Ultimate Spirits Challenge Best Tequila
The Ultimate Spirits Challenge top two tequilas for 2020 aren’t available in the United States. However, their tied for third finisher, El Tesoro Extra Añejo is, and it receives a 94 point rating. It’s aged for five years in bourbon barrels, and it has notes of coffee, herbs, apricots, and almonds. Expect to pay around $130 for a 750 mL bottle.
Danos Dangerous Tequila Aejo
One of the most-awarded bottles on our list, Danos Añejo Tequila is aged 18 months in virgin French white oak barrels and produced using 100% agave at a family-owned distillery that dates back to 1840. A small sip reveals aromas of roasted agave with woody notes, before the tequila opens up with hints of caramel, coconut and oak.
Founded in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 2018, Danos Tequila just won Best in Class Añejo at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Danos also won the Gold Medal in the 2019 Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Tasting Competition, and the Double Gold and Gold in the 2018 SIP Awards.
Think of this as the cognac of tequila best for sipping neat, or with an ice cube.
Best Under $: Teremana Blanco
Courtesy of Total Wine
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Pepper, Citrus, Earth
Leave it to The Rock to have his name behind a classy blanco, which is produced using high-mountain agave roasted in brick ovens and distilled in copper pot stills. Lynette Marrero, bar director at New Yorks Llama Inn, is a fan. Its made in the most authentic way and without any additives, she says, so its great for connoisseurs looking to sip on a serious tequila.” But, she also serves it to people wanting to learn more about the category.
She likes its clean character and wonderful flavor: The agave shines through, complemented by fragrant citrusy and earthy notes, vanilla and a hint of aromatic peppery spice.
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El Tesoro Single Barrel Reposado
El Tesoro master distiller Carlos Camarena holds many titles and distinctions. Hes a fifth generation tequila maker, a third generation master distiller, and also the CEO of El Tesoro. His liquid is incredible, and perhaps none is so great as the Single Barrel Reposado. Camarena picks a few select barrels of reposado tequila that shine above their peers for this line, meaning theyre both unique and exceptional. El Tesoros tequila, which boasts minerality and green nuances on its own, ages in ex-bourbon casks for nine to 11 months before it heads to your hands. Its perfectly balanced, and should be consumed neatand with respect.
Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses
Looking for an experience thats a little different when it comes to sipping?
What about shot glasses made from pink Himalayan salt? While sipping tequila, you might be concerned that it will become much too salty.
The salt does not dissolve in these tequila glasses because of a plastic insert.
This rose colored glass adds a new level of taste to the tequila without the inserts, enhancing the overall experience. The antibacterial properties of pink Himalayan salt give you the peace of mind youre looking for, so drink up!
The pink salt shot glasses made from Himalayan salt are an exotic option for a shot glass. With these glasses, the rim wont need to be salted, and theyre naturally disinfectant. However, you can just rinse them after a quick rinse, as you cant put them in the dishwasher. Nevertheless, they will eventually wear out.
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Which Is Better Silver Or Gold Tequila
When it comes down to it, silver tequila is better for margaritas than gold tequila. They are aged differently, with silver tequila boasting a stronger, purer taste while being clear in color. Its simplicity makes it the perfect companion to mixed drinks, as it matches beautifully with other flavor profiles.
Best Gift: Casa Dragones Aejo Barrel Blend
Courtesy of Casa Dragones
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Nuts, Oak
Our job as bar pros is to be skeptical, but when I took the first sip, I was like, Oh, this is divine, says Chasse. A lot of bottles that people think about for gifting are on the sweeter side, but this one is not super sweet. Instead, the aging program, in both new French and new American oak, lends it complexity and balance.
Chasse finds plenty of peppery spice, nuttiness and a hint of cacao but with a lush mouthfeel that makes Casa Dragones’ tequila feel luxurious. Its sleek, charcoal-colored bottle and turquoise box present the kind of packaging that makes it giftable without wrapping paper.
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What Customers Have To Say
A tequila lover stated the glass was beautiful, and she liked how it was quite heavy. Moreover, she appreciates how the glass could hold up to 2 oz of her favorite tequila. Another customer also likes that the glass has the right size to hold her drink. She furthered that even if the tequila glass is made of high quality, it is still reasonably priced.
Siembra Valles High Proof Blanco
David Suro is a Philadelphia-based tequila connoisseur who, after immigrating to the U.S. in 1985, returned to his native Guadalajara to begin producing his Siembra Valles line of tequilas. Coming from the volcanic Valles region, Suro works with the Rosales family of Distileria Cascahuín . Fermented in both a stone mampostería and in stainless steel tanks, bagasse is used in concert with yeast to introduce more flavor, a process rarely used by commercial producers. This is complex and tropical, with notes of roasted pineapple, vanilla and a slightly mentholated aspect, similar to eucalyptus. Rich, but biting on the finish, this was our favorite tequila in the tasting.
