Top Shelf Agave Picks From The Distiller Community

These agave spirits were the Distiller community's favorite top shelf picks last week.
Jun 29, 2020
  • 10
    10 Sombra Mezcal
    90
    Rich & Smoky
    Sombra was created as a passion project of famed sommelier and wine negociant Richard Betts of Betts & Scholls. Created as a stance against the “Vodka-ization” of Agave spirits, this is meant to jump out in a cocktail. It is 100% espadín that are first grown in the villages of San Juan del Rio and San Juan before being uprooted and planted on the slopes of the Sierras in Oaxaca. After roasting for 2 days in a stone pit with an oak fire source, the agaves are crushed in a tahona (stone wheel) and then allowed to ferment naturally for 8 days.
  • 9
    9 Corralejo Reposado Tequila
    96
    Rich
    Corralejo is known for its innovative techniques that date back to 1775 when the distillery first began producing tequila in Guanajuato. This reposado is aged 4 months in 3 different types of casks - French, American and white oak - to impart a variety of characteristics to this matured spirit.
  • 8
    8 Montelobos Espadín Mezcal Joven
    87
    Smoky & Salty
    Montelobos (mountain of wolves) is an unaged mezcal produced from organic espadín agave. The agaves are sourced from Loma Larga in Santiago Matatlán Oaxaca. After roasting for 5-7 days in a volcanic stone pit, the agaves are crushed with a tahona and allowed to naturally ferment. Montelobos was created by Dr. Iván Saldaña and is produced by 5th generation mezcalero, Don Abel Lopez.
  • 7
    7 Tequila El Mayor Añejo
    84
    Fruity & Spicy
    El Mayor Añejo is produced from 100% estate-grown Blue Weber agave harvested in Jalisco. The agaves are cooked in an autoclave rather than an oven and the cooked agaves are shredded with a mill rather than a tahona. Twice distilled in copper-lined pot stills, it is bottled at 80 proof after 18-36 months in American oak.
  • 6
    6 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.
  • 5
    5 Tequila Ocho Reposado "La Magueyera" 2014
    90
    Fruity & Sweet
    The name "Magueyera" refers to the single estate ranch where the agave is grown for this tequila, a play on the word "maguey." The agave is grown 1600 meters above sea level in gray clay soil, which it shares with Guamuchile trees, in south-facing slopes which benefit from full sunlight.
  • 4
    4 Casamigos Reposado Tequila
    92
    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.
  • 3
    3 Casamigos Blanco Tequila
    90
    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.
  • 2
    2 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.
  • 1
    1 El Jimador Añejo Tequila
    93
    Rich & Oily
    This añejo tequila from El Jimador is produced in the valley (Lowlands) of Jalisco. This lower-tier tequila from Casa Herradura is aged for 12 months in new American oak barrels and features an affordable price point for a 100% agave añejo tequila.