Highest Scoring Agave Spirits In February 2017

These ten tequilas and mezcals received the highest ratings from our spirits experts in February!
Feb 28, 2017
  • 10
    El Diamante’s reposado is one day shy of añejo status; it is aged for 364 days in oak. This 100% blue agave is triple-distilled in small pot stills after steaming and fermentation. The tall, slender bottle is distinguished by a decorative gold background that amplifies the spirit's pale, golden color.
  • 9
    Sweet & Rich
    Tequila 1921 is made from agave grown in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The reposado is distilled twice in stainless steel with copper coils and aged 4 to 6 months in American white oak barrels. Note: this review is for the latest release made under NOM 1535 at Destilería Morales in Arandas. It had previously been produced as a more rustic and traditional product under NOM 1097.
  • 8
    Fruity & Herbal
    Double-distilled in small, handmade, copper-lined stills, this Mexicáno mezcal, like all the other Koch el de Oaxaca bottlings, is made in small batches, using artisanal methods and centuries old technology. Single-varietal Mexicáno (agave Rhodacantha) is a rare treat as the agave are difficult to find in the wild and can take well over a decade to mature.
  • 7
    Rich & Fruity
    Barril agaves are tall and tend to have slightly thicker foliage up top. The agave for this particular mezcal tend to be grown a little closer together causing the trunks to grow taller. They appear sporadically, semi-wild, peppered throughout the mountains of Oaxaca. This mezcal is produced traditionally in Rio de Ejutla, Oaxaca and utilizes a bull-drawn tahona to crush the cooked piñas.
  • 6
    Mineral & Spicy
    Since 2012 Tequila Azteca has been made at NOM 1173, the same distillery as Grand Mayan. Crafted by Juan Carlos-Jimenez Ahedo and Carlos Monsalve-Agraz in 1997 is was originally made at NOM 1137 which also produces the famed Casa Noble.
  • 5
    Fruity & Spicy
    In June of 2015, this marque was rebranded and rebottled from Sauza Blue Reposado to Sauza Signature Blue Reposado. The bottle cap is now a cork and wood closure with a prominent image of a gallo (or rooster) which has been part of the brand’s crest since 1873. The reposado is aged for at least 2 months and is a 100% blue agave tequila.
  • 4
    Herbal & Sweet
    Rancho El Puertecito is located about three miles west of Arandas in the heart of Los Altos. In his label notes, Master Distiller Carlos Camarena says, “Puertecito is complex and still gentle. The waves of flavor come along softly in harmony and don’t throw you in the ocean.” El Puertecito Reposado is unusual in that only 16 cases were made and it was never commercially released.
  • 3
    Herbal & Earthy
    Third generation Master Distiller Carlos Camarena produces Tequila Ocho using traditional artisan methods and agave from his family’s fields. At Rancho Los Corrales, temperatures range from highs of 80 F to lows of 48 F, resulting in agaves with very high sugar content. When the fully mature agaves were harvested, some of the piñas (hearts) weighed a remarkable 100 kg, more than triple the average size.
  • 2
    Sweet & Fruity
    Rancho El Vergel (“The Orchard”) is situated more than 6,500 feet above sea level and has the red, iron-rich soil that’s characteristic of the Highlands. Located near Arandas, El Vergel was thought to be unsuitable for growing agave by Carlos Camarena’s father, Felipe. Tequila Ocho was the first crop of agave ever grown on the rancho, which previously grew limes and peaches.
  • 1
    Azuñia Añejo 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 Añejo is aged for at least 12 months in American oak barrels before being bottled and distributed.