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The 12 Best Tequilas to Drink in 2023

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Tequila is experiencing something of a golden age right now. Aside from the litany of celebrities making their own branded tequilas in recent years, the international market for Mexico’s national spirit is booming. Perhaps it’s the celebrity caché, the increased popularity of margaritas, or plain old coincidence, but whatever the case, there are more tequila brands offerings than ever before, which is why we thought now was the perfect time to round up the best tequilas to drink.

Not all tequilas are created equal, however, and there remain loads of terrible bottles out there that will make you feel like a steamroller fell on you after a night out. Namely, you want to only consume tequilas made with 100% blue agave and avoid any “mixtos” that don’t boast this designation — otherwise, you’re gonna have a bad time. Due to the spirit’s ubiquitousness, it can be overwhelming looking for a great tequila, which is why we selflessly researched and tried many tequilas to create a comprehensive list of the best bottles on the market. These tequilas are all premium-tasting and made with high levels of craftsmanship, all while covering the entire price point spectrum. So sit back, relax, and pour yourself a glass, shot, or cocktail as we dive into the best tequilas you can drink right now.

Best Tequila Breakdown

What Is Tequila?

A Distilled Summary

Tequila is the national drink of Mexico and can only be called such if it comes from the Tequila region of Mexico, similar to how Champagne must be made in the Champagne region of France. It’s made by toasting and distilling blue agave and then aging the distilled liquid anywhere from seven days to five years. After the tequila ages, it can be classified into five distinct categories: Blanco (the least aged), Joven, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo (the most aged). Typically, Blancos exist on the cheaper end of the price spectrum while Extra Añejos are on the more expensive end, however, there are premium standouts in all categories that deserve to be enjoyed by all.

Types of Tequila

Blanco: The lower end of the tequila spectrum is blanco, or silver, tequila. Aged no longer than 60 days, these spirits are often hotter than their higher-aged compatriots. With more earthy and peppery notes, these tequilas are popular options for margaritas.

Joven: Rare and versatile amidst other types, joven, or oro, tequila (which is different than “gold” tequila, which is not 100% agave) is a blend of joven and aged tequilas. Like a blended Scotch, they’re often hit or miss but can be sipped straight or thrown into a cocktail.

Reposado: Aged in either European or American oak barrels between two months and a year, reposado is one of the more common types of tequila. A nice combination of agave flavors with oakiness, reposado is a nice middle ground for tequila lovers.

Añejo: Aged anywhere from one to three years in oak casks, añejo tequila holds more complex flavors than its younger brethren. Darker notes of spice, citrus, and caramel come through. These are going to be more expensive and should almost exclusively be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

Extra Añejo: The most expensive of the bunch, extra añejo is aged for a minimum of three years. Up until 2006, this category wasn’t even officially recognized but has since become a favorite of diehard connoisseurs. Very cask dominant, the oaky tequila also features some qualities of the younger añejo or even reposado, but with a creamier and thicker mouth feel.

Tequila Vs. Mezcal

Much like bourbon to whiskey, tequila is a subset of mezcal and adheres to stricter guidelines for production. While both spirits must be made in Mexico and distilled from agave plants, mezcal can be made in one of nine Mexican states, while tequila must be made in the town of Tequila in Jalisco. Moreover, tequila must use a specific variety of agave called Blue Weber. Conversely, Mezcal can distill from any of the 40-something agave varieties.

Mezcal’s smokiness comes from the way the agave hearts (or piñas) are prepared. Prior to distillation, the piñas are fire-roasted inside a pit that’s covered by leaves to preserve the smoke. On the other hand, tequila is much cleaner because it bakes its piñas inside ovens instead.

Espolón Blanco

Best Cheap Tequila: Espolón Blanco is distilled in the heart of Jalisco and is one of the best-valued tequilas you’ll find on the market. As the story goes, Master Distiller Cirilo Oropeza blasts rock music to inspire the tequila every time he’s distilling a new batch. Whether or not that is the reason for this spirit’s success, the result is undeniably delicious. On the nose, Espolón offers a delicate mix of agave, fruity, and floral notes that transition into a similarly bright, peppery, spicy, and fruity palate. Everything comes to a head with its crisp, spicy finish.

