Best Under $: Cazadores Tequila Aejo
Great for mixing or sipping
Sustainably made, zero waste
May be difficult to find in stores
Cazadores Añejo is made with 100 percent blue agave, which is fermented twice and distilled twice before spending at least a year in new, small American white oak barrels. New oak barrels have more flavor to impart, and this highland tequila boasts layers of itthink spiced apple pie, pecans, vanilla bean, a salted chocolate almond bar. It would pair nicely with dessert, but it’s also wonderful sipped neat.
Cazadores means hunters in Spanish, a reference to founder Don Jose Maria Bañueloss obsession with protecting the quality and uniqueness of his tequila. It is said he even went so far as to hide his tequila recipe in the walls of his house. Cazadores has fine-tuned its process to be both sustainable and zero-waste , meaning you can feel even better about sipping this delicious tequila.
Aged: At least one year in new, small, American white oak barrels | TastingNotes: Spiced apple pie, pecans, vanilla bean
Whats The Proper Way To Taste Tequila
Shooting tequila with lime and salt is a hard habit to break. But in truth, thats no way to appreciate this complex and nuanced spirit. To drink tequila like a real connoisseur, follow these simple guidelines.
- After pouring about 1 ounce of tequila in a brandy snifter, hold the snifter at the base . Appreciate the color of the tequila by raising the snifter to eye level.
- Swirl the tequila gently to the left for about 1 minute. Does the tequila cling to the side of the glass before falling slowly to form whats called the string of pearls effect?
- After taking a small sip, keep the tequila between your lips and tip of your tongue for about 10 seconds. Swish the tequila around the inside of your mouth before swallowing. Let the flavors come to you.
Whats most important is to find out which tequila you like best. That way, whether you mix tequila into a margarita or drink it straight, youll always be satisfied. When sampling tequila, pay attention to what kind of tequila youre trying. Here are the primary kinds of tequila:
Best Extra Aejo: El Tesoro Extra Aejo
Extra smooth with pastry-like flavors
A special category
Añejo means old in Spanish. Extra Añejo tequila, therefore, is olderit must have been aged for at least three years in oak barrels. El Tesoro introduced its first extra añejo tequila in 1994 before the Consejo Regulador de Tequila had even created a special classification for the style.
Made with estate-grown blue agave, this special blend honors founder Don Felipe Camarenas passion for aged tequila. His grandson, Carlos Camarena, ages the extra añejo in former bourbon barrels for four to five years for enhanced depth and complexity. It won a double gold medal at the International Spirits Challenge in 2019.
Aged: 4 to 5 years in ex-bourbon barrels | TastingNotes: Café au lait and dark chocolate almond bar
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How Is Tequila Classified
To be classified as tequila, the spirit must be distilled in the controlled appellation of Tequila, basically the state of Jalisco .The time that the tequila spends aging in barrel is what determines whether it will be a blanco, which is unaged, a reposado, which is aged up to a year, or an añejo, which has been aged from 1-2years. As the tequila sits in the oak barrel, it picks up flavor and color from the tannins in the barrel, giving it a beautiful golden hue plus caramel and vanilla the longer it ages. At PaQuí, we employ American whisky barrels to age our Reposado and Añejo but unlike other makers, we only lightly age them so the sweet agave fruit character is palpable. We believe the uniqueness of tequila is about agave character, so we are unwilling to age to the point where the agave fruit is overwhelmed by the oak.
Don Julio 70 Aejo Claro
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
One of the first cristalino expressions to hit the market, this tequila was released in 2011 to commemorate founder Don Julio Gonzalezs entry into tequila making 70 years earlier. The liquid is aged for 18 months in American white oak barrels before being charcoal-filtered to remove its color. This premium tequila is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks, and when you take a sip, you can expect notes of vanilla, honey and toasted oak alongside green herbs and minerals. But if youd like to mix Don Julio 70 into a cocktail, the brand suggests a simple drink of cristalino tequila and sparkling water, served tall with ice, to preserve the spirits integrity.
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Tequila : Silver Vs Reposado Vs Anejo
When shopping for tequila do you get confused by the different terms used to describe them? Dont worry, you are not alone! There is a great deal of confusion around tequila as we have discovered from the questions we often hear.
The first usually centers around why some tequilas say they are made with agave while others say 100% agave. To be considered a tequila the product must use more than 50% agave, but many connoisseurs would say that to be a true tequila in their mind it has to be 100%. So keep an eye on the label, you can still find some good values made with 100% agave.
The second most common question centers around the difference between tequilas three major classifications: Silver , Reposado, and Anejo. Silver is the freshly distilled liquor that does not age at all.
Reposado is rested for anywhere between two and eleven months in oak barrels. Reposado tequilas get a faint brown or gold color naturally from the wood. Be wary of Gold tequilas that often use artificial coloring to make them appear aged.
