Tequila is one of the most popular spirits in the US. Whether they’re enjoying the alcohol in a handcrafted cocktail or taking shots of the fiery spirit, Americans just can’t get enough. Agave-based liquor is the second best-selling category in the United States.
There are many different flavors, types, and brands of tequilas, ranked accordingly depending on aging time, the type of agave used in the production process, and what methods are used to distill the spirit.
Both tequila and mezcal are stocked at most bars, and commonly used in popular cocktails. Anejo is an aged tequila, so it’s often served straight or on the rocks.
Tequila Anejo is aged for longer, deepening the tequila’s color and flavor during the process.
We’ve put together a list of the best Anejo tequilas available now. While each can be enjoyed sipped neat or on the rocks, Anejo tequila also adds a rich and smooth flavor to any tequila based cocktail.
Don Julio 1942
Don Julio – founded by Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada – has been distilling tequila since 1942.
This Anejo Tequila has been named in tribute to the year Don Julio began his tequila journey. The 1942 bottle is produced in small collections and aged for two and a half years.
Don Julio’s Anejo 1942 is a popular choice at upscale cocktail bars, exclusive restaurants, and some of the hottest nightclubs worldwide.
The tequila is handcrafted in Mexico, served in a tall amber bottle, and has a rich, sweet caramel and chocolate nose, with lingering oak and a clean vanilla finish.
Don Julio 1942 is often drunk neat or on the rocks. My personal favorite is using this one in a fashioned cocktail. The tequila tastes of warm oak, humble vanilla, and toasty roasted agave.
Espolon tequila is a newer tequila brand, founded by Cirilo Oropeza in 1998 after he studied distillation and the tequila craft for years.
After founding the Distiladora San Nicolas, his distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, Cirilo Oropeza began bringing his tequila dreams to life with Espolon Tequila.
Espolon’s Anejo bottle has been rated by the beverage testing institute and by the ultimate spirits challenge.
The tequila is aged for 11 months or more in American oak barrels, before being transferred to an ex-Wild Turkey bourbon barrel to develop its unique taste.
My favorite way to enjoy Espolon Anejo tequila is to sip it neatly, or on the rocks to experience the full flavor profile. The tequila has a velvety, rich, and sweet taste, with notes of caramel, vanilla, dried fruit, and chocolate.
Tequila Herradura is a family-built tequila distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. Tequila, Jalisco is the home of the blue agave plant which draws distillers from all over Mexico and the world to the area.
All official tequila is only produced in the state of Jalisco, or the neighboring municipalities.
Herradura’s award-winning Anejo tequila is handcrafted and aged in American white oak barrels for 13 months longer than the industry standard for Anejo, which is usually between 1-3 years.
Since 2006, the bottle has won 53 different awards for flavor, taste, and nose, including 18 gold awards.
The tequila is well known for its extra-long aging process which gives it that extraordinary smoothness that keeps me coming back for more.
Fortaleza tequila was founded in 2005, but the family behind the brand has been involved in the tequila distilling and producing industry since 1873.
Family member Don Javier was the first to name the ancestral distillery La Fortaleza, and later his grandson would revitalize the distillery and the brand.
Fortaleza’s Anejo bottle is made in the tequila valley, the stretch of land between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
The agave is sourced in Jalisco, crushed using the old stone method, and cooked in the original small brick oven from Fortaleza’s first distillery.
Fortaleza Anejo is aged for 18 months in American Oak barrels, the bottles are handblown in Mexico. Whenever I drink this one, I get notes of citrus, baked agave, butterscotch, and nutmeg.
El Tesoro Añejo Tequila
El Tesoro tequila was founded by Don Felipe Camarena in 1937 and his family is still involved to this day.
Don Camarena saw the possibilities in the agave and mineral-rich land of Jalisco and started his distillery – La Altena – which has remained in the family for many years since its founding.
El Tesoro Anejo tequila is made in the Jalisco highlands, where the altitude impacts the flavor of the agave, changing the taste of the spirit.
And trust me – you can taste the difference. The tequila is aged in American oak ex-bourbon barrels for two to three years, combining the sweet agave flavor with rich, toasty oak.
Today, Don Camarena’s grandson Carlos crafts El Tesoro Tequila. The Anejo label has won a double gold medal from the international spirits challenge, and I can see why.
Casamigos Tequila Añejo
Casamigos tequila was founded in 2013 by world-famous actor George Clooney and friends and has quickly picked up in popularity over the last 3-5 years.
Now owned by Diageo, a worldwide beer and spirits producer, Casamigos is known as a party tequila, especially by young people.
The Casamigos Anejo Bottle is made with blue agave from the Jalisco Highlands in Mexico, aged 7-9 years before use.
After aging, the agave is roasted in traditional ovens for three days before crushing and fermentation. A bottle of Casamigos Anejo ferments for 80 hours.
The Casamigos Anejo label has a rich caramel color reflected in the smell and nose feel of the tequila. This one is a fan favorite of mine and my wife’s thanks to its caramel, vanilla, spices, and aged barrel oak notes.
Patron is one of the most famous tequila brands worldwide and was founded in 1989 in Mexico by billionaire John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley.
The story goes that John Paul DeJoria asked Crowley to bring him back some good tequila from Mexico, and he returned with an idea.
The Patron Anejo label is available in sizes from 1.75L to 50 ml and has a 40% alcohol content. Patron distills their Anejo tequila in Jalisco, Mexico, at Hacienda Patron.
Patron creates the Anejo using 100% Weber Blue Agave and ages it for 12 months.
In my opinion, the Patron Anejo tastes like oak wood barrels, vanilla, sweet raisins, and honey. It’s a warm amber color and smells of oak wood, vanilla, and dried fruit.
Casa Noble Añejo Tequila
Casa Noble Tequila was founded in the 1990s by Jose Pepe Hermosillo. The brand’s distillery is in the tequila valley of Jalisco, Mexico, the birthplace of all official designation real agave tequila.
All the agave used in the brand’s bottles is grown and harvested at the distillery and farm.
Casa Noble’s Anejo bottle is handcrafted using 100% organic agave before aging for two years in French oak barrels.
The aging process allows the barrels to imprint complex flavors into the tequila and ensures the absolute smoothness and top-notch quality for which the brand is known.
This tequila has a phenomenal combination of flavors and notes. Heated oak, sweet butterscotch, innocent vanilla, and the traditional flavor of cooked blue agave – this one’s the real deal.
1800 Tequila was founded in 1975 by the same family that owns the economic tequila brand, Jose Cuervo.
The brand has only been importing tequila to the United States since 2008 but has quickly gained fame and notoriety in the world of spirits and the tequila production market.
The La Rojena distillery in Tequila, Jalisco, one of the oldest active distilleries in the area, is the birthplace of 1800.
1800 is created from 100% Weber blue agave from the highlands of Jalisco, peak-picked after between 8-12 years of growth. The tequila ages in French oak barrels for 14 months.
I love the spicy finish of this one, with notes of warm oak flavor, vanilla, and butterscotch.
The name 1800 is symbolic of the production year of the first bottle of real tequila. Like the name would indicate, this one is a classic.