Community Favorites: Best Agave Spirits

September 16th marks Mexican Independence Day, so what better way to celebrate than with 16 of the community's favorite agave spirits!
Sep 14, 2016
  • 16
    4.05
    4.05 out of 5 stars
    Rich & Oily
    Chinaco is the only brand of tequila made in the northern state of Tamaulipas, and in fact the owner of the distillery had to fight to have it included in the designated area for tequila production. These tequilas are distilled from Tamaulipas-grown agave both from the highlands and near the coast, as well as a small amount harvested from Jalisco. The añejo is aged two and a half years in casks formerly used to mature Glenlivet single malt (90%) and ex-Bourbon barrels (10%).
  • 15
    3.58
    3.58 out of 5 stars
    Spicy & Salty
    Avión Tequila revamped its packaging in mid-2018 to reflect the single origin for its agave. All agaves used in the production of the tequila is sourced from the town of Jesus Maria, located at 7,000 ft. above sea level in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico. The tequila is distilled in small batches and finished with a "proprietary" ultra-slow filtration. Each bottle is hand-filled and labeled with batch number and a bottle code.
  • 14
    3.91
    3.91 out of 5 stars
    Herbal & Spicy
    Distilled exclusively from agave grown on Carlos Camarena's family estate, this tequila has been a cult favorite in Mexico for more then 75 years but is a recent arrival in the US. Uniquely, it is distilled to its final bottling proof, rather than being distilled to a higher proof and then diluted with water. "Tapatío", by the way, refers to someone or something from Guadalajara, the Camarena family's ancestral home. (SRP $40)
  • 13
    4.28
    4.28 out of 5 stars
    Mineral
    Tequila Ocho are single estate tequilas that are a collaboration between Tomas Estes and the Camarena family. The name of the ranch is a play on the word "maguey" - another word for "agave." The agaves used in this tequila were harvested at a slightly higher brix level, 27-28%, which is 5% higher than average, and grown in gray clay soil.
  • 12
    4.37
    4.37 out of 5 stars
    Rich & Sweet
    Fortaleza Añejo Tequila is made from 100% blue weber agave grown in the Tequila Valley of Jalisco. The piñas or hearts of the agave plants are roasted in a traditional stone oven before being stone crushed. The juice called "mosto" is fermented for 3.5 days in open air wood tanks using natural yeast present in the air and plants to ferment the mosto. The fermented product is double distilled in copper pot stills before the spirit is aged for 18 months in used whiskey American oak barrels.
  • 11
    3.43
    3.43 out of 5 stars
    Sweet
    Familia Camarena Silver is a 100% blue agave tequila distilled by the Camarena family who have been planting and harvesting agave in the Jalisco Highlands (Los Altos) since 1860. The agave piñas or centers are hand harvested and typically weight more than 100 pounds. The piñas are slow roasted in traditional stone ovens for several days before the juices are fermented and distilled.
  • 10
    3.44
    3.44 out of 5 stars
    Bitter
    Familia Camarena Reposado is a 100% agave tequila. The agave piñas or centers are hand harvested and typically weigh more than 100 pounds. The piñas are slow roasted in traditional stone ovens for several days before the juices are fermented and distilled. This reposado is aged for 60 days in American oak barrels before bottling.
  • 9
    4.59
    4.59 out of 5 stars
    Fruity & Sweet
    This mezcal is distilled from 100% agave tobalá which grow semi-wild. The agave are harvested after 12 years and pit-roasted in the traditional manner. The roasted "piñas" or hearts of the agave plants are crushed using a mule-drawn tahona before the juices are open fermented. This mezcal is double-distilled and produced in Matatlan, Oaxaca by Mezcalero Gregorio Martinez Jarquin. This is released in small batches due to sustainable practices conserving the wild agave plants as well as the scarcity and size of the tobalá plants. It only grows in high altitudes in the shade of oak trees and is relatively small in size.
  • 8
    4.52
    4.52 out of 5 stars
    Fruity & Sweet
    This mezcal is distilled from 100% Agave Americana -- commonly known as arroqueño -- which grow semi-wild in Miahuatlan, Oaxaca. The agave are harvested after 14 years and pit-roasted in the traditional manner. The roasted piñas are crushed using a mule-drawn tahona before the juices are open fermented. This mezcal is double-distilled and produced in small batches due to sustainable practices in conserving wild agave plants. Arroqueño is known for its enormous size and long ripening period -- as long as 30 years.
  • 7
    4.09
    4.09 out of 5 stars
    Spicy
    Azuñia Reposado is distilled from 100% blue weber agave grown in Jalisco, Mexico which are harvested 8 to 10 years after planting. The agave is roasted in clay hornos ovens for 36 hours before being distilled twice. This reposado is aged for at least three months in American oak barrels before being bottled and distributed. It is USDA certified organic.
  • 6
    4.08
    4.08 out of 5 stars
    Rich & Sweet
    Casamigos (loosely translated to "house of friends") is indeed the tequila brand created by George Clooney and Rande Gerber. The agaves are sourced from the Highlands of Jalisco and this reposado is aged for 7 months in reconditioned whiskey barrels and is bottled at 80 proof.
  • 5
    3.95
    3.95 out of 5 stars
    Rich
    Casamigos is a tequila brand created by friends George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman. They have chosen NOM 1416 (Productos Finos de Agave) to be where this tequila is made and agaves from the Highlands of Jalisco are chosen for distillation. Their blanco rests for 2 months in stainless-steel before bottling at 80 proof.
  • 4
    4.17
    4.17 out of 5 stars
    Spicy
    Produced at the Productos Finos de Agave (NOM 1416), this tequila is produced from agaves from the Highlands of Jalisco. This añejo tequila has been aged for 14 months in reconditioned whiskey barrels. And yes, this is George Clooney's tequila.
  • 3
    3.38
    3.38 out of 5 stars
    Fruity
    The agave sourced for Lunazul Tequila is grown at the Beckmann family-owned Tierra de Agaves estate in the town of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico. The agave matures 7 - 9 years in the field and is transported directly to the distillery. Each batch is twice distilled in custom cognac stills. Lunazul Blanco Tequila is 100% agave and bottled unaged.
  • 2
    3.67
    3.67 out of 5 stars
    Earthy
    This is the second release from El Silencio following up their Joven ensemble bottling. It is meant as more of an introductory bottling and is priced accordingly. Made from 100% espadín, this is distilled in San Baltazar Guelavila, Oaxaca and made by Master Mescalier Pedro Hernandez. It is produced traditionally with agaves roasted in a mesquite-lined pit and the agaves are crushed by a horse-drawn tahona. Natural fermentation is allowed and the mezcal is double-distilled in copper pot stills.
  • 1
    3.81
    3.81 out of 5 stars
    Herbal & Rich
    Released in the summer of 2015, this is a mezcal produced with 100% agave cupreata (aka papalote). The agaves are sourced from the slopes of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range and distilled in the village of Mazatlán in the state of Guerrero. Natural fermentation takes place in open pine vats and this is double-distilled in a copper pot-still. Unaged, this is bottled at 86 proof.