Top Shelf Tequila

They might be a bit pricey, and even hard to find, but these tequilas are well worth it...
Apr 19, 2016
  • 10
    Germán González puts his tears and his heart into a distinctive, etched bottle with the classic Llorona legend on the back. Extra-mature agaves are selected and a proprietary yeast strain is used in a slow fermentation. Oak barrels which aged Scotch, sherry and cognac are used for maturation and aged for around five years. The blend is made with the goal of achieving a cognac or single-malt level of complexity. While most tequila is aged at 80 proof, this is bottled at 86 proof. The release will always be limited, according to González.
  • 9
    t1 is produced by Master Distiller Germán González, formerly of his family's Chinaco, of 100% Highlands blue agaves--especially mature in some cases. After slow autoclaving and double-distilling--and in the case of the reposado, spending six months in "very old" Scotch barrels, it is bottled in a distinctive, Aladdin-shaped bottle.
  • 8
    Produced by Master Distiller Germán González, formerly of his family's brand, Chinaco, t1 is a product of 100% Highlands blue agave. It spends 20 hours in autoclave (industrial pressure cooker) and is double-distilled and bottled in a distinctive, Aladdin-shaped bottle--"easy for bartenders to grab," says Gonzalez.
  • 7
    While the majority of tequilas in this category are unaged (or aged briefly in stainless steel or in oak then filtered for clarity), this pale golden-hued one, made from 10 year old agave grown in Los Altos, Jalisco, is aged for 28 days in new French Limousin oak barrels. That's not enough time for a reposado, hence its plata-ness.
  • 6
    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.
  • 5
    Rancho Las Pomez is located in Jesus Maria county, a half-mile from Felipe Camarena’s distillery, La Esmeralda. One of the highest elevation Camarena estates at over 6,500 feet, Las Pomez has rich red volcanic soil and its own microclimates, with temps that range from highs of 80 F to lows of 48 F. The extremely ripe agave plants were harvested at 9.5 years old.
  • 4
    Enrique Fonseca's massive Tequileña distillery is a veritable laboratory of tequila production and the experimental lots of extra añejo that comprise the Fuenteseca project were never intended for commercial sale. These barrels were laid down in a subterranean cellar, where the cool environment was intended to allow them to age for years beyond what was otherwise considered desirable. This single-harvest tequila is a blend of column- and pot-distilled products which were vatted together before being aged in American oak ex-red wine barrels (85%) and used French oak (15%). This is the youngest batch of Fuenteseca but is still eons older than almost anything else on the market.
  • 3
    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%).
  • 2
    Fortaleza Añejo Tequila is made from 100% blue weber agave grown in the Tequila Valley of Jalisco. The piñas or hearts of the agave plants are roasted in a traditional stone oven before being stone crushed. The juice called "mosto" is fermented for 3.5 days in open air wood tanks using natural yeast present in the air and plants to ferment the mosto. The fermented product is double distilled in copper pot stills before the spirit is aged for 18 months in used whiskey American oak barrels.
  • 1
    To celebrate 10 years of business, Siembra Azul founder David Suro decided to tap his playful side and combined a reposado (aged between 2 - 12 months) with a touch of extra añejo (aged 3 - 5 years). All the agave used was between 5 - 8 years old at harvest, distilled in a combination of copper and stainless steel pots as well as column stills. All of the distillate was aged in new Missouri white oak. Pushing the boundaries of tequila, this rare limited edition was created at the family distillery of Feliciano Vivanco y Asociados.