Gift Worthy Tequila Picks

Need to buy a tequila for a loved one but don’t know where to begin? Never fear--these selections are certain to please any tequila fan.
Dec 01, 2018
  • 10
    10 Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Añejo Tequila
    90
    Sweet
    Milagro uses 100% blue weber agave from the Highlands of Jalisco to produce their tequilas. It is triple rather than double distilled, the latter of which is more common in tequila production. Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Añejo Tequila is aged from 12-24 months in a combination of French and American oak. Individually handcrafted bottles are created by glass artisans, each one hand numbered with a beautiful hand-blown agave plant inside.
  • 9
    9 Volcán De Mi Tierra Cristalino Tequila
    91
    Sweet & Fruity
    Using only Tequila Valley (Lowlands) agave, the production was overseen by master distiller Anna María Romero Mena. The tequila is made from a blend of añejo tequila which ages in former whisky casks and extra añejo tequila which was aged in former cognac barrels. After aging, the liquid remains separated while the color is removed. Before blending, the añejo and extra añejo tequilas are finished with a cask wash in the barrel they were aged in. Meaning "land of the volcano", this tequila is a joint venture between Moët Hennessy and the Gallardo family. Released May 2017 in select US markets.
  • 8
    8 Fortaleza Reposado Tequila
    92
    Fruity & Sweet
    Based in the Tequila Valley of the eponymous town of Tequila in Jalisco, Fortaleza (known as Los Abuelos outside of the US) holds on to classic production methods dating back over a century. They hand-harvest their agave, roast them in brick ovens for 3 days which are then crushed by a tahona pulled by an electric tractor (which took the place of their mule after he died). Later the pulp is rinsed with local spring water and the mash is fermented for 3.5 days in a wooden fermentation vat. It is double distilled in classic alembic stills. This reposado is rested in American oak barrels for 7 months in used whiskey barrels.
  • 7
    7 Don Julio 1942 Tequila
    92
    Rich & Sweet
    Don Julio 1942 is technically an añejo as it is aged for only 2 1/2 years in used American oak barrels, though it misses the extra añejo qualification by only 6 months. 1942 is the year that Don Julio Gonzáles established his distillery, Tequila Tres Magueyes. This Highland tequila, along with their Real bottling, is distilled a 2nd time in a smaller stainless steel pot still that has a maximum capacity of 3 barrels per distillation.
  • 6
    6 Clase Azul Plata Tequila
    93
    Sweet & Rich
    Clase Azul Plata is slow roasted in traditional brick ovens for 72 hours and then fermented with a brand developed proprietary yeast. It is not aged at all and therefore only filtered and bottled in a clear blue base accented bottle to show its clarity and pureness.
  • 5
    5 Tequila El Mayor Single Estate Los Lobos Plantation Blanco
    94
    Rich & Spicy
    This limited edition release was created by Graciela González, fourth generation distiller and daughter of master distiller for El Mayor Tequila, Rodolfo González. Around 3500 agave plants were harvested from Los Lobos Plantation in Jalisco for this bottling. Announced in August 2018, there are fewer than 5000 available for purchase.
  • 4
    4 Avión Reserva 44 Extra Añejo
    94
    Rich & Spicy
    This extra añejo tequila uses agaves matured from 7-10 years harvested from Los Altos in Jalisco. The agaves are roasted for 72 hours in brick ovens before crushing, fermenting, and distilling. Uniquely, after distillation, the spirit goes through Avión's proprietary ultra-slow filtration method before it enters the barrel. It's aged a total of 44 months--43 months in large oak barrels and the final month in specially selected "petite barrels", which are rotated daily. Each bottle is hand-numbered and signed by Avión founder, Ken Austin.
  • 3
    3 123 Organic Extra Añejo Diablito Tequila
    95
    Sweet & Rich
    "Diablito" translates to "the little devil," a play here on the phrase "the devil is in the details." The agave used in this tequila is grown using certified organic methods at 6,000 feet above sea level, in the Tierra Roja soils of the Amatitan region of Jalisco. The spirit is aged for 3 years and four months in new, lightly-charred French oak. Released annually in limited quantities.
  • 2
    2 Chinaco Añejo Tequila
    96
    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%).
  • 1
    1 Tequila Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva Lot 1
    97
    Rich & Sweet
    Tapatio is the partnership between Marko Karakasevic of Charbay Distillery in northern California with Master Distiller Carlos Camarena at La Alteña distillery in Jalisco. Excelencia Gran Reserva Lot 1 was distilled in 1996 and aged in char no. 4 new American oak for four years. Here's where it gets crazy - then it was rested in 5 liter glass vessels before bottling in 2013. Spirits can't evolve in glass, you say? Well, agave breaks all the rules.