El Tequileo Reposado Rare
Founded in 1959 in the pueblo magico of Tequila by Don Jorge Salles Cuervo, the La Guarreña distillery continues under Don Jorges grandson, Jorge Antonio Salles. This intense, woody reposado is fermented in cement tanks, cooked with copper pot stills, and aged six years in giant wooden tanks, making for a truly rare high-end reposado. The extra time and production methods yield big natural vanilla, caramel, and spice flavors and aromas.
What Brand Has The Best Tequila
Different types of tequila do suit different purposes and different tastes, so the best tequila brand really does depend on whether youre drinking it in a cocktail or neat, and what type of flavour youre looking for. Of course, the best tequila for you will also depend on the price point youre looking at. Weve recommended plenty of our favourite brands below which range from El Rayo and Clase Azul to Patrón and Don Julio. Trust us, a truly great tequila is waiting for you.
The 30 Best Tequilas For Every Budget
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, Americans purchased 17.2 million 9-liter cases of tequila in 2017, and exports from Mexico to the U.S. increased nearly 200 percent in the last 10 years. Ultra-high-end brands like Patrón and Casa Noble are leading this growth some offering bottles priced in the thousands but there are plenty of affordable alternatives that rival even the most luxury brands.
VinePair tasted more than 60 tequila brands to sort out the good, the great, the great-for-the-price, and beyond. Whether your budget is $25, $50, $100, or more, here are 30 of the best tequilas for every budget.
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Don Julio 70 Aejo Claro Tequila
A blanco-añejo hybrid, this spirit is aged 18 months in American white oak casks, then charcoal-filtered to remove its color. It pours crystal clear, but has oaky aromas of butter cookie and warm sugar. Lightly spicy on the palate, with notes of dried apricot and vanilla, this bottle is perfect for fancy poolside sipping. Average price: $58.
Blanco Aejo Reposado: Whats The Difference
Before you even begin to think about curating the best Tequilas for your home bar, you need to be across the three major styles of Tequila produced out of Mexico. While there are a few more categories to be mindful of, the three main types are the classic Blanco Tequila, the more flavourful Reposado Tequila, and the higher aged Anejo Tequila .
Essentially, the difference that separates all these styles is how long they are aged in oak barrels for. Blanco is generally aged for a maximum of 2 months, whereas Reposado sits in the barrels for 2-11 months. Añejo can be aged for between 1 and 3 years, while Extra Añejo Tequila is aged for over 3 years. Its all about how long the spirit has interacted with the oak.
As such, Blanco is going to be the purest expression of the agave and the distinctive terroir in which the spirit is produced. Its the style most people think of when recalling the Tequila they knocked back in their younger days, although this isnt to say Blanco is cheap and cheerful. The punchy, full-bodied style is the best way to taste just how diverse agave is.
Also note that you might hear a Tequila referred to as a Mixto Tequila. This basically means that it isnt 100% agave, and has been mixed by adding cane sugar or corn sugars prior to fermentation. Jose Cuervo Especial is a good example of a mixto Tequila, although most would prefer 100% agave tequilas.
To further understand Tequila, a great explanation can be found over at Thrillist.
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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:
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Colleen Graham is a beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails and bartending. She has visited tequila distilleries in Mexico, tasted countless tequilas over the years, and wrote a book on the spirit.
Kate Dingwall, a sommelier and spirits writer, updated this roundup. She has been writing about wine and spirits for five years and has visited the Jalisco region over a dozen times. She has even harvested her own agave.
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So Which Kind Works Better In Margaritas
Now, to finally answer the question at hand: which is better for making a margarita? While at the end of the day, it really is your preference, mixologists and tequila experts agree that there is a better choice when it comes to tequila for margaritas.
The tequila winner across the board for margaritas is silver or white . This is because silver tequila ages for the shortest amount of time, giving it the strongest and purest taste so it can cut through the other flavorings that youre adding.
When you use silver tequila for margaritas, you are getting a pure tequila taste, which will blend well with other flavorings and mixes. People prefer to sip on gold tequila rather than diluting it into mixed drinks because it has a more unique flavor profile.
What Is Tequila Made From
Tequila is made from the extracted juices of the agave plant. By law, tequila must include at least 51 percent Weber blue agave, and the majority of tequilas exclusively use that variety. The agave juice is fermented and distilled, and the tequila is diluted to bottling strength. Tequila destined to be reposado or añejo is aged in wood barrels for two months to a few years. Silver tequila is unaged, but can rest in stainless steel for up to two months. Gold tequila is the only style that can include coloring and flavoring additives.
