Mid-range mezcal seems to cost more than tequila but while top end mezcal can be expensive, they still have nothing on the most expensive tequila. The most expensive mezcals are all under $1,000. I’m not counting the most expensive mezcal ever sold ($74,000) because that was just a one-off marketing trick.
Take a look at the 10 most expensive mezcals available to buy today.
10 Most Expensive Mezcals for Sale
|Most Expensive Mezcals||Brand||Agave||Ageing||State||Price|
|1. Olvido Divino 30 Unique Edition||Olvido||Espadin||30 years, oak||Oaxaca||$828|
|2. Mezcales Únicos Montana||Mezcal de Leyendas||Montana||Joven||Tamaulipas||$560|
|3. Guerrero Mezcal||Clase Azul||Papalote||Joven||Guerrero||$536|
|4. Durango Mezcal||Clase Azul||Cenizo||Joven||Durango||$423|
|5. VdM Durango Cenizo||Wahaka||Cenizo||Joven||Durango||$400|
|6. VdM Puebla Pechuga||Wahaka||Espadilla||Joven||Puebla||$400|
|7. La Leyenda Reposado||La Leyenda||Blue||11 months, oak||Zacatecas||$370|
|8. Dos Hombres Tobala||Dos Hombres||Tobala||Joven||Oaxaca||$363|
|9. Reservas de la Biosfera Cuicatlán Tehuacán||Mezcal de Leyendas||Tepeztate||Joven||Puebla||$330|
|10. Cuixito “The Claw Edition”||Pescador de Sueños||Cuishito||1 year, glass||Oaxaca||$307|
The most expensive mezcal available to buy is Olvido Divino 30 which costs $828 on average. It is a bit of an anomaly in that it is a 30 year añejo. Apparently the batch was set to age in 1984 and “forgotten” until 30 years later. While oak aged tequilas are very common, it is less common for mezcal.
Price sources: Various websites including Wine Searcher, Old Town Tequila, Astor Wines & Spirits
Interesting facts about the most expensive mezcals available
- The most expensive mezcals are far cheaper than the most expensive tequilas. You could buy all 10 most expensive mezcals for less than the price of each of the top eight most expensive tequilas.
- Despite Oaxaca producing over 85% of all mezcal, the state only counts for three of the top ten most expensive mezcals.
- Likewise, the most common agave for mezcal is espadin (88% of all production), but it only accounts for one of the top ten most expensive.
- Just two of the mezcals on the list are aged in oak, albeit one for a stupendous 30 years.
- Clase Azul has two of the top four most expensive mezcals. Clase Azul also makes the most expensive tequila, and five of the top ten most expensive tequilas.
- All of the mezcals are from very limited batches except for the Clase Azul varieties. The smallest batch, a pechuga from from the brand Wahaka, has just 46 bottles.
1. Olvido Divino 30 Unique Edition
|Bottle||Olvido Divino 30 Unique Edition|
|Mezcalero||José Villanueva Barragán|
|Age||30 years, oak|
The most expensive mezcal you can buy is truly a special one. It was distilled way back in 1984 and 3,000 liters of it was left in 17 European oak barrels. Left somewhere safe in the warehouse the batch was forgotten for 30 years. Olvido means forgotten in English. Apparently just five of the barrels were still in good shape.
Unlike tequila, mezcal is rarely left to age, so to find one that’s 30 years old is truly unique.
2. Mezcales Únicos Montana, Mezcal de Leyendas
|Brand||Mezcal de Leyendas|
The brand behind the second most expensive mezcal, Mezcal de Leyendas, has a product line which are the first to use a particular agave to distill mezcal. With over 200 species of agave it may or may not be surprising that there are still new frontiers left to reach.
This rare variety is called Montana and is from a hidden valley in the sierra of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Montana is noted for its change of color from green to red and yellow as it matures.
3. Guerrero Mezcal, Clase Azul
|Bottles produced||Not limited|
This distinctive tall jade colored bottle is made of ceramic with a painted bottle cap featuring a hummingbird. Clase Azul have definitely built a strong brand in tequila, which has now broadened to Mexico. I consider their true expertise to be marketing, rather than crafting fine agave spirits.
This Guerrero edition comes from the Mexican state of Guerrero where agave cupreata is the most common agave species. It grows in the wild abundantly. Cupreata is not my favorite agave, it’s just less interesting than many others.
While I’m sure this one is decent, unless you are a Clase Azul bottle collector, I can find far better uses for my money.
4. Durango Mezcal, Clase Azul
|Bottles produced||Not limited|
This was Clase Azul’s first Mezcal release, made from cenizo agave from the state of Durango. It comes in a distinctive all black bottle with a plastic bead covered bottle cap. Slightly less smokey than some other mezcals. At 40% ABV it is lower than most artisanal mezcals so tastes a little muted.
