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10 Best Cheap Mezcals: Tasted & Ranked (2023 Edition)

Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by Lydia Martin

As an experienced mixologist and devoted mezcal fan, I’ve scoured the shelves and tasted the best mezcals to bring you this curated list.

So, rest assured that the mezcal bottles and choices I’m about to reveal are affordable and backed by our expertise.

Check out the best cheap mezcal bottles below.

Top 10 Affordable Mezcals You Should Try

10. Fidencio Clásico Mezcal

Man Holding Bottle of Fidencio Clásico Mezcal

Average Price: $43.49

Alcohol Content: 44.7% ABV

Nose: Earthy and fruity

Palate: Mineral, smoke, dried herbs

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It:

Fidencio Clásico Mezcal has earned its place among our favorites for its remarkable quality and authentic taste. Made with espadin agave, this cheap mezcal enchants with its enticing flavors and captivating aroma.

Fermented with natural yeast [1], the well-balanced combination of earthy and fruity notes on the nose sets the stage for an exceptional experience.

“A simple and quaint mezcal. It does not roar, it does not whisper. It is pleasing to the palate, but it does not aspire to steal the show” – Mezcal Aficionado

On the palate, expect a harmonious blend of mineral, smoke, black pepper, and dried herbs, creating a satisfying profile.

Among the best affordable mezcals, Fidencio Clásico Mezcal showcases the craftsmanship and heritage of mezcal production, making it an excellent choice for both sipping and mixing in cocktails. But how do you properly drink Mezcal?

9. La Luna Mezcal

Bottle of La Luna Mezcal on an Agave Plant

Average Price: $45

Alcohol Content: 47.48% ABV

Nose: White chocolate, cinnamon

Palate: Grassy, peppery finish

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It:

La Luna Mezcal captivates our taste buds with its remarkable flavor profile and affordable price point.

Distilled to proof at almost 48%, this 110-year-old mezcal distillery from the mountains of the Mexican state Michoacán produces mezcal using Espadincillo cooked agave species, fire-roasted in the traditional way.

With tasting notes of citrus juice, floral hints, and supple vanilla, La Luna Mezcal shines, whether enjoyed neat or in cocktails.

We love its smoothness and its delightful touch to our favorite mixed drinks.

8. Vago Elote Mezcal

Bottle of Vago Elote Mezcal with White Background

Average Price: $57.99

Alcohol Content: 50.1% ABV

Nose: Rich sweet flavors, smoky sweet corn

Palate: Tropical fruits, vanilla, earth, smoke

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It:

Vago Elote Mezcal is a rare and unique gem that captivates with its distinct flavors.

With just the right amount of agave smokiness, it balances sweet notes of oak, green tropical fruit, honeycomb, butter, grapefruit, and clay.

Vago Elote Mezcal bottles offer a harmonious blend of flavors that tastes great and keeps us returning for more.

At 50.1% ABV, this cheap mezcal packs a punch, making it an excellent choice for mezcal enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable experience.

Read: Mezcal vs Agave

7. La Puritita Verdá

Average Price: $38.99

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Smoky, earthy

Palate: Balanced, clean, floral, citrus, lime zest

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It:

Crafted by maestro mezcalero Rodolfo Hernandez in San Juan del Rio, La Puritita Verdá is a mezcal that embraces the art of mixology.

With a slightly variable ABV due to its artisanal nature during the fermentation process [2], this mezcal shines at 40% ABV. While it can be enjoyed neat, its true magic comes alive when used in cocktails.

What sets La Puritita Verdá apart is its smoky flavor profile, complemented by earthy undertones.

It’s a mezcal that welcomes beginners to the world of mezcal with open arms, providing a good introduction to the rich agave and complex flavors this spirit offers.

6. Montelobos Mezcal Joven

Bottle of Montelobos Espadin Mezcal

Average Price: $36.99

Alcohol Content: 43.2% ABV

Nose: Balanced, bold, bright

Palate: Smoky, earthy, fresh, citrus

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It:

Montelobos Joven Mezcal, crafted by master distiller Don Abel Lopez and biologist and distiller Ivan Saldana, is an actual work of art that beautifully blends modern and historic mezcal traditions using espadin agave.

