Take a voyage through the diverse realm of agave spirits and discover the subtle distinctions between the best options for sipping. Gulping down agave spirits is a fine art that transcends quick shots and salt-rimmed glasses. We explore agave-infused cocktails in this exploration, which takes the experience to a new level of sophistication. From the crisp complexity of reposados to the earthy aromas of aged añejos, each flavor narrates a tale of craftsmanship and heritage. Join us as we uncover the mysteries of the top sipping tequilas that merit a spot in your glass and introspective enjoyment, whether you’re an experienced drinker or a curious novice.
Don Julio 1942
Don Julio is the fourth most popular tequila in the world. The 1942 bottle was introduced in 2002, celebrating the brand’s 60th anniversary. The bottle’s unique shape and size were designed to replicate the leaves of the agave plant, with a blue-green label in agave’s signature colors. At almost 18 inches tall, Don Julio’s 1942 is easily recognized on shelves, or more often in nightclubs, VIP booths, and pictures with wealthy socialites and stars. 1942 is aged two and a half years to make it as smooth as possible. This tequila is ideal for sipping neat or on the rocks, but my favorite way to enjoy it is mixed into my favorite tequila cocktails.
Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
Clase Azul was founded in 1997 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in the heart of the tequila valley. Founder Arturo Lomeli built a brand that now produces some of the most highly sought-after exclusive bottles in the world. Clase Azul is only sold in the United States, Europe, and at some premium resorts in Mexico. Clase Azul Reposado is made with slow cooked Blue Weber Agave from Jalisco. The tequila is aged for eight months in American ex-whiskey casks, the casks give the spirit its distinctive hazelnut and vanilla tasting notes. Clase Azul Reposado should be sipped, and I love pairing it with rich foods such as pork, cheese, and chocolate.
Mijenta Tequila Reposado
Mijenta is a brand steeped in legend, dedicated to the preservation of Mexican heritage and sharing it with the world. The legend of Mayahuel, the goddess of the agave plant, and the rabbits that came from her union with the god of Pulque, a fermented drink, is what inspired the brand’s bunny label. Mijenta Tequila Reposado is a premium tequila made in small batches. The tequila is aged for 6 months in American white oak, French oak, and French acacia barrels. Primarily Mijenta Tequila Reposado is made to be sipped neat or on the rocks. In the past, I’ve paired it with soft cheese, Asian dishes, and even game meat.
Tears of Llorona Extra Añejo Tequila
Tears of Llorona is an exclusive tequila brand featuring spirits made by Master Distiller German Gonzalez Gorrochotegui. Gorrochotegui is one of the most famous distillers of tequila, and his father created Chinaco, which was the first ultra-premium tequila imported into the United States from Mexico. The tequila is made using traditional methods of harvesting, roasting, and fermentation. Tears of Llorona’s Extra Añejo Tequila is made in small batches and can be hard to find. The tequila is made using traditional methods of harvesting, roasting, and fermentation. It’s well-rated as a sipping tequila and recommended to whiskey drinkers for its deep, rich flavor. To best enjoy it, Master Gorrochotegui recommends sipping out of a specialized tequila or whisky glass. Trust me on this one – you want to follow this advice.
Avión Extra Añejo Reserva 44
Avion Tequila has won multiple awards for its silver, añejo, reposado, and reserva bottles. The blue agave for the liquor is grown in Jesus Maria, Jalisco in Mexico. Jesus Maria has an altitude of over 2,000 meters, and the agave grows for 7-10 years before the harvest and roasting process can begin. Avion’s Añejo Reserva 44 is an extra añejo tequila, handcrafted in small batches and named after the 44 different notes and flavors found inside it. After the agave is roasted in brick ovens for three days and distilled, the tequila ages 36 months in American ex-bourbon casks and emerges with a deep amber hue. The most pronounced flavors in my opinion are honey, oak, and almonds.
