The Top 10 Tequilas and Mezcals of 2022

The Top 10 Tequilas and Mezcals of 2022

2022 has been another big year for tequila, with extra-old expressions coming from every corner – and spending time in all manner of barrels – as well as cristalino bottlings becoming suddenly, incredibly popular. Mezcal continues its rise in popularity, with celebrity mezcal now becoming a thing. We drank a lot of tequila and mezcal in 2022. Here are our 10 favorites.

For more great picks, see also our top tens from 2021, 2020, and 2019.

1. Tequila Don Julio Ultima Reserva – Tequila made from the final agave planting of Don Julio González, the extra anejo is loaded with notes of cinnamon, lemon, and coconut – but perfectly balanced with peppery agave, keeping it grounded. A finish in Madeira casks keeps this tequila bright and beautiful, though the price may make it a challenge for all but the most die-hard of tequila enthusiasts. 80 proof. $499 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

2. Expresiones del Corazon Barrel-Aged Tequila George T. Stagg Anejo 2021 – This partnership between Corazon and Buffalo Trace is a decade old, and the tequilas produced by aging in BT’s whiskey casks are regularly worthwhile and exciting. This anejo (which arrived in early 2022) spent 22 months in George T. Stagg barrels, and the results are impressive, a deep dive into the barrel that comes out light in color, with an intricate, nuanced flavor that evokes florals, buttery baked apples, vanilla custard, and of course a lacing of pepper. Those looking for Stagg-as-tequila will be disappointed, but those seeking a wholly different anejo experience will be dazzled. 80 proof. $95 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS] [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

3. Maestro Dobel 50 1967 Tequila – The originators of the cristalino category are back with the first ina series of extra anejo tequilas, this one, confoundingly named “50 1967” aged in American and French oak for three years before finishing in sherry casks. A near $1000 will get you a lush, balanced expression of fruity, spicy tequila that threads the needle between sweet and savory elements, providing a delightful holiday feel on its lengthy, coffee-laced finish. 80 proof. $950 [BUY IT NOW FROM FROOTBAT]

4. Calirosa Tequila Rosa Blanco – How about a pink blanco tequila, one which is aged 30 days in California red wine barrels? This unique tequila has the peppery hallmarks of a blanco, but also an unmistakable floral note, with impossibly distinct rose petal elements. Notes of chocolate pair well with the floral character, making this a perfect tequila for your valentine’s day cocktailing. 80 proof. $50 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

5. Mal de Amor Tobala Mezcal – One of our favorites from this Oaxacan mezcal maker, this tobala-distilled spirit has virtually no smoke on the nose, instead allowing lemon and slightly sweet herbs to dominate. The smoke does work its way into the experience eventually, helping to keep all the complex elements here in check. 92 proof. $100 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

6. Mico Tequila Anejo – There’s nothing about the Mico tequila line’s presentation that would clue you in to its impressive quality, but here we are. Aged in American oak bourbon barrels then finished in Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon barrels for 16 months total, this unusual anejo finds lots of fruit and florals melding on the nose, moving from there into a delightfully sweet palate. The wine barrel finishing definitely makes itself known, keeping you on your toes. 80 proof. $46 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

7. Tequila Gran Diamante Reposado – 8 months in French oak barrels gives this elegant reposado a combination of pungent agave and gentle lemon, working from citrus into vanilla and a spray of mixed herbs. Cinnamon and pepper notes on the finish make for a tequila that is tough to pull yourself away from. 80 proof. $62 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

8. El Tequileno Reposado Rare – A kooky reposado that spends 6 years in barrel instead of 2 months… but since it’s a massive, 25,000-liter container, the rules of engagement here are different. A real treat, the tequila features notes ranging from pineapple to paprika, with honey, melon, vanilla, and pepper all in the mix as the finish arrives. A more unique reposado you’ll not likely find. 80 proof. $200

9. Montagave Tequila Blanco “Heritage” (Lot 237) – A lightly rested blanco that spent a bit of time in red wine casks, this is another unique tequila that stands actually as one of the most powerfully agave-forward on this list. Meaty and earthy, there’s plenty of savory power here that is ever so slowly tempered by notes of grapefruit, sesame oil, and – yes – old wine. Busy and unique. 82 proof. $75 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

10. Xicala Mezcal Anejo – It’s still hard to find aged mezcal, especially unique offerings like this one, which spends a year in American oak and French Cognac barrels. Soft and fruity, its smokiness is balanced with a strongly herbal note and elements of mulled wine later in the game. Chocolatey and peppery on the complex finish. 80 proof. $60

Tequila Don Julio Ultima Reserva

$499
9.5

Rating

9.5/10

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