An agave-based spirit with a smoky flavor that comes from roasting the agave hearts in pits before fermentation. The best mezcal is made in Mexico’s Oaxaca region.
A common question folks have is:
What's the difference between mezcal and tequila?
The short answer is: tequila is mezcal, in the same way that bourbon is whiskey -- specifically, it's mezcal using only a specific type of agave (agave tequilana) and must be produced in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
The longer answer is that mezcal traditionally has a very unique, smoky flavor that makes it fairly easy to distinguish from tequila. It also tends to taste sweeter, or richer, than tequila. Some mezcal producers have adopted production processes similar to tequila, and the resulting mezcal has flavor profile similar to tequila -- but in general, mezcal is smokier, richer, and more full-bodied than tequila.