Review: Oro de Oaxaca Mezcal

Review: Oro de Oaxaca Mezcal

oro de oaxaca mezcal

Nothing about Oro de Oaxaca Mezcal screams “premium.” It’s got a cheap bottle (with plastic cap), primary-color logo, and mystery bag of “chile” attached to the neck (more on that in a moment)… and of course it’s also got a worm sunken to the bottom of the bottle.

Ignore all that and tuck into a glass.

Intensely smoky on the nose and the palate, Oro de Oaxaca is one of the biggest mezcals around. If you’re into the smoke thing, you’re going to love this stuff — it’ll knock you down like you’re firing up a pipe.

Beneath the smoke, there’s a bit of fire — some alcoholic heat, a touch of sweetness, and green pepper notes. Pleasant overall, really, with that smoke laced throughout.

Oro de Oaxaca is light gold in color but it doesn’t indicate (nor can I discern) how long it’s been aged, if at all (that is, whether caramel color plays a large role here). I wouldn’t guess it spends long in barrels — maybe a few months. What wood is here is washed out by the smokiness, anyway.

Oh, and about that little bag of chile: It’s salt, ground chile pepper, and ground-up roasted maguey worms. Hey, hey — come back. It’s not that gross. The flavor is actually pretty good, salty/spicy just as you’d expect, and not too hot nor too wormy. There are no instructions included for its consumption, but I presume it’s a substitute for the salt in the traditional salt-booze-lime shot combo. If you’re the kind of guy that pounds his tequila/mezcal, well, you could do worse than having a little ground-up worm in your salt. That’s protein, folks.

80 proof.

B+ / $30

Oro de Oaxaca Mezcal




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Spike on September 13, 2010 at 9:27 am

    They’ve taken out the worm and appear to have a new US distributor, but the price has gone up.

  2. milton on January 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    donde lo puedo encontrar porque e visitado todos los abc y no lo venden.aqui en virginia

  3. Aaron on January 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Milton – tienes que ir a Oaxaca, hombre

  4. Joakim on February 24, 2011 at 5:57 am

    I have a bottle at home (sweden) since i was in oaxaca like 3 yeras ago, cant belive i havn’t druk it yet but this weekend maybe. salud!

  5. David on February 14, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I just bought some in late 2011, the WORM is definitely NOT out.
    they CAN’T remove the worm and still call it mezcal. The maguey
    worm is actually an essential flavor ingredient NOT an optional

  6. David on February 14, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I bought U.S. distributor product.

  7. TheHIghness on March 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    You guys should try a orange slice, some of the mystery chile on top, suck on both and then drink the mezcal, doing a little bit of a mix in your mouth… really want one now…

  8. Mezcal Man on March 22, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I don’t know where you get your info David, but the worm is entirely optional, usually just a marketing gimmick, in fact some of your best Mezcals don’t have any creatures in them at all. Worms, scorpions, etc. add NO flavor to the Mezcal either. Better check your research man. Heck, take a quick look at wikipedia…

  9. ariel saucedo on January 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    lo mejor de lo mejor elmezcal de oaxaca como el de san carlos, tamaulipas

  10. Jimbo on May 17, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Howdy. I was in Oaxaca this past December 2013. Bought some of the “Oro”. The worm was still in the bottle. In fact, you could buy little bottles of additional “Oro de Oaxaca” worms to add to your drink or just munch on. I agree the critters add nothing to flavor, but I’m a stickler for tradition. I tried as many Mezcals as I could locate, but was actually searching for “El Famoso”, my personal favorite. I found it, but had to admit the “Oro de Oaxaca” is a great mezcal. Brought some of both back.

  11. David Stein on June 7, 2018 at 2:38 am

    I am the marketing director for a national TV cooking show called, “Taste This TV”. At the request of the Chef and host of the show he would like to incorporate your products in an upcoming show. He spoke to someone at a Food Show recently. He is familiar with the brand. I left a phone message but didn’t get a returned call. Can I get a more direct e-mail address to send some additional infor

  12. Tammy Troha on January 12, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    I have a unopened bottle dated 1942. Is it with anything

  13. Bourke on June 27, 2023 at 5:43 pm

    This is a very strong and truthful review. This mezcal is packed with smoke. It tastes great neat and goes incredibly well with almost any juice. Perhaps most telling—this is the mezcal of choice for many Oaxacans. I find it tastier than any bottle I have found on even speciality liquor store shelves, many of which come at a far higher price. The only trick is knowing where to find this gold in the US—it’s hard to come by. Truly oro de Oaxaca…

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