Tuesday, April 23, 2024

What Is The Top Shelf Tequila

Are Tequilas In Mexico Stronger

What’s the best tequila for the money?

No, tequilas in Mexico are not stronger as the law only permits 35%-55% ABV. In the US, a bottle of tequila can start at 40% and go higher. Some tequila drinkers prefer a stronger spirit, especially if they prefer a reposado or an añejo variant because these are mostly smoother and do not have the hated burn. Some keep them in Scotch barrels for an added character, but the alcohol levels are kept within the suggested levels.

Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila

Siete Leguas is regarded as a pioneer and excellent producer in the industry in both Mexico and the United States.

Siete Leguas has undoubtedly gone the “seven leagues” referenced in their name, with their roots dating back seven generations. They were once the original producers of Patron as they got their business off the ground and are now a best-selling preferred brand in Mexico.

This is a full-bodied, 100% agave tequila with vibrant and striking silvery hues. Any connoisseur can immediately distinguish the symphony of beautiful aromas accentuating the delightful grapefruit citrus notes, the delicate mint, and the full-cooked agave with enhanced peppery and spice tones. The agave’s nature is distinct at all times, whether alone or as a mixer.

Best Cheap: Sauza Silver Tequila

Budget tequilas are tricky, and it is very easy to get burned when you buy the wrong one. Sauza Silver is one that wont let you down or leave your mouth on fire. It may not be as smooth as top-shelf tequilas, but it is one of the best affordable options, and its in nearly every liquor store.

Sauza is distilled in the town of Tequila and right across the street from Jose Cuervo. While both brands are famous for their cheap gold tequilas, Sauzas 100 percent blue Weber agave silver tequila is a smoother option for tequila shots when you want to save money. It makes a nice margarita as well, particularly when blended with fruits like strawberry and pineapple.

Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Fresh agave, fiber, pepper | ABV: 40% | Region: Los Valles, Jalisco

Silver tequilas are unaged and the most affordable of any brands lineup. Tequila Herradura offers a brilliant example that should be almost anywhere you look. It is premium, but not priced out of reach for the average drinker, and it always produces a great tequila cocktail.

Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Cooked agave, citrus, black pepper | ABV: 40% | Region: Tequila Valley, Jalisco

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The 30 Best Tequilas For 2022

Tequila hasnt yet claimed the crown of best-selling spirit in America both bourbon and vodka still stand in its way on that front but Mexicos famous agave distillate has firmly established itself as a staple of stateside drinking culture.

The category benefits from arriving in a range of styles, from earthy and spiced blancos to subtly aged reposados, and luxurious añejos. Those different guises provide versatility: Tequila stars in a variety of cocktails, most notably the , and proves just as adept for sipping occasions.

As interest in tequila spikes, conversations surrounding production techniques and ingredients are also gaining importance. Bottles made with additives and/or using corner-cutting equipment simply dont cut it among modern day bartenders and agave aficionados.

In this ranking of the best of the best in the category, you wont encounter blancos that taste like birthday cake or expressions stripped of all agave character because of diffusers. Instead, youll find bottles for every budget that highlight the impressive depth of styles and technique the category has to offer.

Here are the 30 best tequilas to drink in 2022.

Percent Blue Weber Agave


When shopping for tequila, look for these words on the bottle. It is easier than ever to find them because almost every tequila brand has realized that this is what drinkers really want.

Blue Weber is known as the most elegant expression of tequila. While tequila falls under the mezcal category, several distillers around the town of Tequila began distilling a superior form of mezcal. They used the whole heart of blue agave, which is indigenous to the region, describes Brian Olson, the founder and owner of Café Intermezzo.

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Best Tequilas In Mexico: Full Reviews

Last Updated on May 27, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Mexicans are the best judge when choosing the best agave spirit. It is part of their culture, and they would know high-quality tequila just by smelling or looking at it.

So, if you want to find out whats the best tequila in Mexico, read on and see if your favorite made it to the list.

Tequila Must Be 100% Agave: True

In addition to being produced in specific regions of Mexico, tequila must be 100% agave blue agave, to be exact. And something not many people know is that Mexicos agave landscape is recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.Differences in the flavor come from the aging process, from blanco to extra añejo . The aging process adds depth and complexity to the spirit.

