Top Shelf Agave Picks From The Distiller Community

These agave spirits were the Distiller community's favorite top shelf picks last week.
Mar 09, 2020
  • 10
    10 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.
  • 9
    9 Don Julio Añejo Tequila
    95
    Rich & Spicy
    The añejo from Don Julio is aged for 18 months in American oak from agaves sourced in the Highlands of Jalisco. Don Julio is named for its founder, Don Julio González Estrada who founded the distillery in 1942.
  • 8
    8 Don Julio Blanco Tequila
    94
    Spicy & Fruity
    Don Julio's distillery in Atotonilco, Jalisco (NOM 1449) utilizes Highland agaves that are steam-cooked for 72 hours. After crushing the cooked agave, the aquamiel (honey water) is collected, fermented, and then double-distilled in stainless steel pot-stills. The tequila is bottled immediately afterward without further resting or aging.
  • 7
    7 Mezcal Marca Negra Dobadán
    93
    Herbal & Smoky
    Distilled from wild-grown Dobadán agave plants, this mezcal hails from Oaxaca, in the southern part of Mexico. Double-distilled in copper pot-stills by master mezcalero Alberto Ortiz, the piñas or hearts of this agave average 8 to 12 years old before being harvested.
  • 6
    6 1800 Tequila Reposado
    83
    Sweet & Rich
    This brand is named for what is considered to be the first official year of tequila production in Mexico. The reposado is comprised of 100% Blue Weber agave aged 8 - 12 years before harvest. It's aged 6 months in a combination of American and French oak.
  • 5
    5 Del Maguey Arroqueño Mezcal
    98
    Tart & Herbal
    Del Maguey, the company that put high end mezcal on the map in the US has introduced a line of Mezcals highlighting rare wild species and very special terroirs. They call this “Vino de Mezcal” meaning “Wine of Mezcal” .Highlighting the wild and rare, very large and prehistoric looking Arroqueño species of agave this is a rare treat for any spirits lover.
  • 4
    4 123 Organic Blanco (Uno) Tequila
    91
    Floral & Mineral
    1 2 3 (to be pronounced “Uno, Dos, Tres”) is a tequila brand that was founded by David Ravandi. It is certified organic by both the USDA and the EU. The unaged “Uno” uses 100% blue agave sourced from the Tequila Valley (Lowlands). The bottles are made from 100% recycled glass, with the labels printed on 100% recycled paper. Soy ink is used for the printing.
  • 3
    3 Mezcal Alipús Santa Ana del Rio
    88
    Tart & Mineral
    The Alipús line is named for the villages in which they are distilled. This one is produced by Don Eduardo Hernandez and is made with espadín harvested from mountainous, chalky soil at 5200 feet above sea level. The agaves are roasted traditionally in a pit oven and the agaves are crushed using a tahona (large millstone) pulled by a horse. The fermentation process uses wild yeasts in their open pine vats and this is double distilled in copper stills.
  • 2
    2 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.
  • 1
    1 Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
    97
    Rich & Fruity
    Bottled in a beautiful handmade and hand painted ceramic decanter. Inside is a distillate that is carefully aged for eight months in second-use oak barrels. It is then triple micro-filtrated to ensure the highest purity.