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10 Best Tequila Brands

Searching For The Best Tequila Brands

Whether you’ve decided to start making your own cocktails at home or are tired of testing every tequila on the market, chances are you’re on the hunt for the best tequila brands out there.

But, some tequila products are made to be sipped while others are designed for mixing.

With so many bottles lining the shelves, it can be difficult to tell where you should start. To aid you on the journey to finding the perfect spirit, I have compiled a list of the 10 best tequila brands

But, it doesn’t stop there! I’ll also guide you through some of the top things to consider when shopping around, as well as answers to a few important questions that may be burning in your mind. First, let’s check out those tequila brands I’ve been talking so much about!

The 10 Best Tequila Brands

#1: Herradura

Best Tequila Brands

Founded in 1870 by Félix López, Herradura is known for being one of the most historic and renowned tequila producers. The company has been passed through generations and still remains focused on developing 100% authentic agave tequila for a high quality, smooth taste

It has since been acquired by beverage maker Brown-Forman, though the spirits are still carefully made in the same facilities located in Mexico.

The brand is now known for its light vanilla and citrus flavor, which is the result of aging in American white oak barrels.

Depending on the size of the bottle, Herradura tequila retails for $19-$680.

Highlights

  • Hand harvested 
  • 100 percent blue weber agave
  • Traditional processes

#2: Patrón Añejo

Best Tequila Brands

Patrón Añejo was one of the first companies to develop premium tequila, launched by John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley in 1989. 

With a focus on elegant designs, a refined taste, and a higher price tag, the company launched tequila into the world of fine drinking and high-quality spirits. The company is still known for the same three key details today, as well as its agave-forward flavor. 

Depending on the bottle, Patrón Añejo ranges from $20-$500.

Highlights

  • Premium tequila made from 100% agave
  • Traditional methods for a stronger flavor 
  • Sustainably harvested in small batches

#3: Sauza

Best Tequila Brands

Known for its collection of smooth tequila and agave cocktails, Sauza was launched in 1873 when Don Cenobio Sauza started La Perseverancia distillery. Sauza was one of the first producers to actually brand the spirit “tequila,” and was also the first to export to the US.

With all tequila produced in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, the brand is committed to authenticity in both production and taste. The company is now owned by Beam Suntory, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

No matter the bottle, Sauza tequila is an affordable option, retailing for $13-$40.

Highlights

  • Wide collection of tequilas and agave cocktails
  • Natural, fresh flavor
  • Carefully made in Jalisco, Mexico

#4: Don Julio

Best Tequila Brands

Named after its founder, Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada, Don Julio tequila was first produced in 1942. Don established his own distillery and continued to hone the making of tequila to develop the smoothest and most natural taste. 

Each agave plant is harvested by hand, and the piñas are then loaded into brick ovens and slowly baked for several days. Crushed to create the delicious and sweet syrup, then fermented with yeast and distilled, Don Juilio tequila undergoes a rigorous and careful process

Depending on the bottle, Don Juilio tequila retails for $20-$450.

Highlights

  • Crisp flavor with hints of citrus
  • Made in Mexico
  • Highly rated for being rich and smooth

#5: El Jimador

Best Tequila Brands

Named after the term for the skilled men who select and harvest blue agave, El Jimador was introduced as a sister brand to Herradura in 1994.

Aged for two months in ex-American whiskey casks, this 100% agave reposado is the most popular of the El Jimador range representing some 70% of production double-distilled with sparkling clarity.

Affordably priced and the most popular option in Mexico, El Jimador tequila retails for about $20-$50 depending on the bottle.

Highlights

  • 100% hand harvested blue weber agave
  • Made in Mexico
  • Most popular tequila in Mexico

#6: Clase Azul

Best Tequila Brands

With the intention of preserving history and culture, Clase Azul was launched by Arturo Lomeli in 2000. The company boasts 100% blue agave tequila, which is produced at one of the highest points of Jalisco. With agave grown for 6-8 years, the tequila has a deep and unique flavor.

The brand is also committed to sustainability and the environment, carefully harvesting agave while producing spirits with balance, body, and flavor. With woody, fruity, vanilla, and toffee notes, the tequila boasts a classic yet warm flavor. 

One of the pricier brands on my list, Clase Azul tequila costs $100-$30,000 depending on the bottle.