Anejo means that the tequila is aged for more than a year in oak barrels. These tequilas are often darker in color and have settle vanilla or toasty notes from the barrels. They also have very smooth finishes.
Watch our brief video to for a bit more information:
Types Of Tequila: Blanco Vs Reposado Vs Anejo
Tequila is a Mexican distilled spirit made from a specific type of agave: the blue agave plant, or agave tequiliana. Mezcal is the category of spirit made from any variety of agave, so tequila is a type of mezcal. There are five main types of tequila, each with their own particular flavor notes.
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Other Aliases: Silver Plata White
Blanco tequila never sees the inside of an oak barrel. Without the influence of the wood, blanco tequila provides the purest expression of the agaves natural flavors and clearly captures the terroir of the region where the blue agave was grown. Some producers choose to rest the tequila in steel tanks for less than two months to let the flavors settle a bit across batches before distributing it into individual bottles. But even this slight delay leaves most of the vivid, young, fiery flavors intact.
Blanco tequila is often hotter than its mellowed, aged peers and blasts the palate with raw vegetal agave, grassy herbal notes, various types of citrus, black pepper and other spices, and even some natural sweetness from the agave itself . This strong profile makes blanco tequila great in cocktails as the bold flavor can go toe to toe with any mixer you throw at it. By the same token, blanco can be a bit harsh for some palates. If youre considering straight shots, choose an extra smooth brand like Los Azulejos Silver or Don Julio Blanco for a complex taste without the harsh burn.
Maestro Dobel Diamante Cristalino
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
Maestro Dobel claims that its Diamante expression is the worlds first clear multi-aged tequila. Its a blend of extra-añejo, añejo and reposado tequilas that has been aged in European oak casks before going through a double-filtration process to remove the spirits color. The brand employs this unique technique to retain the various flavors derived from the varied time spent in barrels. The reposado lends brightness and notes of roasted agave, while the añejo and extra-añejo provide deeper oak flavors, caramel and dark fruit.
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Volcan De Mi Tierra Cristalino
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
This tequila from Moët Hennessy comes in two expressions: blanco and cristalino. Volcan De Mi Tierra is named for the volcano near the town of Tequila that erupted about 200,000 years ago, resulting in volcanic soil that has become part of the regions terroir. The namesake volcano is even incorporated into the bottle design.
The cristalino tequila was aged in a variety of casks and is meant to be sipped rather than utilized as a cocktail mixer. With notes of vanilla, caramel and chocolate positioned alongside agave and mild citrus, it goes down easy. I created a cristalino blend that would embrace the heritage of Mexico and give a soft and subtle personality when placed in Old World barrels, says Maestra de Tequila Ana Maria Romero Mena.
The History Of Aejo Tequila
The history of añejo tequila is the history of tequila. Back in 1000 B.C., the Olmecs started fermenting agave and transforming it into a milky beverage called pulque. Eventually, the Aztecs adapted this into pulque. When the Spanish invaded the Aztecs, they appropriated pulque and started distilling tequila during a brandy shortage. This tequila is one of North Americas first indigenous distilled spirits. The first mass production tequila distillery was headed by the Marquis of Altamira, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, and was located in what is now modern-day Jalisco.
In 1758, King Carlos IV of Spain granted the first commercial tequila license to the Cuervo family, specifically to Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo. His family founded the Taberno de Cuervo and began using the agave tequilana species to distill tequila, because it retains water. The first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo was made in 1795, and thus, the tequila industry was born. The official Cuervo distillery was founded in 1812 and passed down through the Cuervo family.
Quickly following in the footsteps of the Cuervo family, the Sauza family made their own mark in the tequila industry. Don Cenobio Sauza realized that the blue agave was the best species of agave plant for tequila production.
Then, during the Prohibition period, tequila became the popular drink for desperate Americans needing alcohol. Bathtub gin wasnt their cup of tea-quila, so tequila became their drink of choice.
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What Is Reposado Tequila
Reposado means rested in Spanish, and reposado tequila rests anywhere from two months to a year before theyre put in a bottle. Reposados take on the gold or straw yellow hue from the barrels in which they are aged, which are typically oak or white oak barrels. The type of barrel changes the flavor of each distillerys tequila, but typically, you can expect a mellow flavor with hints of oak. Reposado tequilas are often used in premium mixed drinks or are great for shots.
What Makes Casa Mexico Reposado the best Reposado Tequila?
Slowly baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless pot stills, our finished product then rests for a minimum of 6 months in new American White Oak barrels. This transformation allows the product to obtain its exceptional taste and golden hue through natural processes.
The sweet and subtle ginger notes, followed by a slight oak finish and hints of cinnamon, delightfully awaken your palate. Our reposado is suitable for sipping or as the foundation for your favorite tequila-based cocktails.
