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The Best Tequila: Types And The 15 Best Brands In The World

Discover the best tequila brands including Don Julio and Patron and the main types of tequila.
Discover the origins of the best tequila and the 15 best tequila brands.

 

Every year the best tequila brands are chosen and ranked, and in doing this, the type of tequila, production process, the bottle's design, and price point are all kept in mind.

In the article below we present you with the 15 best tequila brands from 2017 and 2018 according to Mexican and international rankings, including their estimated prices. Besides, we explain the origins of this popular alcoholic beverage and the types of tequila that you can find. 

The origins of the best tequila

To explain the best tequila brands to you more clearly, we'll start by giving you a brief description of the production process and the different types of this spirit. Tequila got its name from the town where it originated, of course, named 'Tequila' (in the state of Jalisco) in Northern Mexico.

In the year 1600, the businessman, Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, created the first agave distillery in this very town, giving rise to this typical beverage with an official Mexican designation of origin.

On another note, agave is a plant that is known as 'maguey' or 'mezcal.' Inside of the agave plant, there is an extract that when distilled and fermented makes a variety of alcoholic beverages. One of these is tequila, made specifically from 'blue agave' also known as 'tequiliana Weber agave.'

Related: Best Gin Brands: Top Bottles In 2019

The 4 main types of tequila

But, not all tequilas are made solely from agave. The Mexican Official Standard recognizes two main types of tequila. First, come 51% agave tequila and then, 100% agave tequila. While the first kind mixes agave and cane sugar or other sweeteners; in the latter, agave is the only ingredient.

This is why it is important to find '100% agave' on the label. Then there is a division between silver tequila, reposado, anejo or extra anejo tequila, plus young tequila (aka 'golden'). All of these usually contain around 40% alcohol.

1. Silver tequila

This is a clear tequila, made from the second distillation of the maguey extract. This kind has a slightly sweet flavor since it comes from the center of the plant which contains a substance similar to honey.

When it's bottled, almost immediately after the distillation process, this tequila is recognized as the purest variety.

2. Reposado tequila

Reposado tequila is the most widely consumed type of tequila since it's the most commercialized. This variety is made exactly like silver tequila, the only difference being that it spends at least two months in an oak barrel. For the same reason its flavor is less sweet and even slightly oaky.

3. Anejo tequila and extra anejo tequila

While reposado tequila spends two months in an oak barrel, anejo tequila stays there for at least a year. Some tequila brands also offer an 'extra añejo' variety that ages over more than three years. This liquor has a more concentrated flavor, with an oaky flavor and spicy notes.

4. Young or gold tequila

Gold tequila is a mix of silver and anejo tequila. This is the type of this Mexican alcoholic beverage that sells least. Its flavor is milder than the others and depending on how you prep it, you may or may not enjoy it.

One thing that all tequila brands have in common is that they all use one main ingredient: agave.

 

The 15 best tequila brands

Below we describe the best tequila brands from 2017 and 2018, as well as their approximate prices, according to both Mexican and international classifications. A few of these include Forbes Mexico, the Economist, the World Tequila Awards, Tequila Aficionado winners, and finally, online reviews.

1. Atelier del Maestro

Tequila Atelier ('workshop' in French) del Maestro was recognized by Forbes Mexico as the best tequila in 2018, and as the best 2017 tequila by the Diosa Mayahuel awards. This is an extra añejo tequila aged in barrels from Eastern Europe.

Oaxacan artisans who receive a percentage of sales design the bottle. This tequila costs about 147 USD, 121 euros, or 2,800 Mexican pesos.

2. Gran Centenario Leyenda

Gran Centenario Leyenda is an extra anejo tequila aged in French oak throughout 4 years. Its flavor is intense and toasted, and its bottle has an elegant design. Centenario Leyenda is on Forbes Mexico's list of the top 5 best tequilas in 2018. This bottle costs around 95 USD, 80 euros, or 1,800 Mexican pesos.

3. José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia Reposado

By name, this variety of José Cuervo is a reposado tequila. But, José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia Reposado stands out among the rest since it spends several months in three different barrels. Its flavor is fruity and toasted.

This reposado is also on Forbes Mexico's list of the top 5 tequilas for 2018 and costs around 105 USD, 87 euros, or 2,000 Mexican pesos.

4. 1800 Milenio Tequila

From the brand 1800 Tequila, this edition was put on the market to celebrate the new millennium. This is an extra anejo tequila that ages in oak barrels giving it a mild tone with lightly fruity aromas and a touch of cognac.

Of course, it's also on Forbes Mexico's list of best tequilas for 2018, and it costs around 142 USD, 117 euros, or 2,700 Mexican pesos.

