Top Tequilas for the Kentucky Derby

Sometimes Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby are the same day. We offer these tequilas to satisfy both events. Some aged in bourbon barrels, others fit the horse theme. All are delicious!
May 02, 2018
  • 10
    10 Calle 23 Tequila Añejo
    85
    Rich & Sweet
    Calle 23 master distiller Sophie Decobecq is one of the few women operating in Mexico in a very male-dominated industry. The concept is to make "smart tequila" that's sourced from the Jalisco Highlands (Los Altos) and made with a careful selection of yeasts and traditional ingenuity. This añejo is double-distilled in stainless steel pot-stills and matured 16 months in ex-bourbon casks.
  • 9
    9 Roca Patrón Añejo Tequila
    89
    Sweet
    Tahonas are used in the Roca collection from Patrón, which launched in the summer of 2014. Tahonas (two ton stones) are used to gently crush cooked agaves. Both the fibers and juice from the crush are used in both the fermentation and distillation process. Their añejo is aged in single-use American ex-bourbon barrels for 14 months. It is bottled at 88 proof.
  • 8
    8 Chinaco Blanco Tequila
    89
    Mineral & Fruity
    Chinaco Tequila uses 100% blue weber agave using as much agave harvested in Tamaulipas as they can, including their own estate-grown agave. The agaves are cooked in an autoclave for 12 hours and then crushed and shredded. After fermentation, the agave is distilled in a two copper-lined alembic stills. Chinaco Blanco is bottled 30 days after distillation. Chinaco was born when Guillermo González, then Mexico's Secretary of Agriculture, planted agave in his home state of Tamaulipas to supply Jalisco's then-booming tequila industry, only to have his buyers renege on their contracts once the plants were mature. González responded by opening his own distillery in his namesake hometown and lobbying the government for its inclusion in the designated area for tequila production.
  • 7
    7 Arta Tequila Reposado
    90
    Sweet & Rich
    Arta Tequila prides itself on on being both "steeped in tradition and rooted in rebellion." The distillery, overseen by Master Distiller Angel Gonzalez, uses traditional practices with no pesticides and sustainable farming, recycling the unused bits of agave into compost or made into bricks for construction. The "rebellion" here comes with a whopping 11 months of aging (usually reposado averages about 4 - 6) in ex-Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. The bottles are handmade with a Dios de Muertos skull design etched in the glass.
  • 6
    6 Herradura Añejo Tequila
    92
    Fruity & Rich
    Produced in the tiny village of Amitan, a stone's throw from the town of Tequila, Herradura Añejo tequila is a blend of modern and traditional distilling techniques. Agave hearts (piñas) are first roasted in clay ovens, before being shredded by a mechanical roller, and then fermented with wild yeasts native to the area. Finally, there is a double distillation before being matured in American oak barrels.
  • 5
    5 Espolòn Añejo Tequila
    92
    Sweet & Herbal
    Created in the Highlands of Tequila known as Los Altos, El Espolon Añejo is handcrafted from piñas slow-roasted for 18 to 20 hours at the San Nicolas distillery. Rock music is played during the production process to "inspire" the agave. Aged for 10 months in new American oak and finished maturing in used Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels for two additional months. Try this in an Old Fashioned cocktail for a modern spin on a classic cocktail.
  • 4
    4 Pasote Tequila Reposado
    92
    Sweet & Rich
    Inspired by the legend of Aztec fighters, Pasote Tequila Reposado is made by master distiller Felipe Camarena at El Pandillo Tequila Distillery in the Los Altos (Highlands) region of Jalisco. The brand is part of the 3 Badge Mixology portfolio headquartered in California. Traditionally made using 100% blue agave tequila, it is rested for six months in barrels previously used to age bourbon. It is bottled at 40% ABV.
  • 3
    3 Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila
    93
    Rich
    This tequila is actually distilled at two of the brand's own distilleries, Fábricas El Centenario and La Vencedora. The former employs more traditional methods including the use of two mules to pull the tahona (stone wheel) and wild yeast in fermentation while the latter uses a molina (a modern mill) to crush the agaves and their own yeast strain. Both are distilled in copper pot stills and the two tequilas are blended together to create their product.
  • 2
    2 El Tesoro Extra Añejo 80th Anniversary
    93
    Spicy
    Released in October 2017, this bottling marks the 80th anniversary of La Alteña Distillery where El Tesoro is made. Aged for eight years in American oak, ex-bourbon barrels, only eight barrels were produced. This bottling will be exclusive to the US. Bottled at 41.5% ABV.
  • 1
    1 Tequila Tapatio Añejo
    94
    Rich & Sweet
    Tapatio is produced at La Alteña distillery in Jalisco, where generations of the Camarena family have been making tequila, mostly for local consumption. This a joint project between Carlos Camarena and Marko Karakasevic of Charbay Winery & Distillery in Napa. The 100% estate-grown blue agave is roasted for 4 days and fermented with a proprietary yeast culture that dates back 75 years. It's double-distilled in copper pot stills, aged 18 months in ex-bourbon barrels and undiluted to retain natural flavors.