- Price: $39
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Best For Tequila And Tonic: Espoln Tequila Blanco
Image Source / Drizly
Region: Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Pepper, Pineapple
This is 100 percent agave tequila with a great history, says Jose Medina Camacho, bar manager at Automatic Seafood & Oysters in Birmingham, Ala. I love it in a tequila tonic, or just neat with a glass of sparkling rose. One of my favorite things about it is that it pays homage to Mexican culture from the art on the bottles to the balance of juice in the bottle.
Teremana Small Batch Tequila
The Rocks premium tequila brand has been flying off store shelves ever since its launch last March. Now, fans of Dwayne Johnson and tequila alike can purchase Teremana online and get it delivered to their door.
The ultra-premium highlands tequila uses all the beverage buzz words, like small batch production, and distilled in handmade copper pot stills. But beyond the hype, its a smooth, easy to drink option naturally sweetened with the rich aroma of mature agave plants, with a clean finish.
The name, Johnson explains, was inspired by his Polynesian background. TERA means of the Earth and MANA is our powerful Polynesian spirit that guides us. Spirit of the Earth, he says.
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Cdigo 1530 Rosa Tequila
Smooth and delicate, Código 1530s Rosa Tequila makes for perfect after-work sipping, or used in a hand-crafted cocktail. Produced using the tequila-making traditions of the Los Bajos region and its tequilieras, the tequila is meticulously aged inFrench White Oakred wine barrels from Napa Valley. That gives the Rosa a subtle pink hue, and a sweet yet dry finish.
Country singer George Strait is an investor in the brand, and even wrote a song inspired by the tequila off his 2019 album, Honkey Tonk Time Machine.
Best For Margaritas: Herradura Silver
Image Source / ReserveBar
Region: Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Agave, Oak
Herradura is well known and for the price, says Reniel Garcia, bar director of Havana 1957 on Española Way. Fruity and spicy, great to sip or make your favorite Margarita. Its particularly flavorful in a Margarita because Herraduras silver tequila is aged in oak for 45 days, infusing it with soft flavors to round out this classic cocktail.
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Is Tequila A Cheap Drink
Top quality blanco, reposado and añejo tequilas on a budget. Theres good news about good tequilait can be very affordable if you know what you are looking for. But overall, theres a good deal of high-quality tequila available to drink on its own or mixed into a Margarita that will cost you less than $50 per bottle.
What Are The Best Types Of Tequila Brands
The 10 Best Selling Tequila Brands Don Julio. First of all, Don Julio is also the largest tequila brand in terms of value. eight. This successful brand was the first to introduce the concept of terroir in tequila, stating the year of production and location of the agave selection on each label and specifying what each batch represents. Cartridge. 23rd street Tapatio. Power. Jose Cuervo.
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Q: What Is Tequila Exactly
The spirit can only be produced within the Mexican state of Jalisco and designated municipalities in Michoacan, Nayarit, Guanajuato, and Tamaulipas. Tequila must be made using only Blue Weber agave, says Ellenwood, a plant that takes between 7 to 10 years to mature. Once mature, she says, the leaves are stripped and the heartsknown as piñasare steamed, roasted, or baked before being pressed, mashed, or shredded to yield juice, which is then fermented. Agave liquid undergoes at least two distillations before becoming tequila. The different styles of tequila, says Estevez, are primarily defined by aging and time spent in oak, with the exception being Cristilano, a classification of tequila whereby tequila is filtered through charcoal to remove color and impurities.
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Best Reposado: Siete Leguas Reposado
Courtesy of Drizly.com
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Baking spices, Vanilla, Slate, Shale
Like many bartenders, Chasse considers this reposado from Siete Leguas her favorite tequila in general, regardless of the expression. The distillery where it’s made uses a mix of grinding methods: efficient roller mill and traditional tahona, a millstone carved from volcanic rock. The result: “A nice balance between sustainability and the wonderful qualities of earthiness from the more fibrous milling of the tahona, she says.
With its mix of minerality, wood-driven vanilla notes and baking-spice panache, this versatile reposado is perfect to sip on anytime along with many different types of foods, says Chasse. “It just makes my heart happy.
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Best Overall: Tequila Ocho Plata
Courtesy of Drizly.com
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Citrus, Grass, Stone fruit
The beautiful story and unique process behind this tequila really help it shine, says Chasse. The family that makes Tequila Ocho Plata has been distilling for generations. They use traditional brick ovens to slow-roast extremely ripe agave, which is chosen from specific fields each year, so that the nuances of the terroir and weather come out, especially in the blanco.
It changes depending on the field and year, says Chasse, but in general, it offers crisp, clean peppery notes, bright citrus and grassy flavors, along with the fruitiness of the extra-ripe agave. The finish also offers a nice balance between floral and earthy notes.
