Mandatory Staff Picks: The 10 Best Premium Tequilas
For many, college is a time when an evening isn’t complete without at least one shot of bottom-shelf tequila (and the ensuing hangover). But, post-college, tequila is a different story. If you didn’t overdo it in the tequila department during your university experience, you might branch out and actually try some higher-priced tequilas. If you do, you’ll realize the Blue Weber agave-based spirit is so much more than part of a combination with salt and lime. It’s a well-made, nuanced, flavorful spirit perfect for slow sipping over an ice cube or two on a hot, summer day.
It’s also the base of some of the best warm-weather cocktails (margarita, paloma, etc.). But, all in all, there are many premium tequila brands ripe for discovery if you’re willing to fork over a little extra money. Check out some of our favorite premium tequilas below.
Photo: Lisa Romerein (Getty Images)
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Casa Noble Joven
You might not be familiar with joven tequilas. Well, joven translates to “young” and many of these tequilas are unaged and mixed with artificial flavoring and color. Casa Noble’s joven isn’t like some of these other cheaper, overly sweet brands. This joven is perfectly balanced, smooth, and full of vegetal sweetness and subtle tropical fruit flavors.
Photo: Casa Noble
Clase Azul Reposado
If you’re really going to up your tequila game, you’ll grab a bottle of Clase Azul. You should know that you’re going to be spending over $100. You also definitely shouldn’t waste this subtly spicy, creamy, rich, sweet tequila with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and oak by mixing it into a cocktail.
Photo: Clase Azul
Milagro Barrel Select Reserve Reposado
This tequila is made from 100 percent estate grown Blue Weber agave. It’s triple-distilled before being aged three to six months in new French oak barrels. The result is a highly nuanced, smooth, rich tequila with hints of oak, cinnamon, vanilla, and subtle pepper.
Qui Platinum Extra Anejo
If you see this tequila in a liquor store you might be confused as to why an extra anejo (which means “ extra vintage” and is aged) is clear. This tequila is aged for three years in American oak barrels and French Bordeaux barrels before being filtered to remove the color. The result is a sweeter, lighter tequila perfect for slow sipping.
If you’ve never heard of T1 Tequila, now’s the time to get acquainted. This 100 percent Blue Weber gave-based tequila is aged between 6 and 12 months in Scotch whisky barrels. Yes, you read that right. The result is a totally unique tequila with hints of cinnamon, peppery spice, and tropical fruit flavors.
This double distilled tequila is aged for 18 months in American oak barrels. The result is a rich, smooth tequila with hints of honey, caramel, and roasted agave sweetness. This is a tequila for sipping. Don’t waste it by mixing it into a cocktail.
This 100 percent Blue Weber agave-based tequila is aged in American oak barrels for 12 to 15 months. The result is a sweet, smooth, subtly spicy tequila with hints of caramel, honey, vanilla, and roasted vegetal sweetness.
Herradura is a big name in the tequila world. While you can pick up a bottle of Herradura Silver for around $30, if you want to go big, you should buy a bottle of its anejo. Aged for a ridiculous 25 months in American oak barrels, this tequila is bursting with honey, vanilla, roasted agave, and rich oak flavors.
Casamigos quickly moved from “just another celebrity brand” to one of the better tequilas on the market. This anejo was aged for 14 months in American oak barrels. The result is a smooth, sweet tequila with hints of vanilla, honey, and caramel.
El Tesoro Anejo
If you’re stepping up your tequila game and you want to sip on something that tastes the way well-made tequila is supposed to taste, this anejo is for you. This traditionally made tequila was aged in American oak barrels for as many as three years. The result is well-balanced tequila with sweet vegetal notes and rich oak.
Photo: El Tesoro
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