Top Shelf Anejo Tequila
1. Casa Noble Single Barrel Extra Anejo Tequila
Casa Noble comes in strong once again with their Single Barrel Extra Anejo Tequila. This expression is aged and finished in French oak and is one of many successes in their single barrel program.
The spirit is triple-distilled in a copper pot still, giving it rich notes of oak to go with the noticeable agave flavors. Its produced in small batches with knowledgeable distillers monitoring every step of the process to ensure quality standards are met.
While its not a cheap bottle of tequila, its quality matches the price. Its a fine tequila made with world-renowned methods. Its small-batch production and single-barrel nature mean its a rarer expression often harder to come by than most, making it even more valuable when you do find it.
The nose is sweet with notes of agave, caramel, oak resin, and vanilla. The palate follows with similar notes of oak and vanilla, hints of mature agave, and an incredibly smooth finish.
2. Don Julio 1942 Anejo Tequila
Another well-known name in the world of tequila, Don Julio never disappoints. Their Anejo Tequila is named with the year 1942 to commemorate the year that Don Julio himself began the journey to tequila master, at age 17.
The tequila is made from 100 percent blue weber agave which is harvested by experts after 7-10 years. They hand pick the plants and hand cut them uniformly to maximize the quality of the juice.
3. Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Anejo
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What Is Gold Tequila
Despite its color, gold tequila is rarely aged. In fact, you might call gold tequila an impostor, a marketing gimmick even. In many cases, gold tequila is the result of caramel coloring added to agave juices before fermentation to give the spirit a more refined look. Aged tequilas, which are deepers shades of amber and brown, are often costly because of the amount of time they require the metallic hue of gold tequila could imply to the lay purchaser this product is a better option. But if the bottle does not say 100% agave, check the ingredients. Youll likely see caramel coloring and sugar.
That being said, you can buy 100% agave gold tequila. Two different techniques can render a solidly gold spirit: The first, producers can mix cheaper blanco or silver tequila with a more aged tequila, such as reposado, to get the golden hue. Second, they can age the tequila in barrels to let the liquor absorb some color before bottling.
Gold tequila is often used for shots. The smoother, slightly sweet taste is less harsh than fresh tequila. Because of the hint of sweetness, many bartenders will use gold tequila in margaritas to complement the mixed drinks fruity flavors.
We Use Reclaimed Tequila Barrel In 5 Other Og Products
The Story Behind our Extraordinary Materials
Our Tequila wood is part of something biggerthan its beauty, It tells a story about a culture, craft & authenticity. Aged to perfection and imbued with character, the Tequila leaves behind spirits-soaked wood that once reclaimed makes for an amazing ring.
Its a Perfect Match for
A classic, stylish gentleman who considers himself a connoisseur of spirits.
Other Reclaimed Tequila Barrel
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What Is Aejo Tequila
When most people think about tequila, they probably arent thinking of an aged spirit with hints of vanilla, caramel, and spices. But by definition, añejo is a blue agave gold tequila that has been aged for a minimum of 12 months in oak barrels, creating a gorgeous amber hue. The aging process creates a tequila that is bolder and richer than Reposado tequila or Silver tequila. Because of this, theyre typically sipped neat rather or served over ice rather than shots or mixed into a margarita or cocktail drink.
What Makes Casa Mexico Añejo the Best Añejo Tequila?
Slowly baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills, our finished product then rests for a minimum of 12 months in new American White Oak barrels. This transformation allows the gold tequila to obtain its exceptional taste and caramel hue through natural processes.
Tequila aficionados appreciate the initial caramel notes and subsequent smooth oak flavors that are produced by this uniquely nuanced spirit. This expression is best served neat or with a minimal amount of ice. It is not typically used in a margarita drink.
What Are The Different Types Of Tequila
Tequila is classified according to the length of time the spirit was aged. As Tequila ages, it goes from a young Blanco to a more mature Añejo. During the aging process, the Tequilas color and flavors deepen, and the spirit develops a smoother taste.
Here is a deeper dive into the five types of Tequila:
- Blanco Tequila, more commonly known as silver Tequila, can be bottled immediately or aged up to two months and is the purest flavor of Tequila because it contains no added flavoring agents and is the best representation of the blue agave plants natural sweetness
- Joven Tequila, or more commonly referred to as gold Tequila, derives its name from the golden color imparted upon the liquid from agents that add flavor to the Tequila beyond the blue agave plant
- Reposado Tequila is aged for two to 12 months in an oak container, giving it time to turn a pale golden color
- Añejo Tequila, where añejo means “aged,” spends one to three years in an oak barrel similar to the ones used for aging whiskey or wine. It gets smoother, darker and the taste is sweeter thanks to the barrel
- Extra Añejo Tequila is barrel-aged for more than three years. The spirit becomes a dark amber color, and the flavor is rich with nuts, caramel, fruit, and spice, similar to whiskey or an older rum.
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