Chamucos Reposado Tequila
Chamucos Tequila was founded by a film director and hand-blown glassblower Antonio Urrutia and Cesar Hernandez in 1992. The brand’s first label, Chamucos Reposado, premiered in Mexico and the United States in 1994. It was followed by Chamucos Blanco, and Chamucos Añejo in 2009 and 10. Chamucos Reposado was the first bottle produced by Chamucos Tequila and is notable for its fruity, sweet, and spicy flavors. The bottle is well-liked as a sipping tequila because of its velvet-smooth taste and a soft finish that warms without overheating. I enjoyed the sweet and luxurious agave, toffee, and cinnamon notes in the tequila.
Casa Noble Añejo
Casa Noble is a traditionally made tequila created at a distillery near Tequila, Jalisco. The brand is committed to making spirits the right way, and founder and Tequilero Jose Hermosillo pours that commitment into every bottle the brand produces. The agave grown on the Casa Noble estate for Casa Noble tequila is certified organic. The Añejo label from Casa Noble is aged for two years in French oak casks, giving it a smoother, softer taste and a more delicate, warm finish. Whenever I sip Casa Noble Añejo, it tastes just like sun-soaked oak, sweet butterscotch and vanilla, and the roasted agave that makes up the tequila.
Casa Dragones Joven
Casa Dragones is a new tequila distillery and brand founded in 2009 by media executive Robert Pittman and Master Tequilera Bertha González. Though new to the industry, Casa Dragones tequila has quickly become admired. Forbes rates it a cult hit and the top tequila choice for tastemakers. Casa Dragones Joven label is made only in small batches, a combination of agave silver tequila and extra-aged tequila. Before it’s bottled, the tequila ages and rests in American oak barrels, ensuring the smooth, soft taste of the tequila when sipped. Casa Dragones Joven is a tequila made specifically for sipping out of specialty glass – which I can highly recommend acquiring for yourself for the full experience.
Tequila Ocho Plata
Tequila Ocho is another brand that is new to the tequila industry. Founded by Master Tequilero Carlos Camarena and Tomas Estes in 2007, the brand’s Plata label has won a Chairman’s Trophy from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge and been recognized by Forbes Magazine. The Tequila Ocho Plata label is (like all of Tequila Ocho’s bottles) made with additive-free agave essence, harvested from only the ripest blue agave in Jalisco, Mexico. I love that the tequila has citrus notes, herbs and spices, sweet honey, and roasted pepper. It has a 40% alcohol content and has a crisp, bright finish with a touch of natural flavor.
El Tesoro Paradiso Extra Añejo Tequila
El Tesoro tequila is made in the traditional style at La Alteña distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, the birthplace of tequila. At La Alteña in the Jalisco highlands, artisans create the treasure aka El Tesoro. Master Distiller Carlos Camarena oversees the tequila harvest, roasting, and distilling process before it’s aged and bottled. El Tesoro Paradiso Extra Añejo Tequila ages five years in French oak ex-Cognac barrels to seal in flavor and achieve the smoothest taste possible. The tequila is made in cooperation with Alain Royer of the Cognac family and has won the gold medal and 95/100 points in the International Spirits Challenge. I love the peppery taste and feel of this one as it goes down, and there’s a smooth taste of toffee that sneaks through as well.
Fortaleza Tequila was launched in 2005, but the Fortaleza family has been in the distillery and tequila business for over 100 years. The family’s distillery was revamped in 1999 and eventually began roasting agave, fermenting and distilling the tequila traditionally. The winter blend of Fortaleza Reposado won a Best New Spirit Award from Tales of the Cocktail. Fortaleza Reposado is double distilled and has a 40% alcohol content once bottled. The tequila is made with non-additive organic agave essence and aged in American Oak bottles. Fortaleza’s bottles are hand-blown in Mexico before being shipped to the United States. I adored the citrus, apple, and cinnamon flavors in this tequila. Tequilas created for sipping will be smooth, with a soft mouthfeel and a warm and inviting finish. They’re often Anejo’s Extra Anejo’s or Reposado tequilas and are best enjoyed neat or on the rocks rather than inside a cocktail.