 

5. Maestro Dobel 50 Cristalino Tequila

Number 5 on Forbes Mexico's list of best tequilas for 2018, Dobel 50 Cristalino is a transparent extra añejo that ages for more than 3 years in white oak barrels.

It has a toasted flavor, and it costs 131 USD, 109 euros, or about 2,500 Mexican pesos.

6. Gran Patrón Piedra Extra Añejo

Gran Patrón Piedra Extra Añejo is an exclusive tequila made with agave cooked in volcanic stone using ancestral techniques. It is dark in color with a sweet and fruity yet toasted aroma.

This is the most expensive tequila on our list of the best tequila brands, nearing 430 euros, 10,000 Mexican pesos, and in the US at a discounted rate of 329 USD.

7. Casamigos Blanco and Reposado

According to the Economist's ranking, Casamigos tequila gets its name from George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman who are the founders of this tequila brand. The Blanco tequila ages for two months; while the reposado ages for seven in North American barrels, taking on a caramel flavor. According to a review by Cool Hunting on their official website, Casamigos makes 'a super smooth sipping tequila.'

Casamigos Reposado costs about 115 USD (2,650 Mexican pesos; 115 euros); and Casamigos Blanco rings up to 42 USD (800 Mexican pesos; 34 euros).

8. José Cuervo Tradicional

According to the Economist's ranking, José Cuervo Tradicional is made using a slow cooking process and ages for four months in oak barrels. This is 100% agave tequila.

This type of tequila is sold individually sealed in limited editions, and it costs approximately 20 USD, 15 euros, or 300 Mexican pesos making it the cheapest tequila on our list.

Related: Bloody Mary: Recipe And Legend

9. Herradura Añejo

This is one of the most traditional tequilas in Mexico since it has been on the market for over 50 years. It is 100% agave and ages for two years in oak barrels. This process gives it an amber color with an earthy and slightly fruity aroma.

Its price comes in at 35 USD, 28 euros, or 650 Mexican pesos.

10. Don Julio Anejo Tequila

Don Julio Anejo tequila spends 18 months in American oak barrels, which gives it a light amber color with a touch of citrus and caramel flavors. As a trademark of the already traditional Don Julio tequila brand, this product's price comes to 38 USD, 32 euros, or 736 Mexican pesos.

11. Amorada tequila

Amorada tequila is an anejo and ages in oak barrels for eight months. This beverage has light woody, vanilla, and brown sugar tones. It was granted the gold medal in the best añejo tequila brand category by the Tequila Aficionado awards.

Amorada costs about 46 USD, 40 euros, or 900 Mexican pesos (although it's hard to find in Mexico).

12. La serpiente emplumada

The brand, la serpiente emplumada won a silver medal in the best anejo tequila category, best extra anejo tequila, and High Proof Blanco Tequila in the North American Tequila Aficionado awards.

It contains 44% alcohol, and it sells for 36 USD or the equivalent of 30 euros or 700 Mexican pesos.

13. Gran Reserva de Don Alberto

In 2017, Gran Reserva de Don Alberto won the gold medal for the best extra anejo tequila and the best young tequila in the Tequila Aficionado awards. The añejo version ages in French and American barrels, some of which are also used to make whiskey.

This is a 100% agave tequila that costs around 90 USD, 74 euros, or 1,700 Mexican pesos.

Related: Guinness Beer: Characteristics, Composition And Benefits

14. San Matías Tahona Reposado

San Matías Tahona Reposado tequila was dubbed the best tequila in 2018 by the World Tequila Awards in the best flavor category. Its price comes out to approximately 63 USD, 52 euros, or 1,200 Mexican pesos.

This is an artisanal silver tequila made in small batches. The agave bakes in steam ovens and distills in copper stills. Its name comes from the tahona grindstone that crushes the plant.

15. 4 Copas Tequila

4 Copas Tequila made the top of the North American website, Tequila.net, editor's list for fans and consumers. Besides, it won a gold medal in 2017 from Tequila Aficionado. This is an organic anejo tequila that ages in white oak barrels for at least one year.

It has a dark color and oaky flavor with cognac tones. It costs 70 USD, 57 euros, or 1,300 Mexican pesos.

 

Check out the original article: Tequila: tipos y las 15 mejores marcas de tequila del mundo at viviendolasalud.com

 

References

La lista definitiva de los tequilas que mejor representan a México (2018). Forbes México. Retrieved January 11, 2019. Available at https://www.forbes.com.mx/forbes-life/la-lista-definitiva-de-los-tequilas-que-mejor-representan-a-mexico/

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