These tequila distilleries use the very best agave plants to create their signature drink. Many of these are rising brands that haven’t received the recognition that their tequila deserves, so be sure to shop around, because there is no wrong option here. All these tequila brands have been tested by the experts contributing to this article.
#1 Don Julio Blano
According to RAVE Reviews, a leading consumer review, and advocacy site, Don Julio’s distillery uses Highland agaves, steam-cooked for 72 hours. The aquamiel, or honey water, is then collected from the crushed, cooked agave. After the aquamiel is fermented, it’s double-distilled in stainless steel pot-stills. And the tequila is bottled immediately with no extra aging.
On the nose, Don Julio is bright. Fresh agave aromas are supported by some lemon and grapefruit. On the palate, smokiness sits alongside pear. These flavors persist through the finish, when the all-important flavor of agave makes a return appearance, as well as some traces of pepper, trailing off long after the last sip is complete. We suggest replacing the rum in your next mojito with Don Julio Blanco. Or simply shake this tequila with ice and serve it neat for a refreshing, cool treat on a hot afternoon.
#2 Camarena Tequila
Camarena, the most awarded tequila, has a smooth yet diverse portfolio of tequilas, all harvested by hand from 100% blue weber agave in the Jalisco’s Arandas Highlands and then distilled through a proprietary method that blends traditional ovens and modern techniques, making Camarena’s award winning Silver, Reposado and Anejo Tequilas some of the smoothest tequilas on the market, at an affordable price under $25.
#3 Jaja Tequila
The most vibrant, small batch tequila crafted by creatives, for creatives makes the perfect spritzer, Paloma or margarita for any party. This agave elixir breaks the mold with its beautiful packaging and meticulous distillation process in the brand’s birthplace of Jalisco, delivering a smooth and elevated taste. JAJA is sweet and herbal – inspired by the lightness of free-spirited days and intimate nights, perfect for bringing color to any summer outing! The brand comes in two selections – JAJA Blanco ($34.99) and JAJA Reposado ($39.99). and can be shipped right to your doorstep and is available is over 2,000 retailers across the country.
#4 El Mayor
Over four generations, the makers at El Mayor have been hard at work perfecting the art and craft of growing agave and distilling tequila. El Mayor tequila is meticulously aged to perfection in American white oak barrels from nine months to upwards of three-and-a-half years.
Exotico is handcrafted with tradition by the Gonzalez Distillery – a family distillery spanning three generations and one of Mexico’s most respected makers of tequila. It all begins with 100% Weber Blue Agave grown in the Highlands of Jalisco. Exotico is twice distilled using traditional pot stills by the Master Distiller to obtain the richest parts of the “spirits” to produce the unique Exotico flavor..
#6 Casamigos Respasados
Besides all the celebrity endorsements, Casamigos has developed high end brands perfect for tequila lovers around the globe. They have developed some of the best sipping tequilas for enthusiasts and have tirelessly worked to differentiate tequila from its previous image as a spring break accessory, to the spirit for the highbrow, distinguished jet-setting archetype.
Casamigos Respasado has a luxurious flavor profile highlighted by hints of caramel and vanilla. It remains as the perfect choice for those looking to explore the benefits of exploring tequila as a sipping spirit.
#7 Grand Mayan Tequila
Grand Mayan’s handcrafted tequila is produced with the purest central-highland Blue Agave and with the highest standards of production. Each unique ceramic decanter is handcrafted, individually numbered, and painted by local Mexican artists in Mexico City, making each bottle a piece of artwork.
In the premium tequila category, patrón leads the pack as far as the best of the best and has for years despite the higher price tag. The Roca range really stands out, with a more agave-forward flavor and a finer processing (piñas are crushed solely using a traditional tahona stone instead of a mill). It’s perfect for a treat and a great sipping tequila.
With a sleek and modern aesthetic, Milagro is a relatively new addition to the tequila world (from 1997). With notes of spice and sweet, Milagro is soft and has a subtle floral undertone that gives it a special flair. The full range has a lot of selections to choose from, including a special favorite- Unico II, a blend of silver and aged tequila that is filtered to remove the color. This is definitely a treat to try once if you’re a tequila fan.
The recommendations of items within this article where sourced from industry experts. Their names and websites are listed below.
Willaim Kennedy from RAVE Reviews
Steed Johnson from DIVIDE
Devan Pucci from Autumn Communications
Nicole from Luxco
Joe DiRosa from BerksLuxury
Erika Brown from MS Walker
Beverly Friedmann from MyFoodSubscriptions