Bacanora is an artisanal beverage distilled from agave, which is manufactured on a small scale in the Sonora state, México. The aim of this study was to identify the major volatile compounds in 77 artisanal Bacanora beverages by gas chromatography, to determine the samples that comply with the Mexican Standards for Bacanora. The samples were collected in 28 municipalities in the area of origin denomination. It was found that only 55.8% of the samples (43) meet the parameters established in the Official Mexican Standards, whereas 44.2% of the samples (34) do not comply: 3 samples for alcohol content, 8 for acetaldehyde, 1 for esters, 11 for methanol and 17 for higher alcohols. Some of the samples do not comply because of more than one analyzed parameter. The Bacanora samples showed great variability among the sampled regions as well as within the same municipalities.