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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: (22 reviews)
Brand:Sombra Mezcal
COMERCAM:0693A0452299A, opens in new window
Mezcalero:Isaias Martinez Juan
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


Sombra Mezcal Joven Espadin

Member rating

2.93 out of 5

22 reviews



648 reviews
Rated 3 out of 5 stars7 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.



708 reviews
Rated 2 out of 5 stars7 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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