Using the finest organic cooked agave spirits, Montelobos mezcal bottles will captivate your senses.

Montelobos Joven Mezcal’s delicate flavor profile is a testament to the skill and dedication of its makers.

A blend of Espadín agave and Angustifolia agave [3] species creates a harmonious symphony of smoke, herbs, leather, and chocolate, followed by a gentle alcoholic finish. But how is Mezcal made?

5. Banhez Ensamble Mezcal Espadín & Barril

Bottle of Banhez Ensamble Mezcal Espadín & Barril

Average Price: $27.99 for 750 ml

Alcohol Content: 42% ABV

Nose: Mild, floral, fruity

Palate: Delightfully balanced, versatile

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It:

Banhez Ensamble Mezcal, a delightful blend of 90% Espadín agave and 10% Barril agaves, captures the essence of mildness with its floral and fruity notes of pineapple and banana.

This cheap mezcal is a perfect introduction for first-time mezcal tasters, showcasing the beauty and versatility of this traditional agave Mexican spirit.

Its smooth and balanced nature makes it an excellent choice for cocktails, where it can lend its unique character to create innovative and exciting libations in the mezcal world.

4. Bozal Ensamble

Man Holding Bottle of Bozal Ensamble

Average Price: $44.99 for 750 ml

Alcohol Content: 47% ABV

Nose: Citrus, floral, inviting Palate: Herbaceous, slightly smoky, complex

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It:

Bozal Ensamble mezcal is a pleasant surprise in terms of both quality and affordability.

With Bozal’s reputation for exceptional craftsmanship, it’s refreshing to find a good mezcal still priced below $50 that doesn’t compromise on taste.

This mezcal showcases the harmonious blend of Espadin, Barril, and Mexicano agave plants, resulting in a slightly smoky and herbaceous palate.

“Mezcal is like a wild, untamed fire in a bottle, capturing the spirit of Mexico in every sip. It’s the rebel of the spirits world, daring you to explore its complex flavors and embrace its soulful intensity.” – Liquor Laboratory

From the first sip, you’ll be greeted by vibrant citrus notes and floral notes that create a delightful experience.

Bozal Ensamble delivers a warm and viscous finish, leaving a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Its light and easy-sipping nature make it approachable for both seasoned mezcal enthusiasts and newcomers to the spirit.

Read: Madre Mezcal Review

3. Del Maguey Vida

Bottle of Del Maguey Vida

Average Price: $32.99 for 750 ml

Alcohol Content: 42% ABV

Nose: Earthy, smoky, inviting

Palate: Smoky, alcohol-forward, fiery finish

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It:

Made from espadín agave sourced from Oaxaca, Del Maguey Vida is a standout mezcal that has earned its place as the top-selling bottle from Del Maguey distilled spirits.

As a staple in every mixologist’s collection, it brings the perfect balance of artisanal craftsmanship and organic goodness, basically because of the Del Maguey lineage.

Del Maguey mezcal is double-distilled, specifically designed to shine in cocktails, infusing them with its distinct smoky character but with a sweet spot.

From the first whiff, you’ll be captivated by its almost earthy notes and smoky aroma from the espadin agave, setting the stage for a memorable drinking experience without too much smokiness.

Del Maguey Vida delivers a smoky and alcohol-forward profile on the palate, making its presence known with every sip, especially when served in a slim stemmed glass.

The fiery finish adds a touch of excitement, leaving a lasting impression on your taste buds.

2. Primario

Average Price: From $44.99 for a 750ml bottle

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Fruity, herbaceous, intriguing

Palate: Ripe fruits, light smokiness, versatile

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It:

Primario mezcal embodies the vibrant spirit of Santiago Matatlán and is crafted with bartenders in mind.