Highlights

  • Unique handmade tequila bottles
  • Made from 100% blue agave
  • Produced in Mexico

#7: Casa Noble

Best Tequila Brands

Designed for celebrations, big and small, Casa Noble tequila offers a crisp, spicy, and versatile flavor. The company was launched in the late 1700s, and has hundreds of years to perfect its craft.

In recent years, the company has undergone a few changes. Acquired by Constellation Brands, it maintains its delicious and warm flavor but is now bottled in a reusable and classy glass decanter.

The spirits are also aged for longer, with up to two years in French oak barrels, for more body, depth, and flavor. All of the tequila is triple distilled to ensure unmatched quality, while the brand also focuses on sustainable practices for a well-rounded approach.

Highlights

  • Crisp, spicy, and versatile flavor
  • Triple distilled
  • Grown and fermented in Mexico

#8: El Tesoro

Best Tequila Brands

El Tesoro, also known as Beam Suntory, was launched in the 1930s by Don Felipe Camarena. The family had been growing agave since the 1800s, but the Mexican revolution destroyed the distillery in 1910. 

So, Camarena started out by growing and selling small batches of agave. By 1937, he was able to open his own distillery. It has been in the family ever since, with a commitment to upholding traditions.

The brand’s tequilas are designed to be sipped, featuring sweet notes of agave combined with vegetal flavors.

With a name meaning “the treasure,” El Tesoro tequila prices range from $30-$80 depending on the bottle. 

Highlights

  • Made in Mexico
  • Carefully farmed and produced
  • Sweet, earthy flavors

#9: Espolòn

Best Tequila Brands

Espolòn was born from the need for a tequila that tastes great without breaking the bank. After studying the art of distillation, Cirilo Oropeza founded the brand in 1998.

He opened a distillery in the Highlands of Jalisco, carefully farming and slowly cooking the piñas.

The company merges tradition with innovation, cooking the piñas in modern autoclaves and then distilling them in pot and column stills. The tequila is then aged in American oak barrels, and then again for two months in barrels that contained Wild Turkey bourbon. 

Espolòn boasts a mild yet flavorful taste, ideal for sipping slowly or mixing into cocktails. Known for its affordable prices, Espolòn tequila costs around $35 per bottle.

Highlights

  • Made in Mexico
  • Affordably priced
  • Made from 100% blue weber agave

#10: Milagro

Best Tequila Brands

Created in 1998 by two friends, Milagro focuses on the life behind tequila. Influenced by the bright and warm culture of Mexico, the duo sought out one of the best tequila distillers in the biz: Pedro Juarez. 

With his help, they were able to begin farming agave to develop their 100% blue agave tequila. The focus was on developing a fresh and smooth taste, using traditional methods to slowly roast and age the agave. 

The brand’s mission was clearly successful as it is now known for its soft and floral yet sweet and spicy aromas, ideal for sipping and mixing into cocktails. The bottle is also well known, with a tall and sleek design that is elegant and inviting. 

Carefully crafted and aged, Milagro tequila ranges in price from $20-$300 depending on the bottle. 

Highlights

  • Sweet, spicy, floral flavor
  • Inspired by the culture of Mexico
  • 100% blue agave 

How to Shop For The Best Tequila

Best Tequila Brands

Now that I’ve covered the top 10 best tequila brands, you may be wondering about how you will make a decision. Fortunately, I’ve broken down some of the key things to consider when finding the right tequila for your needs.

I’ll cover what you should know about the brand, type of tequila, age, and more, so you can make an educated and informed decision when choosing your spirit!

Brand  

As evidenced by my list of the best tequila brands, there are a lot of brands out there. That being said, you should opt to shop from a company that provides what you’re looking for in terms of quality, price, taste, type, aesthetic, and more.

It is also important to shop from a brand that has an established reputation and customer base to ensure that you’re finding the quality it promises. Fortunately, all the options on my list are the best of the best, so you’ll be good to go no matter which you choose!

Type

While tequila is something you can easily find in stores or in bars, there are actually a number of different types that may appeal to your preferences. Here are the options you have:

  1. Blanco: bottled immediately after distillation, though some are aged for a short period of time
  2. Reposado: tequila aged between 2-12 months in oak barrels
  3. Joven: mixture of Blanco and Reposado tequilas
  4. Añejo: tequilas aged between 1-3 years in oak barrels
  5. Extra Añejo: tequila aged 3 years or more
  6. Mixto: tequila with less than 100% blue agave, usually mixed with sugars or other spirits

Age

As you may have guessed from the different types of tequila available, aging tequila brings out different flavor profiles and depth. Some tequilas are aged in different barrels, which add different spices and textures to create a unique taste. 