Type: Blanco
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Agave, fruity, floral, peppery, spice

Casamigos Reposado

Best Reposado for Margaritas: Originally co-founded by George Clooney, Casamigos proves that not all celebrity tequila ventures are a gimmick (there are a LOT out there). In fact, the brand is a shining example of excellent craftsmanship in the tequila space. While all of its tequilas are fantastic, Casamigos’ Reposado tequila is particularly exquisite. Its Reposado is aged for seven months in American white oak casks, picking up the essence and flavor of the premium whiskey the casks formerly held. What results is an amazing tequila with an aromatic mix of spices, nutty aromas, and vanilla. From there, the palate is fantastic, featuring notes of caramel, cocoa, and hints of spices and tobacco. It all crescendos to a sweet, peppery, and satisfying finish.

Type: Reposado
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Caramel, cocoa, spices, tobacco, peppery

Fortaleza Blanco Tequila

Best Blanco: One would be hard-pressed to find a more well-respected tequila distillery than the Destileria La Fortaleza. With its roots spanning back to the 1800s, Fortaleza shut its doors in 1968 before reopening with a vengeance in 1999. Since then, it has been making some of the most premium-quality tequila in the world. Its Blanco tequila is a top-notch offering, with an agave-forward nose that features earthy notes of pepper, citrus, and vegetal hints. The palate is mouthwatering and mirrors the nose with a similarly agave-forward taste that blends with earthy spices like cinnamon and pepper. Expect a satisfyingly hot finish to this standout Blanco.

Type: Blanco
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Pepper, earthy, citrus, vegetal, cinnamon

Mijenta Tequila Blanco

Mijenta Blanco

Best Small-Batch Tequila: Mijenta is another standout tequila brand that has been making waves in the space with its premium-tasting spirits. While its Joven tequila is incredibly well-known, it could be argued that Mijenta’s Blanco tequila is the best of its stout lineup. Its shimmering body gives off aromas of cooked agave, vanilla, caramel, and floral hints of cantaloupe and peaches. On the palate, Mijenta Blanco is agave-forward while also giving way to notes of vanilla, fresh fruit, and cinnamon. These wonderful flavors work in harmony to a bright and spicy finish.

Type: Blanco
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, agave, fruit, cinnamon

1800 Cristalino Añejo

Best Cristalino: Probably the most innovative tequila on our list, 1800 Cristalino Añejo is a truly unique take on the Añejo style. After being aged in American and French oak for 16 months and then being finished in Port casks for 6 months, the tequila goes through a unique filtration process that strips it of its color. The result is a crystal-clear Añejo (called Cristalino) with a nose that offers notes of cooked agave, oak, vanilla, and black pepper. Its smooth palate is similarly enticing, featuring a similar blend of cooked agave, vanilla, oak, and black pepper with noticeable hints of caramel added to the mix. Expect a balanced finish of pepper and agave.

Type: Añejo
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Cooked agave, vanilla, oak, black pepper, caramel


Patron El Cielo

Best Premium Blanco: While a normal tequila undergoes double or triple distillation, Patrón has recently debuted the first-ever quadruple-distilled version of the spirit in hopes of eventually changing the stigma surrounding silver tequila. The first prestige offering in the blanco category, El Cielo was the result of over 150 tasting sessions by Master Distiller David Rodriguez to find the perfect profile. Distilling makes for a smoother sipping experience, so the extra step for El Cielo has lessened the peppery heat and amped up the sweet and fruity notes, with definite touches of cooked agave still present, which blanco tequila advocates fawn over.

