Our agave spirits judging saw mezcal come out on top. Here's our top five. 

In this cross-agave field, it was the mezcals that impressed judges most, taking positions one to three.

Del Maguey Chichicapa, one of the Pernod Ricard brand’s Single Village expressions, was the only product to take gold on taste. That was followed by gold in design and a solid silver for value for money – its rrp is £78. “It’s expensive, but that’s the kind of mezcal I would drink all night,” said one judge.

The range’s flagship expression Vida took second with one of the highest scores in the agave spirits tasting – a high silver – and a flawless gold for design. Judges loved the green bottle and clean graphics and said it was “great to reuse too”. Vida took bronze for its perceived value for money given its £40-plus price tag.

Gruppo Campari’s Montelobos Espadin – with a comparative rrp – scored similarly, with one judge remarking that the depth of flavour combined with the premium looks made it “good value”.

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Next came the tequilas. Volcan Blanco was silver on taste (“it’s a truly inviting tequila”) and judges liked the bottle design, but thought the rrp of £44 was a little high.

Rooster Rojo Ahumado cut the mustard on taste (“caramel and coffee” notes) and at £30 rrp, was considered “strong value, certainly a reasonable price”. 

The Bartenders' Brand Awards follows a three-step process to mirror buying behaviour, with each product blind-tasted, judged on value for money and by design. For more on the methodology behind the BBAs, read more here.