Sombra Mezcal Review

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So what’s the difference between Mezcal and Tequila? Well what’s the difference between an Austrian and a German? We won’t go down that path, but let’s just say these two closely related spirits are usually confused for one another but Mezcal doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I wont pretend to be an expert, in fact, Mezcal of all the spirits is probably my least knowledgeable. But we live to taste and learn and thats why this week we’re sampling Sombra Mezcal.

The Backstory

Sombra Mezcal is a craft spirit based in Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s an eco-friendly brand with a process geared towards sustainability, starting with 7 to 10-year-old organic agaves. After the harvest, these are roasted in underground stone pits using sustainably-harvested wood. They are then crushed in a traditional tahona mill which is solar-powered, instead of donkey-pulled. The juice is then left to ferment for 8 days in vats using wild yeast, after which the mash is distilled twice using copper-pot stills, using clean-burning natural gas instead of wood fire. At the end of the process, the leftovers are used to produce adobe bricks that are donated and used to rebuild houses in earthquake-prone Oaxaca. Sombra Mezcal is bottled at 90 proof using recycled glass.

Tasting Notes

First Impression: Cool bottle, nothing to catch your eye over any of the other crazy bottles on the market, but it’s simple beautifully crafted, and matches the smoky flavors it’s known for.

Nose: Very Smoky with some fruity undertones. Almost as if you combined a firepit and a floral arrangement in one.

Taste: There is some SERIOUS depth to Sombra Mezcal. It’s smoky, to an extent that would put some American bourbons to shame. Very reminiscent of the first sip of a white bourbon (moonshine, white lightning) but with more depth underneath and much smoother finish. It’s got a smoky start, earthy base, and finished with fruity notes like citrus on the finish. Very smooth.

Price:  $39.99

ABV: 45%

Final Word: Mezcal is it’s own kind of beast. Sombra specifically can be served both neat and in cocktails. If you aren’t a fan of smoky bourbons and cocktails, this might not be for you. It’s signature smoky taste can either make or break a drink for you. That being said, you’ve probably never had something as balanced as this with the fruit, smoke, and smooth finish. We enjoyed it, and with a limited number of Mezcals in our collection we’re happy to add this one to the group.


Alex is a full time consultant with 10+ years experience in the wine & spirits + consumer packaged goods industries. He is not a professional bartender, but is BarSmarts certified and makes a mean caipirinha. When not writing, Alex can be found traveling, spending time with his family, or bar hopping.

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