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El Tesoro Aejo Tequila

Reserve Bar

If you want to discover an authentic Mexican tequila with a bold yet traditional flavor, then order a bottle of El Tesoro. El Tesoro may be owned by Beam Suntory, the Japanese company responsible for Suntory Whisky, but this tequila is still made from traditional methods and local agave. In fact, the grandson of founder Don Felipe Camarena oversees production today. The Añejo variety is aged in American oak bourbon barrels for up to three years, which results in a nice blend of warm agave and oak flavors. If you try this tequila neat, youll notice notes of maple, vanilla and caramel, balanced with pepper and floral tones.

Which Is The Smoothest Don Julio

How Patrón Makes Its Tequila

Ultima Reserva is the smoothest Don Julio but you have to be willing to pony up $500 USD to enjoy it. If you are not willing to go that high Don Julio 1942 is the second best and a better and more tasty tequila, in my opinion, although it has a bit of a bite at the end.

If you want to drink a smooth Don Julio on a budget then Reposado is the best choice. Its good, tasty, it does not burn and provides a rich vanilla and oaky note.

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What Are The Most Expensive Brands Of

So it’s no wonder that the most expensive bottle of in the world was created in 2008. Bombay Sapphire, Bombay Sapphire brand of Bombay Spirits Co, contains almonds, lemon zest, licorice root, orris root, angelica root, coriander, black currant, cubebs, grains of paradise and of course juniper berries.

Whats The Best Tequila For Margaritas

Honestly, its whatever you like to drink. If you enjoy a specific tequila as a shot, use it in your margarita.

Since were talking top shelf, you want to get a good quality tequila.

You also need to decide whether you want a silver or gold tequila. I prefer silver, so thats why I went with the Camarena, but feel free to use either.

Blanco tequila is unaged and has the mildest flavor profile, making it great for cocktails.

Reposado is aged for up to 3 months in barrels, so it takes on a gold-ish color and has a bit more flavor than silver.

For margarita purposes, I would stay away from añejo, which is aged from 1-3 years, because that is really meant to be sipped straight, and the nuances would be lost in a cocktail.

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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.

Jose Cuervo Tradicional Aejo



Jose Cuervo is a legacy among the best tequila brands, one that has been synonymous with the spirit for over two centuries. Although its widely known for its mixto tequila, Cuervo has some higher quality tequilas in the lineup. Its latest release in the Tradicional portfolio, Añejo combines the Cuervo family recipe with a touch of charred American oak to create a remarkably smooth tequila that might be confused for a light whiskey upon first taste. The company matures this blend for 12 months in oak barrels before spending an additional four months in Irish single malt whiskey barrels, adding unique flavors like cinnamon, caramel, and stewed figs to the tequilas already distinctive profile. Priced slightly above the $30 mark, its a fantastic value and Fathers Day gift idea thatll warm you and the big guy up any night of the year.

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Take A Sip Of This Iconic Mexican Spirit

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Liquor / Chloe Jeong

Every spirit has its momentsometimes 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, theres 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 theres 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.

How Is Tequila Different From Mezcal

Mezcal is sometimes referred to as tequilas smoky cousinbut you may be surprised to learn that tequila is actually a type of mezcal. Technically speaking, mezcal is any distillate of the agave plant produced in Mexico, and tequila certainly meets those qualifications. There are important distinctions, though: to be called tequila, the spirit in question must be made in one of five specific Mexican states , and must be made exclusively from the blue Weber variety of agave. Meanwhile, the term mezcal refers to an agave distillate made from one of nine specific Mexican states , which may be made from dozens of different agave varietieseither as a single-variety expression or as a blend. While mezcals will vary greatly in flavor profile based on agave variety and geographical origin, its not uncommon for them to have a characteristic roasty flavor from the time the agave spends roasting underground.

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Best Reposado Tequila Brands

Last Updated on June 19, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Tequila prices are skyrocketing for some reposado brands. The law of supply and demand is why tequila-makers are stepping up in their game.

If you want to know which brands are worth your money, check our list of the best reposado tequila brands.

