While some mezcals are on the fruitier end of the spectrum with barely a hint of campfire, others can stand up to the smokiest of scotches—albeit smoke on the finish rather than smoke upon first sip, as it is with scotches like Laphroaig and Lagavulin. After tasting our way through a variety of mezcals, we determined that these five bottles are the best picks for people who crave that fire-licked flavor.
Montelobos Mezcal Joven ($40)
The smokiest of the lot, this mezcal has a dusty, charcoal briquet quality and a charred meatiness to it. Produced in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, near the Sierra Madre mountain range (its name translates to mountain of wolves), this unaged bottling is made from 100 percent organically farmed espadín agave. While it is great sipped straight, it can also be used as a replacement for scotch in a variety of classic scotch cocktails like the Rob Roy.