12 Best Tequila Brands to Drink Right Now

We're calling attention to the tequila makers who use traditional methods—with a few exceptions.

12 Best Tequila Brands to Drink Right Now
12 Best Tequila Brands to Drink Right Now

People are in love with their spirit to the south, tequila. Year after yr, the class continues to develop in the States, in keeping with the Distilled Spirits Council. Neglect about mixto, the subpar mix of agave and sugar juice that inevitably leaves you with a foul hangover. We’re speaking 100-percent blue agave tequila (truly a sub-category of mezcal), which might solely be distilled in 5 Mexican states.

The traditional method of making tequila entails harvesting agave, cooking the piñas (the center of the plant) in an oven, crushing them with the tahona (a big stone wheel), after which fermenting and distilling the juice and fiber. After all, know-how has superior and a few distilleries use more trendy methods, changing the tahona with a mill and even utilizing one thing known as a diffuser to “cook dinner” the agave. A diffuser is principally a large machine that extracts sugar utilizing hot water (and generally sulfuric acid). This leads to what some unflatteringly name “agavodka,” which is usually infused with additives to spice up the flavour.

Naturally, this method is unappealing to hardcore tequila fans who consider diffuser-made tequila is an inferior product. but some argue that utilizing a diffuser truly makes tequila cheaper and due to this fact accessible to more individuals. Total, tequila makers aren’t very forthcoming about using diffusers, which is a part of the issue—transparency goes a long way in the spirits industry.

For this record, we tried to concentrate on Brands that use traditional methods, with some exceptions. And we could not embrace all the pieces—even George Clooney’s child Casamigos, which was offered to Diageo for near a billion {dollars} in 2017, did not make the minimize. Finally, no matter whether or not a brick oven, stainless steal autoclave oven, or diffuser was used to make the tequila, it’s all about style. So listed below are 12 of an important and iconic tequila Brands out there Right now. Attempt all of them and determine for your self.

Patrón

Patrón helped to outline premium tequila when it launched over 1 / 4 century in the past. The whole lot from the bottle design to the marketing to the upper price ticket was meant to strengthen its place as a higher-end spirit, and it labored. These days the premium tequila class is flourishing, and Patrón (now owned by Bacardi) stays top-of-the-line, with the Roca vary on the forefront. Roca differs from the usual Patrón lineup in that the piñas are crushed solely utilizing a standard tahona stone as an alternative of a mill, leading to a more agave-forward taste. (Patrón makes use of a mix of the tahona and mill for its core vary.) All of this provides as much as an ideal sipping tequila, whether or not it’s the silver, reposado, or añejo expression.

Casa Noble

Casa Noble is one of a number of organic-certified tequila Brands, but that’s not why it’s good. No, that is good tequila as a result of it’s a crisp, spicy, flavorful, and really versatile spirit. There’s a joven expression out there, which is a blanco that’s been aged for simply six weeks in a barrel, one thing many Brands don’t supply. but what actually units Casa Noble other than the competitors are its distinctive single barrel choices. There are at present two out there, an oaky reposado and a wealthy further añejo, each of that are matured in French oak casks. While a number of other tequila Brands also supply single barrel expressions, Casa Noble consistently releases a number of the finest.

El Tesoro

El Tesoro has the ability of Beam Suntory behind it so far as ownership, but the tequila stands sturdy by itself with a historical past dating again to the 1930s. From blanco to añejo, El Tesoro produces wonderful sipping tequilas, with vegetal notes that play properly with the candy agave undercurrent. For one thing actually particular, strive El Tesoro Paradiso (that includes a newly redesigned label), a fancy further añejo tequila aged for 5 years in French cognac barrels that pops on the palate with bursts of vanilla and fruit. El Tesoro claims to be the primary tequila model to make use of cognac casks for maturation, in addition to making the primary further añejo in the ’80s, which it known as “muy añejo” on the time.

Espolòn

Espolòn, a part of the Campari America household, is a cheap tequila possibility that also bursts with notes of agave and spice. The distillery, situated in the Highlands of Jalisco, cooks the piñas in trendy autoclaves as an alternative of traditional ovens. The tequila is then distilled in each pot and column stills, and the aged expressions use smaller virgin American oak barrels with a lighter No. 2 char, though the añejo is rested for an more two months in closely charred barrels that after held Wild Turkey (also a part of the Campari household). Total, Espolòn is a stable possibility when you’re in search of a reliable tequila that doesn’t value a lot.