Best Overall: Roca Patrn Silver

How to Make the Top Shelf Margarita Mixed Drink

Reserve bar

Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 45% | Tasting Notes: Smooth, Herbaceous, Black Pepper

Patron is a brand that I believe is misunderstood, says Darnell Holguin, beverage director of New York’s Las Lap. helped bring attention to the category as a whole by offering a premium spirit during a time when the U.S. was still trying to understand tequila. The Roca lineup is pricey, but noteworthy in that a giant stone wheel called a tahona is used to press the agave after cookinga traditional method that many believe extracts more flavor. Holguin describes the flavor as balanced with an herbaceous quality and a spicy, warm finish.

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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.

Clase Azul Reposado Tequila


If Casamigos is what you serve at your party, Clase Azul is what you break out for the select few invited to stick around after the crowd leaves. This may be one of the priciest options on our list, but this top-shelf tequila is worth the premium price. Clase Azuls tequila comes in this instantly recognizable bottle, which you see on the top shelf of high-end bars and restaurants. At over $100, this is a true premium spirit, with a bottle and flavor profile worthy of its price.

Made from blue agave plants in Mexico, Clase Azul Reposado Tequila features notes of spice, cream soda, apple cider, jasmine, cinnamon and honey. The bottles, meantime, are like a work of art, inspired by traditional Mexican colors and motifs. Each bottle is hand-crafted and hand-painted, so no two are alike, making Clase Azul a great gift idea as well.

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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.

Best Reposado: Olmeca Tezn Reposado Tequila

I Love Top Shelf Tequila

Los Altos is a region of Jalisco, Mexico thats known for producing some amazing tequilas. Its home to the Olmeca Distillery, the makers of Tequila Tezòn. While all of the tequilas are very enjoyable, the brands reposado is superb.

Reposado tequilas are aged for three to nine months, so theyre gently rested and pick up a perfect amount of oak flavors. Tezòn also uses a tahona wheel to extract the juice from the agave, which is an old-fashioned approach that leads to a truer taste. The result is one of the best reposado tequilas on the market and one that anyone will enjoy drinking in any way they please.

Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Roasted agave, leather, pickles | ABV: 40% | Region: Jalisco

Reposado tequila is a great middle-ground for cocktails. The mellow aged flavor can make them a fantastic choice for palomas, tequila sodas, or on the rocks. Blaze LaRoe, Beverage Director at Chikatana

Before the tequila boom of the last couple of decades, gold tequila was almost the only choice at many liquor stores. This category is a mixto meaning that its distilled from agave plant varietals other than the famous blue Weber. While gold tequilas are not as popular as they once were, theres something appealing about their caramel taste and low price. Youll want to be smart about which to drink, and Two Fingers Gold Tequila is one of the best in this category.

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Tequila Ocho Plata 2017 Single Estate Los Patos

As mentioned previously in this article, Carlos Camarena of El Tesoro is a legendary tequila maker, which is why Tomas Estes enlisted him as a partner on Tequila Ocho. Estes wanted the best, so he teamed with the best. Tequila Ocho Plata 2017 Single Estate Los Patos smells of peaches, bananas, lemongrass and straw. The list of flavors in the mix includes chamomile, rosemary, peppermint, avocado and green olives. It opens and develops in the glass like a fine wine.

How Is Tequila Produced

Making tequila is a long and detailed process that requires a mix of craftsmanship, patience and a little bit of luck. Patrón employs a seven-step approach that could take up to three years before the tequila is ready.

To start, agave plants are harvested by hand in the Jalisco Highlands, using farms that pass the Mexican Tequila Regulatory Councils yes, its a thing strict standards. The agave can only be harvested at a precise time to give off the optimal amount of sweetness without being too tart, bitter or bland. If the agave is cut from the ground too early or too late, it will compromise the quality of the tequila produced. The ideal ripeness of agave is somewhere between six to eight years thats when the plant has optimal sugar content.

After the agave is selected and harvested, it is taken to the distillery, where it is slowly cooked. The hearts of the agave plant, or piñas, are put in brick ovens and steamed to bring out the plants natural sugars . After baking for 79 hours, Patrón uses two different methods to crush the agave. The time-honored tahona process is used for the Roca lineup, where a large volcanic rock wheel crushes the roasted agave to extract the juice. For the core expressions, a roller mill is used to shred and crush the agave.

If youre going to buy tequila, heres what you need to know:

1. Its Not Tequila if Its Not Produced in the Specific Mexican States

2. There Are Different Types of Tequila

3. Not All Tequilas Are Created Equal

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