As an unaged mezcal, it showcases the pure essence of the agave plant, with each varietal offering its unique characteristics and personality.

Primario strikes a perfect balance between strength and drinkability. Its small-batch production ensures attention to detail and quality that shines through in every sip.

Don’t be deterred by the initial whiff of herbaceous notes, which may surprise newcomers.

This intriguing characteristic adds a distinct dimension to the mezcal, complementing its ripe fruit flavors and light smokiness. It’s a combination that excels alongside citrus juices and brown spirits in cocktails.

But is Mezcal really stronger than tequila?

1. Mezcal Monte Alban

Man Holding Bottle of Mezcal Monte Alban

Average Price: $25.99 for a 750ml bottle

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Earthy, pungent, aromatic

Palate: Complex, smooth, peppery finish

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It:

Mezcal Monte Alban, named after the renowned archaeological ruins in Oaxaca, is an iconic bottle that features the famous floating worm.

Among the top mezcal brands, it holds a special place in many of our minds as the first type of mezcal that introduced us to this unique spirit.

While some may find it challenging, Mezcal Monte Alban caters to drinkers seeking an intense experience.

With its pale straw hue, Mezcal Monte Alban entices pungent spice, wood, and mineral aromas. The journey continues on the palate, where a rounded and supple start unfolds.

The medium-bodied texture carries exotic white pepper notes, leading to a memorable and lingering finish, especially when sipped neat.

Note: Prices are based on Drizly, Total Wine, and the official product websites. The star rating was determined based on a blind taste test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest rating. Each product was evaluated on its overall quality, flavor profile, complexity, smoothness, and overall enjoyment.

Factors That Make Some Mezcals Affordable

Mezcal Production

Mezcal production [4] methods greatly influence the affordability of the final product.

Some producers have streamlined their processes for the best affordable mezcals, utilizing efficient equipment and techniques for small batches that allow for larger batch sizes.

This increased production capacity helps lower the overall cost of mezcal, making it more affordable for consumers.

Type of Agave

The choice of agave plants and the agave variety used in mezcal production also impacts its affordability.

Certain varieties of agave plants are more readily available and easier to cultivate, leading to lower mezcal production costs.

These agave types can be cultivated in larger quantities, ensuring a steady supply of cooked agave plants and reducing the price of mezcal made from them.

Yield

The yield per batch of bottles is another factor that affects the affordability of mezcal. Mezcals with higher yields, meaning they produce larger quantities of liquid per batch, can be more cost-effective to produce.

A higher mezcal yield allows producers to spread their costs over a greater volume of mezcal, resulting in a more affordable product for consumers.

FAQs

What’s cheaper, tequila or mezcal?

Generally, there are both affordable and premium options for both spirits. However, when comparing similarly priced options, tequila tends to be more accessible and budget-friendly than mezcal.

What’s the best cheap smoky mezcal?

When it comes to affordable smoky mezcals, the best mezcal is Mezcal Vago Elote. Its infusion of toasted corn offers a unique and delicious smoky flavor profile that sets it apart from others in its same price point range.

What’s the best type of mezcal for Margaritas?

For Margaritas, a recommended choice is Del Maguey Vida. Its smoky and alcohol-forward palate adds depth and complexity to the classic cocktail, making it a favorite among mixologists and mezcal enthusiasts alike.

Key Takeaways

While our choices offer diverse options, trying different mezcals to find your preference is essential.

The range includes affordable and high-quality mezcals with unique flavors and characteristics.

However, when it comes to the standout choice, Mezcal Monte Alban takes the crown. Its historical significance, wide availability, and iconic presence with the floating worm make it a memorable and accessible mezcal option.

With its earthy flavors, savory spice, and smooth finish, Mezcal Monte Alban offers an authentic taste of Oaxaca’s mezcal tradition.

So grab a bottle, pour yourself a glass, and embark on a mezcal journey that will delight your senses and transport you to the heart of Mexico.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nutritional-yeast
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6291486/
  3. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/FP021
  4. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2022.832532/full

Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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