Good to Know: How should you drink a sipping tequila? Hurley and Chasse suggest trying it neat in a tequila glass . Add a few drops of water to open up the flavor. Medina prefers to sip his aged tequila in a snifter with one large cube of ice, which melts slowly, keeping the spirit cool but not diluting it.
What Is A Mixto Tequila
While many tequilas at varying price points will boast that they’re made of 100 percent blue Weber agave , the law technically only requires that agave compose 51 percent of any given tequila, and a bottle that’s not entirely made from agave is known as a “mixto.” Producers employ various types of sugar to make up the remaining percentage, including high fructose corn syrup and molassesalthough sometimes a lightly processed Mexican cane sugar known as piloncillo is what’s used. You can assume a tequila is a mixto if it doesn’t state anywhere on the bottle that it’s made of 100 percent agave .
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Best For Paloma: Olmeca Altos Plata
Image Source / ReserveBar
Region: Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Citrus, Brine, Agave
This is great quality and affordable tequila that stands out really well with various cocktails, says Danilo Bozovic of rooftop bar and restaurant Sugar in Miami. The Olmeca Altos blanco, which is crafted from blue Weber agave grown at elevations of nearly 7000 feet in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, works particularly well in a Palomaa mix of tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda.
With an unrivaled smoothness at this price point, this tequila can be enjoyed straight or mixed in a cocktail. Jonathan Cunningham, bar manager, Husk Barbeque, Greenville, S.C.
Best For Sipping: Casa Noble Aejo Tequila
Reasonable price for the quality
Drinks sweeter than some others
Most añejos are aged between 12 and 18 months. After distilling three times, Casa Noble ages its añejo tequila in new French white oak barrels for a full 24 months, bringing out flavors of toasted oak, butterscotch pudding, roasted agave, and dried fruits.
Its complexity, to say nothing of its smooth finish, won it the gold medal at the SIP Awards in 2017 and the World Spirits Awards in 2016. Its made with 100 percent blue agave and certified organic. Its neither the priciest nor least expensive tequila on this list, but if you should choose to buy it, you will almost certainly enjoy it. This is the bottle that could convert just about anyone into a tequila lover.
Aged: 2 years in new French white oak barrels | TastingNotes: Butterscotch pudding, roasted agave, and dried fruits
Youve never had Patrón like this before. Even its everyday tequilas are made with what the brand calls small-batch spirit, covering little details like the agave piñas being hand-chopped before roasting in small brick ovens and all the bottles, corks, and barrels being made at its distilleries.
Aged: Minimum of one year in used American and new French Oak barrels, finished in vintage Bordeaux barrels | TastingNotes: Oak, light agave, vanilla, and raisin
High value for the price
Sip straight or use for cocktails
Best for bourbon drinkers
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Best Extra Aejo: Gran Patrn Burdeos
Courtesy of Reserve Bar
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Cocoa powder, Dates, Caramel
Añejos and extra añejos should embody the flavor of the wood with the soul of the original spirit, says Hurley, so that the cooked agave flavor shines, complemented by notes of toasted oak, caramel, vanilla and cocoa powder.
This bottle from Patrón exemplifies the style. It is far too tasty, says Chasse. In part, thats due to the barrel program. A combination of used American and new French oak casks gives it a deep amber color that looks great in a snifter. Plus, a velvety mouthfeel and a drying and nearly tannic finale compels you to take another sip. But the pièce de résistance is the old Bordeaux barrels the spirit is finished in they lend a touch of the raisinated flavor youd expect from a wine.
It also does pair nicely with food, says Chasse, and if youre having a fancy day, with a fine cigar.
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Olives, Earth, Orange
If you want to know what tequila tasted like 100 years ago, Fortaleza is your go-to, says Hurley. At his estate in the town of Tequila, master distiller Guillermo Sauza makes the spirit the way his great-great-grandfather made it, using an old stone tahona and brick ovens. Bottled straight from the copper pot still without dilution, this blanco has an alluring earthy, olivey quality, says Chasse, with plenty of bright citrus, too.
What Is The Smoothest Tasting Tequila
What is the smoothest tequila? The smoothest tequila is often regarded to be Ocho Añejo, an estate-grown spirit brand that also bears the title of the first ever ‘Tequila vintage’. The Añejo is rich and vegetal with notes of vanilla and caramel and is aged in ex-American whiskey barrels for one year.
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Why Are Aged Tequilas More Expensive Than Unaged
It’s a two-part answer: the time and the barrels. Oak barrels cost money , and the investment in quality cooperage is reflected in the price of your reposado or añejo. And then there’s the time: a reposado must age for a minimum of 60 days, and an añejo must age for at least a year. Between the income lost during the waiting period and the actual spirit lost to evaporation, tequila will inevitably get more expensive the older it getsa characteristic it shares with nearly every other aged spirit.