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Ilegal Joven

Ilegal Joven is ideal for cocktails and perfect to be sipped on its own. It has deep agave aromas, and hints of green apple, citrus and white pepper.

About this mezcal

Ilegal Joven is unaged, which sets it apart from Ilegal reposado and Ilegal anejo which are aged. It has deep agave aromas, and hints of green apple, citrus and white pepper. There is a lingering heat and sweet agave feel. This Mezcal is ideal for cocktails and perfect to be sipped on its own.

Ilegal Mezcal

Ilegal Mezcal was founded by John Rexer, who began smuggling this product to his Bar, Cafe No Se, in Antigua, Guatemala. Ilegal Mezcal launched in 2005, and the brand has grown substantially in recent years. Though Eric Hernandez was originally involved in the distillation, Ilegal Mezcal was most recently produced by Alvaro and Armando Hernandez.

The company had a very successful marketing campaign around the phrase “Donald eres un Pendejo” in 2016 for the US election. Bacardi purchased an undisclosed amount of minority shares in the company in February of 2017. In September 2023, Bacardi took full ownership in Ilegal for an undisclosed sum.

Review: Ilegal Mezcal on Drinkhacker

Member rating

2.58 out of 5

59 reviews

Firesidesipper

Firesidesipper

40 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars3 months ago

Not an awful sipper; but definitely made for cocktails. Smooth, with notes of tropical fruits a hint of syrupy sweetness. Weak and lacking punch at 80 proof. LOT 34. Bottle 6061 of 7200.

Ron Cal

Ron Cal

1 review
Rated 4 out of 5 stars3 months ago

The Blake at Taos Ski Valley has this on the menu as a cocktail, Amoxycillin. Great name but not my favorite pour for this Mezcal. I tried it the night before on the rocks and it was a perfect after a drive up from Albuquerque.

laurensbrewing7665

laurensbrewing7665

5 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars4 months ago

notably a mezcal brand started by an american dude – not authentic at all. taste is totally average

GMAD

GMAD

91 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars7 months ago

LOT 59, 4028/8280, 40%, 200ml

Nose – Like walking into a dollar store; caramels, vanilla extract, incense, oranges, glue, and dry-erase markers.

Palate – Sugar water: sweet liquid with a taste that is very soft and faint. An underwhelming watery and ‘clean-like’ taste. Some notes of citrus in there as well. Think Orange LaCroix.

Finish – Mellow finish, like rose water.

Easy to drink, but hardly memorable. It feels and tastes fabricated. You lose all of the earthiness and minerality thats makes Mezcal a taste of the Earth.

LOT 59, 4028/8280, 40%, 200ml
Nose – Like walking into a dollar store; caramels, vanilla extract, incense, oranges, glue, and dry-erase markers.
Palate – Sugar water: sweet liquid with a taste that is very soft and faint. An underwhelming watery and ‘clean-like’ taste. Some notes of citrus in there as well. Think Orange LaCroix.
Finish – Mellow finish, like rose water.
Easy to drink, but hardly memorable. It feels and tastes fabricated. You lose all of the earthines

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Average José

Average José

54 reviews
Rated 1 out of 5 stars8 months ago

This was worse than I thought it would be. I was recently on a cruise and this was the only “Mezcal” they had so I thought what the hell let’s try it, how bad could it be?

The only notes/profile was the strong sting of medicinal rubbing alcohol. It smelled like the worst/cheapest potato vodka Eastern Europe has ever put into a plastic bottle.

Despite the foul offensive odor the taste was very weak and mostly flavorless with just an aftertaste of white granulated sugar and peroxide.

Somehow it still managed to leave a weird ginger like flavor lingering in my mouth… Lol this stuff is terrible, I don’t know how it survives on the shelf.

This was worse than I thought it would be. I was recently on a cruise and this was the only “Mezcal” they had so I thought what the hell let’s try it, how bad could it be?
The only notes/profile was the strong sting of medicinal rubbing alcohol. It smelled like the worst/cheapest potato vodka Eastern Europe has ever put into a plastic bottle.
Despite the foul offensive odor the taste was very weak and mostly flavorless with just an aftertaste of white granulated sugar and pero

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geralf75

geralf75

11 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Good body with a bit too much acidity

Ostateman

Ostateman

1 review
Rated 1 out of 5 stars2 years ago

The thing that stood out the most for me (outside of the pretentious price) is that it tasted like burnt rubber tire.
There are much better mexcals out there than this.

intimaralem85

intimaralem85

2 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Mezcal doesn’t give me headaches, but this mezcal did. Couldn’t even drink it in cocktails.

KoalaCoelho

KoalaCoelho

8 reviews
Rated 1 out of 5 stars2 years ago

This was recommended to me as a good introduction to mezcal. If it had been the first mezcal I tasted, it might have also been the last. I’m a peaty scotch drinker, so I’m not afraid of smoke or intense flavors, but the bottle I tried was rough in a not good way, without being especially interesting.

tecolotesweet

tecolotesweet

14 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars2 years ago

Listen… I happen to like Ilegal despite the hate it gets. It’s a cheaper mezcal that a lot of bars have so it’s a good standard to sip on when in doubt. Smooth up front, then sweet smokiness that tapers off into a sweet smooth finish towards the end. Nothing exceptional, but it will absolutely wet the whistle and satisfy a hankering for mezcal when in doubt and your favorite bar probably stocks it on their back bar. Hard to argue with that.