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What Is Extra Aejo Tequila
This type of tequila hasnt been on the market as long as the others it was only given an official classification in 2005, though distillers had been making their own batches of this extra special spirit long before the world knew about it.
Extra añejo is aged more than three years, and it is the most expensive tequila option. The flavor, which is spicy and warm like incense, continues to improve with age, but only small batches of tequila are reserved for this purpose. That means most distillers make very limited supplies each year. Sip and savor each drop of this precious liquor.
Take A Sip Of This Iconic Mexican Spirit
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Liquor / Chloe Jeong
Every spirit has its “moment”sometimes more than onceand just like whiskey in the pre-prohibition era, rum in the midcentury tiki craze, and vodka in the swingin’ sixties and seventies, tequila is currently the darling of the spirits world. Nutrition consultants saddle it with various health claims , and it seems like every day that yet another celebrity is launching a new tequila brand. However, to longtime aficionados like Grover and Scarlet Sanschagrin, the Jalisco-based founders of the website Tequila Matchmaker, there’s something to be said for the old, artisan production methods and for the flavors they yield: herbs, spices, and the briny, bittersweet signature of agave.
But the sheer volume of tequila brands currently competing for shelf space means that there’s truly a bottle out there for every consumer. The Consejo Regulador del Tequila, the spirits regulatory body, lists 1,754 tequilas currently in productionand these include bottles labeled blanco , reposado , añejo , and several other increasingly esoteric categories. Whether you like your tequila neat or mixed with cocktails, here are the best tequilas available today.
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Wrapping Up: Silver Vs Gold Tequila
So, whats the difference between silver and gold tequila? A lot of things! The aging of the tequila colors and the flavors are worlds apart. Clear tequila vs gold tequila is all about the flavor, price range, versatility, and smoothness. Because of that, gold tequila is considered best for sipping while clear or silver tequila is ideal for cocktails.
Best Tequila For Sipping Or Mixing This Dias De La Muerte
No cheap shots: your quick-fire round of the tastiest tequilas in town
equila, it makes us happy – or does it? Long percieved as a 3am bad decision chased with a dry mouth, molten hot eyeballs and a banging hangover, the way we down tequila would rile most folks in Mexico, the home of the agave spirit.
In the North American country, tequila is not to be shot, but rather sipped, swilled and savoured, much like neat whisky.
Proper tequila – the kind without a worm languishing at the bottom of the bottle – can take months, sometimes years, to produce. While you can have it neat, there are also ways to enjoy it in cocktails – like a margarita.
With Dias de la Muerte or Day of the Dead here, there’s no better time to mix up a sunshine-tasting cocktail and toast the occasion.
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Best Overall: 123 Certified Organic Blanco
Organic, delicious and environmentally friendly what more could you want? 123 Organic Tequila is the brainchild of David Ravandi, a long-time agave grower and artisanal tequila producer. This easy-drinking blanco is produced from 10-year-old agave plants that cook for two days in traditional stone ovens. The juice is then double-distilled for purity and bottled shortly after. Notes of lemon zest, fresh agave, pepper and crushed rocks burst from the spirits clean and precise palate. Sip neat, stir into cocktails or do both.
This sipping tequila is crafted by Carlos Camarena, a third-generation tequilero, and Tomas Estes, the official ambassador of tequila to the EU. Agave for Tequila Ocho Plata is harvested from high-altitude growing sites and is distilled with close attention to detail. Flavors of candied limes, citrus rind, almond, starfruit and briny pineapple lead to a soft and lingering finish. No need for mixers herethis spirit is the star of the show.
“Many people dont think of blanco as a sipping tequila, but I love the taste of organic agave thats slowly roasted to perfection,” says Turner. “When something is good, theres nothing to hide and it should be sipped neat.”
Villa One Silver Tequila
Villa One Silver Tequila is a well-known brand with a mild flavor and a combination of charcoal and almond tastes that create immense pleasure.
Liquor lovers always crave quality tequila from reliable sources, and Villa One never disappoints. It is regarded as one of the best tequila for margarita for its unmatched mixed fruit flavor.
Villa One continues to gain a lot of positive responses from all over the world. So if you are into a mixed fruity tequila, this ones for you.
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Best Overall: Fuenteseca Cosecha 2018
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 45.7% | Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, Olive, Brine
This tequila is a cult favorite among experts, as Yana Volfson, the beverage manager at Cosme and ATLA restaurants in New York, calls it beautiful. Enrique Fuenteseca, the farmer and distiller behind the bottle, chooses the ripest agave in his own estate, subjects the piñas to the autoclave-and-roller mill treatment, and lets the pot-distilled spirit rest in stainless steel tanks afterward for three years. The resulting blanco, says Grover Sanschagrin, is super heavy on the cinnamon, olive, and brine notesits just amazing. Perfect for tequila aficionados, the limited-production Fuenteseca Cosecha 2013 is a worthy collectible.
Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila
Love it or hate it, Jose Cuervo is one of the most successful tequila brands worldwide, and this tequila is a staple go-toreadily available at any bottle shop for a quick mix-in for those taco-and-marg nights. The light peppery and citrus notes in this quintessential tequila blends well with the flavours of your classic margarita. Shop it here.
More of a craft beer person? Check out Australia’s best over here.
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Image credit: supplied
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The Best Tequilas For 2021 Are:
- Best overall G4 Blanco: £40.69, Coolchile.co.uk
- Best for whisky lovers Storywood speyside 14 añejo: £47.99, Storywoodtequila.com
- Best bargain El Jimador blanco: £26.35, Masterofmalt.com
- Best sipping blanco Mijenta Blanco: £49.95, Thewhiskyexchange.com
- Best for richer cocktails Cazcabel Reposado: £26.44, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for T& Ts El Rayo plata: £33.23, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for tequila sceptics 1800 Cristalino tequila: £46.85, Masterofmalt.com
- Best classic reposado Herradura reposado: £43.63, Masterofmalt.com
- Best traditional blanco Tapatio blanco: £25.12,
- Best for sweet tooths Padre Azul añejo: £107.95, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for summery drinking Código rosa: £49.95, Masterofmalt.com
- Best low-key celeb tequila AquaRiva reposado: £28.95, Thewhiskyexchange.com
- Best for Instagramming Vivir blanco: £34.95, Masterofmalt.com
Budget Bottles For Shots And Sips
Making tequila is not a quick process. Agave plants take seven to 12 years to reach maturity, and once harvested, they need to be roasted, distilled, and left to rest for months to years depending on the style. While many high-quality tequilas come with a steep price tag, you can certainly find bottles to fit your budgetand not all are strictly for shooting. Several brands produce excellent inexpensive tequilas suitable for sipping and making cocktails, such as margaritas, sangritas, and bloody marias. We researched top brands to find premier bottles for sipping straight, mixing drinks, and, yes, taking shots.
Here are the best cheap tequilas.
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Frequently Asked Questions Best Tequilas
Mezcal is the general term given to any agave spirits and they can be produced from up to 50 species of the plant. Tequila is a type of mezcal that is produced from just one species of agave that is the Weber blue agave.
The majority of Tequila comes from the state of Jalisco in Mexico. Agave-based spirits outside of this state are generally other types of Mezcals.
Seasoned Tequila drinkers tend to prefer Don Julio for its smoother and more complex taste, whereas Patron is better for use in cocktails.
Some of the other brands which didn’t make this list but deserve mention include Jose Cuervo and Casa Noble, but fairly reliable and well-respected in the Tequila business.
Exotico Blanco 100% Agave Tequila
Exotico Tequila Blanco is one of the best solutions if you are looking for an affordable bottle, providing excellent value in taste and flavor.
Furthermore, it is a premium and unaged spirit made from 100% blue agavesurprisingly outstanding for its price range.
If you want to make a delicious margarita for cheap, this is the best tequila for you. It is perfectly transparent and crisp Blanco with spicy undertones and a robust taste of fresh agave, hints of pepper, and herbal notes.
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Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver Tequila
The ideal cocktail base from the worlds oldest and biggest tequila brand. Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver is a premium offering from this mammoth distillery its a slick, 100 per cent agave spirit that has well-balanced smoothness and sweetness. Its perfect for a . Read our full Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver tequila review.
Best For Sipping: El Tesoro Aejo
Courtesy of leesliquorlv.com
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Citrus, Spice, Brown butter
Like any fine spirit served neat, a good sipping tequila should be smooth, velvety, and nonabrasivebut, simultaneously, should still taste like tequila, rather than trying to mimic the characteristics of whiskey, or vodka, or anything else.
The añejo from El Tesoro is a classically-styled tequila that checks all those boxes: it’s soft and silky, a result of two to three years of aging in American oak ex-bourbon barrels, but it’s not as flush with caramel or vanilla as certain añejos that receive a more heavy-handed aging treatment. Consequently, the flavor of the agave really comes throughno surprise for a brand that prides itself on traditional production methods, from crushing the agave with a volcanic stone tahona to fermenting in open wooden vats with ambient yeasts. The El Tesoro añejo is an ideal choice the next time you’re craving the vibrancy of raw agave character without wanting to bother with ice or with lime.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, Olives, Grapefruit peel
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