Alcohol is an acquired taste, but you don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate a well-made product. While we may use mixers, garnishes, and juices to mask the taste of harsh-tasting spirits, high-quality spirits like these tequilas are best enjoyed on their own.
A case in point is high-end tequila like aged anejo. While you may think that margaritas and Mexican martinis are the best way to stomach its fiery flavor, you’d be missing out on the superior and smooth taste of these sipping tequilas.
A well-spiced and fruity tequila, Maestro Dobel 50 Cristalino Extra Anejo is a small-batch tequila, using singly sourced blue agave plants from a family-owned farm in Jalisco. The aging process in American and European oak barrels instills a unique flavor profile.
I get hints of quince and fig combined with honey and caramel with each sip, followed by chocolate, tobacco, and vanilla finishes.
Tequila Ocho delivers a roasted and sweet flavor with hints of citrus, herbs, honey, and pepper. The Camarena family extracts the highest quality tequila from overripe agave plants for an agave-forward tequila.
I find Ocho Tequila Plata a brighter and earthier tequila than many of the contenders I list.
Tres Agaves sources their tequila from organic agave farms in Jalisco, Mexico to ensure quality. Tres Agaves ages their Organic Anejo tequila in bourbon and whiskey barrels, imparting a distinct smoky caramel and butterscotch flavor.
You’ll also get floral and rosemary spice notes to balance the smoky sweetness, making for a delicious room temperature sip.
Clase Azul tequila is a unique tequila, from its artisanal hand-painted bottles to the meticulous harvest and extraction methods. It is a medium-bodied tequila bursting with hazelnut, vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon.
The orange-cream soda scent alone is enough to convince me. Clase Azul Reposado advises against adding this high-quality tequila to a cocktail. It’s so delicious that you wouldn’t want to muddle its flavor with anything else.
Another crystal clear Anejo blend, 1800 Cristalino Anejo Tequila uses a blend of 100% blue agave tequilas aged in different oak barrels separately. The two blends come together for a second, short aging process inside port wine casks, thus delivering a unique wine finish to a delightfully nutty and citrusy flavored tequila.
As an extra Anejo tequila, El Tesoro Paradiso is the height of complexity and smoothness. Master Distiller and agave farm owner Carlos Camarena uses French cognac barrels to age this deep amber tequila for five years.
You get a rich butterscotch flavor from scent to taste, to finish with a delightful smokiness tacked onto each sip. I enjoy this tequila neat with a lime garnish.
Gran Patron Burdeos Anejo distinguishes itself through its finishing process. After being aged in American and French whiskey barrels, distillers use a Bordeaux wine barrel to impart a red wine scent and a note of raisins to its rich vanilla flavor.
It’s also twice-distilled, giving it an almost velvety texture that is perfect for sipping in my opinion.
Fortaleza tequila prizes its brand for offering stone-crushed double-distilled tequila using an open-air fermentation. Their Anejo offers scents of caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and fresh agave. The buttery, thick mouthfeel is what sets this tequila apart from the rest.
It turns the butterscotch sent into a rich toffee and hazelnut flavor. I like sipping this blend extra slowly to taste the complexity of texture and flavor.
Riazul Tequila Anejo ages their double-distilled pure agave tequila for two years in cognac barrels made from wood sourced from the Citeaux forests in Burgundy, France. These barrels impart a strong cinnamon aroma and finish punctuated by a medium-bodied flavor profile of caramel, vanilla, agave, and almond.
The cinnamon finish adds a warming kick that certainly lights a fire in my throat.
Undoubtedly the most exclusive bottle of tequila on my list, Tears of Llorona Extra Anejo Tequila is master distiller German Gonzalez’s magnum opus. It’s aged in three different types of barrels over five years and made in batches so small, that you have to put in the time and effort to find it.
If you manage to get a taste of this highly praised and sought-after tequila, congratulations!