Milagro

Milagro is a relatively latest addition to the tequila world, created by two pals in 1997. Apparently, they’d a good amount of foresight about the future recognition of the class, and William Grant and Sons bought the model in 2006. Milagro bottles are immediately recognizable—tall, glossy, trendy wanting, and utterly totally other from another tequila presentation on the market. The liquid inside is tender and barely floral with notes of candy and spice. Along with the core lineup, there’s also the Choose Barrel Reserve vary (aged in each French and American oak), and Unico II, a mix of silver and aged tequila that’s filtered to take away the colour.

Partida

Partida, one other newcomer on the scene, is called after the late agave farmer Enrique Partida. The model got here collectively in the early 2000s with the intention of making one other high-end entry in the premium tequila area. On the distillery, the agave is cooked in autoclaves earlier than being fermented and double pot-distilled. It’s a beautiful spirit—notably the blanco, which is a remarkably vibrant un-aged tequila that sips very properly by itself and also works effectively in cocktails.

Herradura

Herradura is Brown-Forman’s standard flagship premium tequila model. A number of other Brands are produced on the similar distillery, just like the cheaper El Jimador, which can be rumored to make use of the diffuser method as an alternative of ovens to cook dinner the agave. but Herradura formally says that solely clay ovens are used for its portfolio. Along with the core vary, there are particular bottlings just like the Double Barrel Reposado, which is aged for an more 30 days in new charred barrels after an preliminary 11 months in oak, and the additional añejo Seleccion Suprema, which is aged for 49 months in white oak barrels.

Clase Azul

The value tag is likely to be excessive, but the spirit inside the attractive bottles of Clase Azul is elegant and flavorful. Based on a distillery rep, the model doesn’t use diffusers, solely stone ovens to cook dinner the agave, and no additives are used to taste or colour the tequila. The bottles themselves are towering ceramic items handmade in the city of Santa Maria Canchesda. Maybe that helps clarify the hefty price ticket, which might attain as excessive as $1,700 for the Extremely expression (it’s aged for 5 years in sherry casks and bottled in a decanter with platinum, silver, and gold embroideries). In actual fact, the model encourages you to upcycle your bottle after it’s empty and switch it right into a lamp or use it for the legs of a bedside desk.

Corralejo

The historical past behind Tequila Corralejo dates again a number of centuries to the founding of Hacienda Corralejo in 1755. These days agave piñas are gradual roasted for 27 hours earlier than being distilled utilizing the Charentaise distillation method, taken from the French strategy of distilling cognac. This principally implies that the tequila is distilled for a second time in alembic copper pot stills, together with a number of other particulars, but it surely’s also a pleasant marketing story to assist set it aside. Luckily, the tequila lives as much as the hype, with the reposado and añejo growing old in American oak, and some other merchandise just like the triple-distilled reposado and a few further añejo expressions.

Don Julio

Don Julio, which is owned by Diageo, has been round for near a century. The model is legendary for its 1942 expression, an añejo aged for at least two and a half years that has change into an emblem of high-end, luxurious tequila—and a staple of the nightclub scene. but the remainder of the vary is price trying out as effectively, such because the just lately launched Reposado Double Cask that was completed in Buchanan’s whisky barrels. Based on an announcement from a model consultant, the agave piñas are “steam cooked in traditional masonry ovens for 3 days.”

Jose Cuervo

Sure, Jose Cuervo deserves a spot on this record, haters be damned. The model is big and has permeated the public consciousness. For a few years the Especial mixto vary was the one publicity to tequila that People ever had. but shoppers are higher educated now and have hopefully moved on from mixtos and prepackaged margaritas, as a result of Cuervo truly has some fairly good 100-percent agave tequila in its lineup, notably the Reserva de la Familia. This further añejo is made up of tequila that’s aged for not less than three years and might embrace liquid as much as 30 years outdated that’s “hand chosen” from the Cuervo household’s “personal assortment,” in keeping with the model. The packaging is sweet to have a look at as effectively, as Cuervo collaborates with a special Mexican artist every year. Give this one a attempt to erase these disagreeable mixto memories for good.

Gran Centenario

Gran Centenario is a cheap tequila model that’s owned by Casa Cuervo and imported and distributed by Proximo Spirits. The agave is cooked utilizing each traditional ovens and diffusers, in keeping with the model, to create varied taste profiles. There are three important expressions out there: plata (aged for as much as seven weeks in oak), reposado (4 months), and añejo (16 months). Gran Centenario makes use of one thing known as the “Seleccion Suave” course of, by which it blends collectively newly rested and aged tequilas for a few of its merchandise. Search for distinctively earthy, nearly smoky notes right here that set this tequila aside.

 

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