Monte Alban is perhaps the most widely available mezcal on the market, but that doesn’t mean it’s rotgut. Monte Alban may lack sophistication, but it’s a fine entry point into the mezcal arena. Briny and with the distinct smell of sweat, it comes across as hot. But a little judicious sipping shows that Monte Alban has more to it than that. The palest gold in color, its smoke character is moderate, not overdone, with some fruitiness in the finish. The salty character remains throughout, but it’s not as biting as the initial approach would lead you to think. 80 proof, and every bottle includes a worm — even the 50ml minis.