Agave Geek

Agave Geek

4 reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

This is a very nice mezcal, it really depends on the batch, with the higher batches, they have got better and it’s worth a second look. The nose is smoke forward with a hint of citrus, the first taste is smoke with a balance of oil and citrus. Finishes spices and the smoke dissipates quickly, works nicely as a sipper or a mixer.

MezPal20

MezPal20

11 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

(Batch 104 161, Bottle 08846/10080 2020-2021)
Gentle on the nose, slightly vegetal with a subtle pepper spiciness and plenty of sweetness. Notes I get are eucalyptus, green apples, white pepper, a hint of candied pineapple, and a whisper of smoke. The entry on the palate is mild and sweet, but it quickly heats up with cayenne pepper then shifts to sugared grapefruit. Somewhat thin in texture, with very quick yet fat legs. The aftertaste is a little bitter and dry with a touch of alum, but finishes with a lingering grassy sweetness, smoke, and a pinch of fennel. This would be a great bottle to introduce someone to Mezcal for the first time.

(Batch 104 161, Bottle 08846/10080 2020-2021)
Gentle on the nose, slightly vegetal with a subtle pepper spiciness and plenty of sweetness. Notes I get are eucalyptus, green apples, white pepper, a hint of candied pineapple, and a whisper of smoke. The entry on the palate is mild and sweet, but it quickly heats up with cayenne pepper then shifts to sugared grapefruit. Somewhat thin in texture, with very quick yet fat legs. The aftertaste is a little bitter and dry with a touch of alum, but finish

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PedroDLHR

PedroDLHR

10 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars3 years ago

It has a roasted agave on the nose with a little sweetness in it. You kind of get the caramel, tobacco and pepper flavors. Not too smokey, pretty smooth and light. I would recommend it for mixing in a cocktail but not for sipping. Still, I think it is overpriced for what they offer.

Raulmiranda

Raulmiranda

3 reviews
Rated 1 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Nothing I would buy again. Nose is very perfumed..

ericb

ericb

2 reviews
Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

I set up an account just so I could comment on this.
This smells and tastes like the exhaust from my 1979 Ford pickup. Gag.

(Lot 171)

Justin.Anderson3

Justin.Anderson3

14 reviews
Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Tried this in oaxaca at their bar ‘Ilegal bar’. They didn’t serve anything else but ilegal and beer. The mezcal is trash and expensive, even in Oaxaca. Very generic mezcal. I notice they do a lot of programs for social issues. Maybe they should just be a non profit rather than white labeling mezcal.

WeroWero

WeroWero

5 reviews
Rated 1 out of 5 stars3 years ago

I tried this in the bar that the owner of the band supplied, in Antigua De Guatemala. The barman told us the backstory about the border smuggling operation, and poured us a tiny measure. When myself and my Mexican friend complained at the serving for the price, he tried to tell us it was of high quality. He handled the bottle like the holy grail. My mexicano companion just laughed in his face. Distinctly average, weak mezcal, and it’s way overpriced. Avoid. You’d be better buying an Alipús, of the more commercial brands.

I tried this in the bar that the owner of the band supplied, in Antigua De Guatemala. The barman told us the backstory about the border smuggling operation, and poured us a tiny measure. When myself and my Mexican friend complained at the serving for the price, he tried to tell us it was of high quality. He handled the bottle like the holy grail. My mexicano companion just laughed in his face. Distinctly average, weak mezcal, and it’s way overpriced. Avoid. You’d be better buying an

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Leif

Leif

8 reviews
Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

seriously mediocre mezcal. this mezcal is contract bottled on behalf of ilegal by mal de amor distillery in santiago matatlan. the brand founder, john rexer, is a tourist who decided to capitalize on the mezcal goldrush like many others (gem and bolt comes to mind). what you get is an uninspired poorly produced mezcal that is very astringent to taste with very little complexity and substance. repulsive even. while ilegal has cool branding, it’s a dying brand getting crushed by the new class of quality, competitively priced mezcals. i’ve seen this bottle priced $50+. avoid this trash

seriously mediocre mezcal. this mezcal is contract bottled on behalf of ilegal by mal de amor distillery in santiago matatlan. the brand founder, john rexer, is a tourist who decided to capitalize on the mezcal goldrush like many others (gem and bolt comes to mind). what you get is an uninspired poorly produced mezcal that is very astringent to taste with very little complexity and substance. repulsive even. while ilegal has cool branding, it’s a dying brand getting crushed by the new clas

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oldperson

oldperson

2 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Smoky, dirty. More related to tequila than I would like. Good for mixing.

Mezcaliente

Mezcaliente

14 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Good intro mezcal. Not overly complex, not overly smokey. Ok sipper and good for mixed drinks. Light and smooth at 40%.

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