nutmeg, clove, incense, mineral oil, smoked, nice expression of smoke, sweet undertone, balanced, hearty, smooth, pillow and clouds, delicious.

Finish: Peach, pineapple, cocoa, herbs, minty, tea, grassy, oregano, incense, mineral, peat, smoke, wood, cedar, clean, smooth, hearty, flavorful, really enjoyable.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Casta Tribal Mezcal Ensamble Espadin Tobalá Madrecuishe


Tres Papalote Mezcal Joven

Agave Species: Cupreata
(Guerrero) 92° proof

Aroma: Light vanilla, creamy, nectarine, light pineapple, melon, smoky fruitcake, smoked citrus, rosewater, floral, herbal, grassy, mint, wet stones, clean, faint smoke, bacon.

Palate: Cream soda, whipped cream, creamy, vanilla, honey, melon, sweet grapefruit, lime, lemon juice, dried fruit, agave, floral, anise, licorice, herbal, spearmint, grassy, green pepper, bell peppers, salsa, black pepper, peppery, cinnamon, leather, cedar, pine, charred wood planks, smoky, delicate.

Finish: Sweet cream, hot chocolate, honey, citrus, grassy, green olives, spicy, peppery, wet stone, light smoke, earthy, oak, cedar, well-rounded, tangy, fresh, smooth, creamy, velvety.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Tres Papalote Mezcal Joven

Mezcal Marca Negra Joven
Agave Species: Tobalá
(San Luis del Rio, Oaxaca) 92° proof

Aroma: Cupcakes, vanilla, roasted agave, pear, lemon, lime, grassy, fresh-cut greens, herbal, floral, perfume, incense, saline, leather, earthy, smoke, burning oak, burnt wood.

Palate: Agave, roasted pineapples, pear, citrus, herbal, sage, thyme, spicy, peppery, sandalwood, red soil, earthy, dusty, chalky, musty, peat, smoky, woody, creamy, breezy, melodic.

Finish: Pear, eucalyptus, vegetal, herbal, sage, thyme, nutty, salty, peat, light smoke, woody, cedar, great balance, soft.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Mezcal Marca Negra Tobalá




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