Apart from the bottle, there’s nothing special about what’s inside and you can find far more expressive mezcals from the same region for far less money. Try Bozal Cenizo for around $60 or Derrumbes Durango for about $80.
Cenizo is the second most popular agave for making mezcal, although it still only makes up less than 2.5% of total production in Mexico.
5. VdM Durango Cenizo, Wahaka
|Bottle||VdM Durango Cenizo|
VdM stands for Vino de Mezcal, which was what mezcal was called way back in the day. Although not a certified mezcal, it’s the same stuff inside. Most artisanal mezcal is made from agave crushed by a stone (tahona) pulled by a horse or donkey. This expression is all crushed by human hand.
6. VdM Puebla Pechuga, Wahaka
|Bottle||VdM Puebla Pechuga|
Another release by Wahaka this expression comes from the Mexican state of Puebla. Just 46 bottles of this mezcal were produced. The other interesting thing about this mezcal is that it is made in the pechuga style.
Pechuga means “breast” in English and refers to the traditional use of chicken or turkey breast in the final distillation of ceremonial mezcal. Other elements are also added like fruits and herbs to give subtle flavor to special batches of mezcal which were traditionally prepared before events like weddings and other celebrations.
In this case chicken breast and the traditional Mexican dish mole are used in the distillation.
7. Reposado, La Leyenda
|Age||11 months, oak|
La Leyenda is an innovative company that launched a web 3 project with NFTs and mezcal. NFT stands for “non fungible token”. I’m no expert but it has something to do with blockchain, and sometimes pictures of apes. Buyers of this tequila are also issued an NFT which gives them a membership and entitles them to attend various VIP events and access other benefits.
As far as the actual mezcal goes, this is more like a tequila in that it is made from the same agave (blue agave, or agave tequilana) and made in the same style (steamed rather than smoked like most mezcals). In fact the only thing making this mezcal and not tequila is that the state it is from, Zacatecas, is not a recognised tequila state. It is right on the border with main tequila producer Jalisco. If you are not a fan of smokey mezcals, maybe this one is for you.
8. Tobala, Dos Hombres
|Mezcalero||Gregorio Velasco Luis|
This is the second release from Dos Hombres, famous for being the brand of Breaking Bad actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. There are yet to be a proliferation of celebrity mezcals like there are celebrity tequilas but these two have made their mark.
Tobala is one of my favorite agaves for mezcal. One of the smaller agaves at just 60 cm / 2 feet, it grows on mountainsides and is mostly wild. Even with its small stature it takes 12-15 years to mature. All of that age brings a concentrated flavor and aroma which is just delicious.
Packaged in a ceramic bottle, this limited release of mezcal made from tobala is overpriced for what it is. You can get mezcal of a similar quality for closer to $100-$120. However if you are a fan of the Breaking Bad duo then go ahead. This edition is only 400 bottles but the regular espadin is widely available, even at Costco.
9. Reservas de la Biosfera Cuicatlán Tehuacán, Mezcal de Leyendas
|Brand||Mezcal de Leyendas|
|Bottle||Reservas de la Biosfera Cuicatlán Tehuacán|
|Mezcalero||Jose Ortega (and his father and son)|
Another special creation by Mezcal de Leyendas, this edition is made from agave taken from the famous cactus reserve that borders Puebla and Oaxaca. The agave were harvested with the permission of the custodians.
Tepeztate is another of my favorite mezcal varieties. Usually with very long length, just one sip can keep me smiling for some time. It’s probably the type of mezcal I’d choose if I could have just one.
10. Cuishito “The Claw Edition”, Pescador de Sueños
|Brand||Pescador de Sueños|
|Bottle||Cuixito “The Claw Edition”|
|Age||1 year, glass|
Just 100 bottles of this edition were made and packaged in the distinctive ceramic “claw” shaped bottle. Cuixito is a rare agave that has not been classified. Although it sounds like cuishe (agave karwinskii) it is not from the same species.
Another thing distinguishing this release is that it has been aged in glass for one year. This process is otherwise known as “maduro en vidrio” (matured in glass). It sounds like it makes no sense – what flavors can glass provide anyway? But having tried a number of mezcals from the same producer that were bottled straight away vs ones that were rested in glass I can vouch that the aging adds a greater harmony of flavors and a thicker mouthfeel.
While still quite pricey, the most expensive mezcals have nothing on the most expensive tequilas. What distinguishes high priced mezcals (apart from releases by Clase Azul) is the very limited production runs and less focus on the bottle itself. There’s a wide variety of agave types and locations of production.