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Sombra Joven

Sombra Mezcal was created by Richard Betts as an alternative to the cheapening of mezcals made for use in cocktails. As of 2017, Sombra is produced at a single company-owned palenque with a focus on sustainability.

Rating: (20 reviews)
Cost:$
Brand:Sombra Mezcal
NOM:NOM-F368D, NOM-O223X, NOM-O318X, NOM-O72X
Mezcalero:Isaias Martinez Juan
Maguey:Espadin
Agave:Angustifolia
Distillation:Copper
Style:Joven
State:Oaxaca
Town:San Juan del Rio, San Luis del Rio
ABV: 45%
Age of plant: 4-12 years
Release year: 2006
Website: https://www.sombramezcal.com/, opens in new window
About this mezcal

Sombra Mezcal was first exported to the United States in 2006 and was made with agave Espadin in San Juan and San Luis del Rio, areas steeped in mezcal history. As of 2017, Sombra has been produced at a single company-owned palenque with a focus on sustainability. The agaves are grown organically high in the mountains of San Juan del Rio, Oaxaca. The Sombra brand is a staple in many unique cocktails. Though it is well-suited for mixed drinks, sipping neat it carries a high note of citrus that warms the palate with a clean and fruit driven finish.

In 2020, the bottle design and label was updated to resemble a vaso veladora, a common mezcal drinking vessel.

Notable awards:

  • Double Gold Medal Winner at the 2016 SF Spirits Competition
Sombra Mezcal

Sombra is Spanish for "Shadow." The brand was started as a passion project of famed sommelier and wine aficionado Richard Betts. In March of 2017, Davos Brands acquired a controlling interest in the Sombra Mezcal brand. Richard Betts remains a minority equity holder and is the current Global Brand Ambassador.

In 2017, Sombra became one of a few mezcal brands that owns and operates its own palenque with a focus on environmentally friendly production methods. For example, the agaves are crushed with a solar-powered millstone instead of using donkeys as animal labor. Additionally, the Sombra Adobe Brick Project uses agave fibers left over from distillation to create upcycled bricks which are used to build homes for earthquake victims in Mexico.

 

Show de Vie Podcast w/Mike G: Ep 158 – Richard Betts: Setting Sights on the Future

 

20 reviews

3 out of 5


HighWine

HighWine

54 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars1 week ago

Sweet caramel nose with fragrances of light brown sugar and provolone. Light smoke. Taste is dirty martini with some light smoke. More than a little ethanol flavor and burn. Light bodied. Alcohol heat and faintly toasted oak linger on the palate.

bigstash

bigstash

1 review
Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars3 weeks ago

Burns.. heavy on the ethanol and low on any flavor or character

WagonTrain

WagonTrain

4 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars2 months ago

I want this to be my favorite sipper! I want to love this for what they do, and for all they stand for; however, it’s not and I don’t. It’s far too HOT for me. Yet, less intense when compared side by by side to Montelobos Espadin; I find them to be similar, but with Sombra being smoother, a touch sweeter, and (just the right amount of) smokier (just to be clear, these are all attributes).

So, in my novice opinion, it is the absolute best Mezcal as a mixer or for a Margarita(or better yet, a Spicy-Margarita)!!! I infuse (depending on the freshness and organic availability) some jalapeño, Serrano, or Poblano (when I need to lessen the heat) slices into a cup of Sombra. I chill it overnight (or more), shake occasionally, and simply add 2 ounces of it to 2 ounces of freshly squeezed limes, a few drops of orange bitters, some crushed ice, and a teaspoon of honey or sugar… Booyah!!! A healthy Spicy-Margarita! Try some 🙂 I will always have a bottle of Sombra on hand just for this reason. Moreover, I trust that my review does not turn anyone away from trying this brand. I would rather delete my comment, than cause them any harm.

In short, as a sipper my 3 star rating sits firm; however, as a mixer, as an organically made mezcal, and for what they do as a company, I’d give them 5+ STARS (times 2) 🙂

I want this to be my favorite sipper! I want to love this for what they do, and for all they stand for; however, it’s not and I don’t. It’s far too HOT for me. Yet, less intense when compared side by by side to Montelobos Espadin; I find them to be similar, but with Sombra being smoother, a touch sweeter, and (just the right amount of) smokier (just to be clear, these are all attributes).
So, in my novice opinion, it is the absolute best Mezcal as a mixer or for a Margarita(or better yet,

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312

312

3 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars9 months ago

Old-style bottle so the lot predates 2020 but the lot no. is illegible. Clear. Creosote, orange and almond on the nose. Light-medium body. Rough edges that don’t mellow out. Initially citrus moving to pine and creosote with smokey heat on the lingering finish.

Great in a Monte y Mezcal a/k/a M&M, made with 1 part Amaro Montenegro and 1 part mezcal.

Zack Klamn

Zack Klamn

292 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars10 months ago

Lote No. is blacked out on the bottle.

Nose: Light smoke, cotton candy, little bit of banana.

Palate: Vapory ethanol upon entry – tastes somewhat industrial. Citrus sweetness and the peel – the darn whole orange. Cherry, white pepper, tobacco on the finish. Gave it a little bump for price/value.

Mexicoinmyglass

Mexicoinmyglass

7 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Purchased this bottle because I watched several IG lives with Project Manager and maestro mezcalero directly from their very own palenque, after learning about their sustainable project making bricks with recycled agave fibers and the 1% for the Planet. This is a good intro mezcal for someone who wants to discover mezcal or for mixology.
Peppery after taste with less smokey sensation interesting at 45% ABV.
Formerly made at Gracias a Dios palenque, acquired by Davos Brands, now Diageo, I am sure we are going to see an interesting future for Sombra.