Type: Blanco
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Peppery, fruity, cooked agave

Don Julio Añejo 1942

Best Añejo: One of the most popular Añejos on the market, Don Julio Añejo 1942 is achingly delicious. The pride of the aforementioned La Primavera Distillery, it takes eight pounds of agave and a two-and-a-half-year aging process to make one bottle of this Mexican ambrosia. On the nose, expect a synergistic mix of caramel, chocolate, and vanilla, complemented by hints of oak and roasted agave. The complex palate leverages the richness of the vanilla while also giving way to notes of oak, caramel, butterscotch, and pepper. Drinkers will be left with a lingering, sweet finish of vanilla.

Type: Añejo
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, oak, caramel, butterscotch, pepper

Clase Azul Reposado

Best Reposado: As far as tequila goes, Clase Azul is as iconic as they come. From the taste to its decanter, everything about this tequila is magnificent, which is why it’s consistently a crowd favorite. Its golden body has a heavenly aromatic mix of vanilla, honey, oak, and orange, which translates to a delectable palate that features more vanilla, hazelnut, ground spices, and sweet agave. Clase Azul’s finish is as sweet, smooth, and satiating as its beginning. You’ll never go wrong with this Reposado.

Type: Reposado
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, hazelnut, ground spices, sweet agave

Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia

Best Extra Añejo Under $200: Out of Jose Cuervo’s legendary line of tequilas, its Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo reigns supreme. Not only is it heralded as the world’s first Extra Añejo tequila, but it also received a near-perfect score from the Beverage Tasting Institute. The body is a gorgeous dark amber with sweet aromas of oak, apples, cinnamon, and a hint of olives. Its palate is a wonderful blend of oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and toasted almonds, which builds to a long-lasting, silky smooth finish.

Type: Extra Añejo
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Oak, vanilla, cinnamon, toasted almonds

Casa Dragones Joven

Best Joven: Not only is it the best Joven tequila in the world, but also it’s one of the best overall tequilas, period. While true Joven tequilas are rare to find alone, Casa Dragones Joven redefines what a Joven should be. It’s a perfect blend of Blanco and Añejo that is unfathomably delicious. Its nose has subtle notes of citrus and sweet agave with floral undertones. On the palate, Casa Dragones sports the spice of an elite Blanco with the smoothness and softness of an Añejo due to its spiced vanilla undertones. For its finish, imbibers can look forward to warm notes of hazelnuts.

Type: Joven
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Floral, spice, vanilla, hazelnut

Tears of Llorona Extra Ańejo

Best Extra Añejo: For its taste and its beauty, Tears of Llorona Extra Ańejo is widely recognized as one of the best Extra Añejos on the market. Over the course of its five-year aging process, it matures in former scotch, sherry, and cognac casks to develop a one-of-a-kind flavor profile. Its nose has a subtle blend of oak, cooked agave, vanilla, and caramel, while its palate has a similar alchemy of flavors and surprising undertones of smoke for a unique mouthfeel. The finish is as complex as the palate, sporting notes of earthy spices along with raisins, oak, and caramel.

Type: Extra Añejo
ABV: 43%
Tasting Notes: Earthy spice, oak, cooked agave, vanilla, caramel, smoke

Herradura Seleccion Suprema Extra Añejo Tequila

Best for Special Guests: When “Supreme” is in your name, you better have the goods, and boy does Herradura Seleccion Suprema Extra Añejo Tequila prove it is more than worthy of such a moniker. It is matured in American white oak casks for more than four years, a process that allows the spirit to develop a deep, rich body. For its nose, this tequila boasts a citrus-forward mix of caramelized vanilla, rose petals, and cinnamon. The citrus theme extends to the complex palate, which is fruit-forward and offers notes of the aforementioned zesty fruit alongside apples, vanilla, and caramel. For the finish, the citrus subsides to give way to a smooth mouthfeel with notes of spices that will leave you wanting more.

Type: Extra Añejo
ABV: 40%
Tasting Notes: Citrus, apple, vanilla, caramel, spices

The Best Mezcals To Drink Right Now

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Now that you’ve seen some of the best tequilas the market has to offer, check out our complete guide to the best mezcals to explore the smoky goodness produced by agave plants.