9 Mezcals You Have Probably Never Heard Of

I recently came across a post from another mezcal blogger, La Nina del Mezcal (click to see her post), that I found to be interesting.  It was about the “MEZCALFEST DF 2012”, which was apparently recently held in Mexico City, though I confess that I cannot find anything online in English about this mezcal festival (yes, my lack of Spanish language acumen is a chink in my mezcal armor!).

But nevertheless, her post intrigued me because there was a list of the top 10 mezcals from this festival.  Was this La Nina’s list?  An official list?  I am not sure and she does not say.  Please, La Nina, enlighten us!

But I am always on the look out for premium mezcals so this list got my attention.  However, the only mezcal on this list that can be had in the U.S. is Wahaka, which I have tried and is quite good.  The others, while I had heard of a few, cannot be found in the U.S. (please tell me differently if you know better), so keep this list handy next time you are mezcal binge-ing through Oaxaca and bring some back!

Here is the list from La Nina with a few judge-a-mezcal-by-its-label-and-packaging comments from me :

1.  Mezcal El Cortijo.  Label is a Freaky Friday Valentine.  Man with pig nose ripping heart out of dowdy puritan lady.





2.  Los Sietes Misterios.  A bit too macabre for me.  Skeleton people drinking mezcal?  May we all be that lucky when we get there.  (OK, perhaps a Day of the Dead reference, but still…)






3.  Mezcal Yuu Baal.  Now this is a nice bottle!  Makes me want to try it.





4.  Wahaka.  Their juice is good just hard for me to embrace the name or the label.  “Wahaka” sounds Hawaiian and the label looks a bit as such.

5.  Real Matlatl.  Cannot find a good picture of it anywhere.  Even on their own very limited website!

6.  Esperito Lauro.  Nice, elegant packaging though it seems a bit busy or medicinal.

7.  Michoacan.  I don’t think this is actually a brand.  La Nina references the mezcals from the State of Michoacan which were recently granted Denomination of Origin status for mezcal.



8. Cha Cha Cha Mezcal.  I like the bottle here.  Perhaps a bit too ornate but has a certain sophistication that is alluring.



9.  Durango.  Similar to Michoacan, this is not a brand, but a State in which mezcal is produced.

10.  8 Viboras.  Like the bottle but don’t love it.  But they apparently have a 5yr aged anejo – that I would love to try!

So given that 2 names on the list are regions and not brands, I guess that makes only 8 mezcal brands that are here.  And one of them is Wahaka, which we all know, so maybe this post should be entitled “7 Mezcals You Have Probably Never Heard Of”?  But I will defer to La Nina here as this is just a riff of her original post – she did the homework and provides more color, so I will stick with her list of 10.  Be sure to read her post too.

Now the shame of this list is that if you live in the U.S., you cannot buy any of them!  I buy a lot of mezcal online, and the two best places I have found are Hi-Time Wine Cellars and Zee Tequila.  These two sites do not have any of these mezcals (except Wahaka), and I cannot find them anywhere else on the web.

If you have others that I (maybe the collective “we”) have perhaps never heard of that you think are special, please let me know!

9 Responses

  1. Francisco at |

    Just helping with 4th label ;). “Wahaka” is a wordplay, it would be the written sound for Oaxaca. Oa-xa-ca (Wa-ha-ka).
    The artwork is from Huichol culture in Jalisco state.

    Francisco, snoopy graphic designer.

  2. Bruce Berman at |

    I drink Tequila, but never had Mezcal until my mother-in-law who went to visit family in Mexico brought me a bottle of the Jovan Cha Cha Cha brand. I shared it with my son. I enjoyed the smoky flavor and would love to be able to purchase in the US if you know of a website I could go on.
    If not, I’ll have to rely on my mother-in-laws next visit for a bottle.

    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Pretty sure Cha Cha Cha is not available in the US. I’ve had it and it is ok. Many better jovens are available in the US. Check out my brands available list and pick one!

      1. Jason at |

        Cha Cha Cha is available at Wally Wines in Los Angeles.

        1. Mezcal PhD at |

          Nice tip. I will add it to my list. I tried it recently in Cabo and it was just ok.

  3. barbara Sweetman at |

    Hi John,
    I have some bottles of Los Siete Misterios Mezcals that will be in the tastings offered on May 21st at the Master Mezcalier Certification class so you will be able to check that one out- see you on the 21st (we are also conducting a MM cert class in Cambridge Mass on the 20th if you know anyone up that way who might be interested. Happy Cinco de Mayo, Barbara

    1. MezcalPhD at |

      Sweet (man)! You have raised my anticipation to a new level! See you then….

  4. Cecilia - La Niña del Mezcal at |

    Hi John!!
    I absolutely love your post!! Hopefully all of these mezcals (and more) will be available in the United States soon!
    My ‘Top Ten’ list is made up of my favorite mezcals that were at the festival that weekend, amongst other great mezcals! Out of all of these I guess I can say, almost with certainty, that Los Siete Misterios will be one of the first to reach the US this year! Hope to see you around NYC soon!

    La Niña del Mezcal

    1. MezcalPhD at |

      I look forward to seeing these in the U.S. as well. I am definitely going to check out Cocina Empellon and try the Misterios! Keep reading and drink mezcal! (I guess I don’t have to tell you that!)


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