Purchased this bottle because I watched several IG lives with Project Manager and maestro mezcalero directly from their very own palenque, after learning about their sustainable project making bricks with recycled agave fibers and the 1% for the Planet. This is a good intro mezcal for someone who wants to discover mezcal or for mixology.
Peppery after taste with less smokey sensation interesting at 45% ABV.
Formerly made at Gracias a Dios palenque, acquired by Davos Brands, now Diageo, I am sur

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Wanderingspider

Wanderingspider

46 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Simple, smokey, a bit of green capsicum, definitely boozey, can be used for cocktails but wouldn’t be my first choice.
Maybe an extra 1/2 star for it’s price point.

booyaka2

booyaka2

7 reviews
Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Good for cocktails and keeping as your well mezcal. You can sip it and enjoy with orange and salt. Still $49 in canada. This should be entry level and way cheaper.

Gerry Suazo

Gerry Suazo

7 reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Light smoke, spicy. Floral notes. Fruity and a bit sweet. A great sipper for introducing someone to Mezcal. Easy to drink. Will need to try mixed. Cant tell the Lot#, print is black on black.

Cy Bister

Cy Bister

21 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Creosote, smoke, and sweet flowers/honeysuckle on the nose. Nice heat, attention-getting. Desert highway road tar, pepper, campfires, and vanilla with the road tar/smoke lingering long after the vanilla fades away. Completely sippable neat if you’re in the mood for it. Otherwise, I’m sure it’s great as a mixer but I won’t be doing that!

Firesidesipper

Firesidesipper

32 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Hot, smoky, and crisp, with white pepper and an overall zippy spiciness. Not really a complex sipper. The best of the mixer mezcals.

POMBO

POMBO

5 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars1 year ago

Very easy to drink mezcal. Has a lightly smoky vibe with hints of mango / stone fruit. Great alone or in cocktails. I’ve had it several times at bars in NY and was in Oaxaca over the summer and had the opp to visit their sustainable palenque. Very cool~!

Rakhal

Rakhal

317 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars2 years ago

I like this. It’s hot and really spicy with some fresh jalapeño, vanilla, and white pepper. More of a mixer then a sipper.

El_Cura

El_Cura

31 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Another entry level mezcal. Fortunately priced correctly. Hospital aroma, smoky oily ethanol taste then, a light disappearing act.

Mateospirit

Mateospirit

8 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Hot alcoholic smoke,Not very complex
Really Cool thick bottle but nothing to bring you back. The smoke was nice but I personally like more complexity. For the price though I would go with Vida or this anytime. It was awhile ago I drank this so I am going to have to give this one more chance and re-review.

Patrick

Patrick

41 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Batch : 2018
Nose : some alcohol, vanilla, peat and trace amounts of vegetal notes.
Taste : sweet, vanilla, pepper, and nothing else…
Finish : smoke and wisps of spice.
Pretty one dimensional. But better than 100% of any industrialized mezcal out there.

JRB

JRB

13 reviews
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars3 years ago

Sombra Joven Mezcal / 90 proof
Tahona milled, copper still. Lots and lots of smoke with some agave, some alcohol heat. Good, but one-dimensional compared to other mezcals. My rating for this taken straight is 3 stars, but it probably would fair better as a mixer so I will rate it as such. (No lot #)

razorbackmike

razorbackmike

126 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars4 years ago

beauty is in the eye of the beholder.while i respect the opinion of other reviewers, its true that we all get something different from a sample.my close location to texas has allowed the chance to sample many mezcals,tequilas,sotols ,racillias and bacanora.i hope to enjoy many more in my life. IN MY OPINION,this is a very lovely and wonderful spirit.the price makes it that much more of a treasure. it has a very deep sweetness(not overly) and a broad almost fat full flavor.lots of agave.mellow from start to finish.a few seconds after consuming there is a pleasant building of heat that hits in the chest.lovely pepper and honey.one of my favorites regardless of price.in my 50 years of age,i have found that i will taste a spirit too fast.when i go back and give it another try,i find that it was something i over looked.this is not always the rule but does occur especially with the complex nature of agave spirits. i think sombra is worthy of praise.when i sample,i always try to have a clean pallet(as much as possible). it is so fantastic to have so many to choose from.

beauty is in the eye of the beholder.while i respect the opinion of other reviewers, its true that we all get something different from a sample.my close location to texas has allowed the chance to sample many mezcals,tequilas,sotols ,racillias and bacanora.i hope to enjoy many more in my life. IN MY OPINION,this is a very lovely and wonderful spirit.the price makes it that much more of a treasure. it has a very deep sweetness(not overly) and a broad almost fat full flavor.lots of agave.mellow fr

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Tyler

Tyler

503 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars4 years ago

After reading an article by the founder about his modern and sustainable palenque, I was inspired to try this mezcal. Considering the cost of $35 a bottle.. it’s quite good. It’s very clean on the nose. There are nice notes of vanilla, firewood, citrus, and peat. At 45% ABV it holds a lot of flavor, usually mezcals in this price range are around 40% ABV and taste watery.

Jonny

Jonny

535 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars4 years ago

Considering this is only 45% ABV, this mezcal is definitely hot. I’ve sipped this straight and it packs a punch. As a mixer, I’d imagine that this would be a bit nicer as it would still hold strong and shine brightly through almost any mixer. I get a few piney notes that mix with light vanilla and ground nut. I’m giving this 2 stars sipped neat. As a mixer, it’s probably 3 stars.

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