The 16 Best Sipping Tequilas
"Tequila has come a very long way from its early harsh days and its
The Distilled Spirits Council also reports that the super-premium category of tequila has seen a whopping 706-percent growth since 2002, and the trade association's spokeswoman Kelley McDonough says that the agave spirit is "no longer only associated with celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo or enjoyed in pre-batched frozen margaritas at a beach bar."
So sit back, grab a few of these bottles, and see for yourself why tequila is well on its way to becoming the next liquor to appeal to
This white ceramic, hand painted decanter holds some pretty tasty reposado tequila. While it's only "rested" for eight months (in used American oak barrels) after the distillation process, it's got a rich, sweet flavor and drinks as if it's been aged as long as something much older.
Not content to limit his liquor holdings to vodka, P. Diddy partnered with Diageo, the world's largest spirits producer, to buy DeLeón Tequila last year (their previous partnership, Ciroc Vodka, was a runaway success). He was clearly VERY excited about the purchase. The tequila is produced in Purísima del Rincón and aged for 12 months in new French Oak. The most unique aspect, though, is probably the gold ball on top of the stopper.
Casa Dragones is labeled as a sipping tequila—for good reason. At $299, this isn't something you're going to shoot or mix in a margarita. It's made completely from estate-grown blue agave in Tequila, Mexico, and the brand's maestro tequilero finishes each bottle by balancing the majority of unaged platinum tequila with a hint of ultra-aged extra añejo (the result is known as a "Joven" tequila). Its ridiculous smoothness will leave you wanting another sip tout de suite.
Piedra Extra Añejo
Patron kicked off the premium tequila movement, so it's no surprise that the brand is now offering one of the most expensive and aged extra an?ejos on the market. Unlike most tequilas, Gran Patron Piedra ("piedra" is Spanish for "stone") is produced using a very traditional process of using a stone wheel (called a "
Diddy isn't the only celebrity in the tequila game. George Clooney and Rande Gerber started Casamigos based on their love of sharing tequila at their neighboring houses in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What began with just a
Platinum Extra Anejo Tequila
Qui is the world's first platinum (clear) extra-añejo. A proprietary filtration system transforms the dark amber color the liquid takes on after the aging process (after three-and-a-half years in American whiskey and French Bordeaux barrels) back to a clear liquid. The system, Qui says, was created to eliminate the harsh alcohol smell some tequilas have, along with the harsh burn typically found on the finish of tequila (know as the "
UWA uses single malt whiskey casks shipped from Scotland specifically to age the blend. After seven months of aging, the Reposado's fruity agave becomes full of spicy and oaky notes.
Riazul's Añejo tequila is distilled twice and then aged for two years in Cognac barrels. The unique barrels, made from wood indigenous to a forest in burgundy noted for naturally ingrained vanilla tannins, separate this tequila from the rest of the bunch.
Tequila Barrel Select Reserve Reposado
Milagro's Select Barrel Reserve Reposado is distilled twice (first in a pot still, then in a column still) and rested for three to six months in American and French oak barrels, but the coolest part of this tequila might be the packaging. Inside the bottle is a mini sculpture of an agave plant.
This limited-edition añejo was created for the 60th anniversary of Don Julio. Its name commemorates the year Don Julio González opened his first tequila distillery. It's aged in oak barrels for more than a year, giving it a natural golden brown color and a smooth taste.
Tres Agaves uses only Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels in the 18-month aging process for its añejo, giving it strong notes of caramel and a slightly sweet finish. If you're tempted to try a margarita, the company's organic mix is the best tasting mix I've tried so far.
Reserva 44, Avión's "bespoke" extra añejo, is aged for 43 months in oak barrels and then aged for an additional month in specially selected "petite" barrels, which are rotated daily. Each fire-polished crystal bottle is hand numbered and signed by Ken Austin, who founded the brand after being president of Marquis
Housed in a handmade black glass bottle, Espolòn's limited-edition Extra Añejo X is really made for sipping. It's barrel-aged for six years and features notes of vanilla, nutmeg, white peppercorn, and cocoa nibs. The label was inspired by noted Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada and pays tribute to the classic Mexican art form of
Reposado Buffalo Trace
The brand's Reposado Buffalo Trace was aged for 10-and-a-half months in barrels that previously held Buffalo Trace bourbon. The Buffalo Trace distillery, by the way, also produces the nearly impossible-to-find Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, so you could say this robust and creamy liquid is as close to Pappy tequila as you can get.
Reserva De La Familia Extra Anejo
This is not the Jose Cuervo of your college spring break days. Reserva de la Familia was the world’s first extra-añejo tequila, and it's aged for a minimum of three years in French and American oak barrels. According to the brand, it's "best served in a snifter, allowing for full appreciation of its flavors, aroma, and velvety finish."
Seleccion Suprema Tequila
Herradura Seleccion Suprema Extra Añejo Tequila is made using agave harvested exclusively from the Casa Herradura estate. It's aged for a minimum of four years in American white oak casks that formerly held Kentucky bourbon, and the resulting liquid has aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.