As the tequila sits in a barrel, it cycles in and out of the wood, which in turn causes it to pick up color and flavor. So, most aged tequilas have an amber or golden coloring, while blanco is always clear.

Authenticity 

The authenticity of the tequila, including where it’s made, can affect the overall quality and flavor, which in turn affects the experience. 

To ensure your tequila is the real deal, look for “100 percent agave” on the label. For tequila to be authentic, it must be at least 51% agave. Otherwise, it counts as a mixto and will work better in cocktails. 

Taste

No matter how you’re drinking tequila, whether it’s a shot, for sipping, or for mixing, the taste matters. In this case, your personal preference is something to keep in mind.

First off, aged tequila tends to be smoother as well as richer, ideal for a stronger and bolder flavor. 

Tequila comes in all different flavor profiles, including fruity, sweet, and earthy, depending on the variety. You can also find notes of honey, citrus, vanilla, caramel, oak, and black pepper.

So, it really depends on how sweet, warm, or spicy you’d like your tequila to be. 

Pricing 

Like all types of alcohol, tequila comes at a broad range of price points. But is expensive always better? Not necessarily! Sure, pricier alcohols may be stronger, aged longer, or come from a unique source.

That being said, my list of the best tequila brands features options at every price point

FAQ

Best Tequila Brands

What is a good top shelf tequila?  

If you’re wondering about top-shelf tequilas, my list of the best tequila brands is exactly what you need. Clase Azul, one of the more expensive options, is highly rated for its smooth taste.

That being said, all of the options that made my list are considered top shelf. They come at different price points but are all revered for the quality they offer. 

What is the smoothest tequila? 

Some tequilas are meant to be taken as shots while others are ideal for sipping on. Regardless of your drinking choices, smoother is always better. 

While I wouldn’t choose the options in my list of the best tequila brands if they weren’t delicious, versatile, and smooth, there are some options that stand out. One thing they all have in common? They’re aged for longer to create an elegant, smooth, and mellow taste. 

Añejo tequilas are known for having a smoother flavor because they are aged from one to three years, making them ideal for sipping. In terms of brands, Don Julio is a top choice because it is aged for two and a half years in American white-oak barrels, which offers a smooth flavor.

What is the most popular tequila in Mexico? 

If you know anything about tequila, you’re likely aware that it is made in Mexico. All tequila is produced in the Mexican state of Jalisco and in Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. 

So, what is the most popular tequila in Mexico? The best-selling tequila is El Jimador, which is an authentic, 100% agave spirit, while also being an affordable option. It is ideal for mixing or taking shots, though it can be enjoyed however you’d prefer.

Is all tequila 100% agave? 

When considering the authenticity of your tequila, the agave content is something to keep in mind.

To be fully authentic, the tequila must be made only from the blue agave plant, with agave sugars used for fermentation, and then it must be approved by a government inspector to ensure purity. 

100% agave means that no other sugar was used during fermentation. This ensures a more flavorful, bodied, stronger agave taste. That being said, not all tequilas are 100% agave. The requirement for a tequila to be authentic is 51%, though this will create a mixto tequila. 

What is the difference between tequila and mezcal? 

I’ve done a lot of talking about tequila, but what about mezcal? Essentially, tequila is a type of mezcal. Mezcal can be made from over 50 species of agave plant, while tequila is always made from Weber blue agave

Any agave-based distilled spirit outside Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas are called mezcal.

It’s also worth noting that they are made a little differently. Tequila is made by steaming and distilling agave, while mezcal is cooked inside earthen pits lined with lava rocks and is then distilled in clay pots.

Mezcal usually has more smoky notes while tequila is a bit sweeter.

Final Thoughts

Best Tequila Brands

While there are many different tequilas on the market, they aren’t all made with the same quality in mind.

Made from 100% blue agave with a focus on light, refreshing flavors, while remaining true to Mexican traditions, my list of the best tequila brands boasts an impressive selection. 

With all that being said, I hope you’ve found the perfect tequila for you upon reaching the end of my breakdown of each brand and keep in mind all the tips that go into choosing that perfect spirit.


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