Exotics - Mezcal

Ilegal Reposado Mezcal

From: Oaxaca, Mexico Liquor Review Category: Mezcal

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 1
This is a Tier 1 score in the Exotics category. It means the spirit has won the highest recommendation at least once and probably many times.
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Awards

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2014

Beverage Testing Institute

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2010

Proof66 Notes

Ilegal Mezcals--note the unusual spelling to English eyes and the pronunciation of "ee-LAY-gal"--is a line of mezcals that have a history of being smuggled into owner John Rexer's bar in Guatemala, hence the somewhat mocking title of the spirit. Interestingly, it is technically illegal in the United States to have the product named "illegal" or (apparently) "ilegal," so the careful consumer will note that it is "produced for Ilegal Mezcal" and there is no actual name for the product. The mezcals are based upon Espadin Agave and crafted in small batches with traditional pot stills.

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Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 1 rating and 1 review.
Quetzal Quetzal (119)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-05-14)
(3.5 out of 5). A good spirit, but doesn't seem as amazing to me as it once did, especially after trying better mezcal brands, like Del Maguey and Wahaka. The nose has smoke and agave, and a faint latex note that isn't necessarily unpleasant, but seems odd in a spirit that's so artisanal. Has a pretty good feel on the palate and a nice, smoky finish. I also love the simple yet highly symbolic bottle, which is distinctively Mexican. However, something must be said: Mezcal is a very under-appreciated spirit, and at its best it can stand toe to toe with single malt scotches and cognacs, and often surpass them. Ilegal is one of the first brands to breech into the United States, and in many states it is the only mezcal that can be found. For that, I'm glad it's here. However, mezcal really should be bottled at much higher than 40% abv. So, this is a good introduction to mezcal, but, if you like it, please try something better, such as Del Maguey's Chichicapa mezcal. Ilegal reposado is about $60 where I live. (Side note: contrary to what the description says, you would actually pronounce this ee-lay-GAL, with the stress at the end).
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