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Great review! Only one consideration...
Mezcal is not from "anywhere in Mexico", there are special places (one of them Oaxaca) because it is a regulated product (PDO). Some of us Mexicans like to sip the Añejo, Reposado on the rocks and mix only the Silver.


David J. Montgomery (aka Professor Cocktail)

Thank you for that information, Marcos. I have edited the post accordingly.



You should do more research before writing about mezcal.

Zignum is the worst, lowest, most commercial crap - and should not be allowed to be called mezcal. The factory is owned by a consortium of investors from Guadalajara including the coca cola bottling group. These exploiters are an unwelcome blight on mezcal.

There is no such thing as Green Agave... it is a marketing term invented by Toby Kieth (another un-educated commercial exploiter) and Zignum.

David J. Montgomery (aka Professor Cocktail)


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I saw people expressing similar opinions to yours when I was preparing to write this review. (As well as some reviews that were complimentary.) The fact that Coca Cola is involved in the company seemed to be a particular area of animus. In the end, though, all I can do is offer an honest opinion, which is what I did. To the extent that it provokes thought and discussion, I think it's all good.


David J. Montgomery (aka Professor Cocktail)

Here's some more information on the controversy that Mr. Cooper (the above commenter) refers to, as presented in Businessweek:




I agree with RC. Both Zignum AND Wildshot should not be called mezcals, but since they are, I consider them the worst kind of new industrial mezcals that have recently come out.
Small batch,single village, artisanal, handcrafted ??..not by a longshot. Shame as that's what represents real Mezcals to me.
Reading the articles on how little T.K. knows of his own product plus the amount both brands want to produce, I'm curious to know the fermentation process (seeing they already changed the traditional cooking process)...Hhhmmm
In any case I would simply say that you need to try some REAL mezcals



I can see that you promote Del Maguey Mezcal, a very good artisan mezcal. However, I think you too should do more research before writing about other brands or companies, especially if it is something negative.

There is no Guadalajara consortium involved; there is no coca cola bottling group behind this mezcal. It just happens that one of the shareholders also owns shares of a coca cola bottler group in Mexico. If I own a tequila brand and I also own some Microsoft shares in the stock market, does that mean Microsoft owns my tequila brand or even endorses it? Is there a correlation with quality or flavor? It is called portfolio diversification and every company should do it to reduce risk.

If their brand is the worst, lowest, most commercial crap or not, depends on the taste you like. If it is allowed to be called mezcal depends on a regulatory council and if you comply with the NOM that regulates mezcal. The green agave is really Agave Espadín or “Agave Angustifolia”, there is plenty of it in Oaxaca.

I agree with you and F.A. that there is a lot of marketing in this brand and there is no “smoke flavor” in Zignum, that might have to do with the cooking process; which some might like (sip or mix) and others dislike (enjoy a more artisan smoky flavor). However, to define mezcal as “small batch, single village, artisanal, handcrafted” is not a very positive attitude towards globalization. As a Mexican I would like the entire world to try our tequilas, mezcales and everything we have to offer. If it is artisanal it might have a much higher “value” for some consumers; however that will not allow the mezcal to have the “boom” it might need for the entire world to try mezcal as they have done with our tequila. Some like a worm in the mezcal, others the smoky flavor; while some prefer the agave flavor or aroma.

If you produce a mezcal brand (Del Maguey), I encourage you to explore these options; each brand might have their own competitive advantage and strategy, “small batch, single village, artisanal, handcrafted” sounds a reasonable strategy for a mezcal, but that doesn’t mean it is the only way. Not many years ago tequila was “small batch, single village, artisanal, handcrafted” and it has evolved now, but is still called tequila and recognized as the national drink.
On the other hand, I am also proud of our origins, and that has to do with artisan or handcraft products, so thank you for bringing Del Maguey mezcal to international markets so that we can offer it to international friends so they can try a bit of Mexico.


Juan Fernandez.


Excelent review David.. As a Mexican I love Zignum, specially Zignum Silver for cocktails like "whisper" You should try it. It's prepared with Ginger Ale, cranberry juice and a few slices of cucumber.

If you like to taste extra aged liquors you should definitely try Zignum "añejo" Its very hard to find in the US, but when it gets there please try it. It's extra aged in french oak barrels for 12+ months. It's delightful. And drink it with slices of orange and "worm chili". I like that finally Mexican companies are exporting these agave liquors son the world can try them.


Michael Gaudreault

I live in Florida. I notice many making comments that are from Mexico where a good mezcal can be found. I got turned on to drinking mezcal when I was in the Marine Corps in southern California. I don't remember the name of the mezcal, but it came in a clear, round bottle. It had a little red bag of sea salt around the neck. The label had a image of a worm with a red bag on a stick slung over its shoulder. It was love at first shot.
Since the only alcohol I drink anymore is either tequila, or preferably mezcal my options are limited in Florida. If I go out for drinks I only have the option for tequila. I have yet to find an establishment that serves a mezcal. The only mezcal I can find for purchase is Monty Albon. Well that and most recently I found Toby Keith's, but I don't mark out to celebrities who put a high price on a product just because they stick their name on it.
I'm curious as to the connoisseur opinion of Monte Albon. Also, I found a store that will order other brands, and I am open to recommendations. I would also need to know the name of the importer, so they could track down distribution.
Thank You,
Orange Park, FL

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About the Professor

David J. Montgomery (aka Professor Cocktail) is a writer and critic specializing in books, publishing, spirits, and cocktails. He is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has also written for USA Today, the Washington Post, and other fine publications. A former professor of History, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.

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