Tequila Brands We’re Drinking NowBy Stephanie Moreno
One of the great things about the tequila category is that despite the same base ingredient of blue weber agave, there are so many styles to explore. To age or not to age, that is the question. And if the tequila brands choose to age, the barrels needn’t be the traditional used whiskey barrels of years past. No, in this day and age we are seeing different varieties of oak and barrels which formerly did not hold whiskey for tequila aging. This makes it an exciting time for us tequila lovers.
Below we have a few tequila selections which have recently come across our tastebuds. Make sure to give these tequila brands a try the next time you’re in need of a new experience.
Drinks giant Diageo recently relaunched this tequila brand. Not only is the packaging redesigned (and eye-catching), but the tequila itself has been reformulated. While the proof has gone down from 92 to 80, the suggested price point is quite reasonable. Especially when the tequila is delivering a complex experience without any barrel aging. It carries an SRP of $34.99.
Earlier this year, El Luchador Tequila was revised. Not only was the packaging given a makeover, but the brand also updated its high proof blanco tequila (110 proof) and added a standard proof (80 proof) as well. And while these unaged tequilas were perfectly fine, the reposado stood out from the rest. French oak casks which previously held Puligny-Montrachet wine from the Burgundy region were used here. There is a finesse to the aging that shows off both the barrel influence and the tequila itself. The SRP is $44.99.
First released in summer 2021, this unique tequila returned to shelves last month for a limited time. Aside from the stunning bottle itself, Don Julio Primavera begins with the brand’s reposado tequila. Then it further rests in European oak barrels that held wine which was infused with orange peels. The result is a sipping tequila which shows a mix of fresh orange peels, pineapple, roast agave and oak. It has an SRP of $149.
The production for this tequila brand is overseen by Maestra Tequilera Ana Maria Romero which includes the hand selecting of the bespoke barrels for aging. In this case, American white oak, French oak and French acacia casks were used. The reposado tequila was aged up to six months in a blend of these barrels and was tasted every 15 days to ensure an optimal flavor. Also, keep an eye out for the just announced Añejo Gran Reserva which adds cherry wood to the barrel lineup and 18 months of aging. Its SRP is $69.99.
The cristalino category is still relatively new so you’d be forgiven if you’re not up to speed on the particulars. But the long and short of it all is that they are tequilas which have been rested or aged in barrels for a period of time and then filtered in some way to remove its color. This recent addition from Avión is a good example of the category. Serve this rich sipping tequila after dinner with a giant rock. It has an SRP of $145.
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