Tequila is one of the fastest-growing spirits in the U.S., with America consuming even more than they do in its homeland of Mexico. The biggest growth is in the premium and super-premium categories, as drinkers discover the pleasure of sipping rather than slamming good tequila. Tequila is in fact a type of mezcal, but one that has a specific “domain of origin” status and which must be made from a single species of agave, the blue agave. Tequila must be made in certain designated areas in Mexico, the biggest being the state of Jalisco, where the town of Tequila is located. Rack “tequila” must contain at least 51% blue agave sugars, and the remainder can be just about anything, including corn syrup. However, quality tequila will state on the bottle that it is made from 100% blue agave. Anything less than this (think Cuervo Gold) is called a mixto. Within Mexico, tequila can be bottled at anything from 62 to 110 proof, but within the U.S. it must be at least 80 proof. Blanco (silver or white) tequila is sold unaged, reposado tequila must be aged at least two months in white oak barrels, and añejo (aged) tequila are aged for twelve months minimum. Finally, extra añejo must be aged for at least three years. A new variety of tequila, generally called cristalino, is aged tequila that has been filtered to remove color, giving it the appearance of a blanco but the flavor of an añejo.

Top Tequila Posts:

Understanding the Different Styles of Tequila
A Visit to Casa Herradura
A Visit to the Don Julio Tequila Distillery

Review: Tequila Don Ramon Tamarindo

By Christopher Null | September 29, 2023 |

Tequila Don Ramon makes high-end tequilas so fancy that Pierce Brosnan is a spokesman for them. It also makes this: A 100% agave blanco that is artificially flavored with tamarind flavor. It smells nice enough — sweet, with clear tamarind notes, both spicy and earthy — but the flavor is another animal. Charitably, it is…

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Review: Santo Tequila Anejo

By Robert Lublin | September 24, 2023 |

Santo Tequila is fronted by Sammy Hagar of Van Halen fame and food show celebrity Guy Fieri. We first tried the brand in 2017, when they released their unusual Mezquila, and just a few months ago we tried Santo’s younger tequila offerings: blanco, reposado, and a bold, flavorful 110 proof blanco. Today we finally finish…

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Review: Laneta Tequila Blanco and Reposado

By Jonathan Glover | September 22, 2023 |

Laneta’s website features but a single page and many images, all of which are overlaid with text. The most striking of these images features a farmer harvesting agave. “The Truth,” it proclaims, followed by a description of how the absurdly beautiful bottle and its faceted base were inspired by the toil and craft of tequila…

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Review: Patron El Cielo Tequila

By Christopher Null | September 19, 2023 |

Patron’s latest ultra-luxe tequila launch is El Cielo, a silver tequila that stakes its claim that it is “the first four-times distilled prestige tequila on the market.” There’s not much more of a twist on the theme than that, so let’s just dive into the tasting. Slightly yellow in hue, but only faintly. The nose…

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Review: Chrome Horse Society Blanco Tequila

By Robert Lublin | August 30, 2023 |

Chrome Horse Society is a new brand, founded by Jack Morgan, entrepreneur and equestrian (hence the name). Their tequila is produced at Distileria Leyros from 100% Blue Weber agave using no additives. So far, they have released only a blanco tequila. Chrome Horse Society is dedicated to environmental responsibility: Their agave is grown in private…

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Review: Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila (2023)

By Christopher Null | August 23, 2023 |

Fifteen years ago, Maestro Dobel did the unthinkable, coming from nowhere and creating a whole category of spirit — cristalino tequila. Maestro Dobel Diamond, as it was called at the time, was aged tequila (a blend of reposado, anejo, and extra anejo) that was filtered back to clear. It was different and exciting — and…

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Review: Gran Centenario Anejo Tequila

By Christopher Null | August 16, 2023 |

We’ve reviewed a wide range of Gran Centenario tequilas over the years, including copious special editions, but the brand’s standard anejo has long eluded us. Today we remedy that with a look at its aged expression. (Length of time in barrel is not formally stated, but I’ve read 18 months online.) This is a perfectly…

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Tasting Report: Virginia Spirits Expo 2023

By Drew Beard | August 8, 2023 |

Now in its second year, the Virginia Spirits Expo is expanding to include four different events across the state. I attended the first of these in Charlottesville over the summer where more than two dozen Virginia distillers were on hand to share their labors of love. It was unseasonably warm at Ix Art Park that…

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Review: Patron Ahumado Tequila – Silver and Reposado

By Christopher Null | July 24, 2023 |

Patron continues to experiment with smoke in its tequila lineup, the latest being this pair of releases called Patron Ahumado. Made from agave piñas that are roasted with mesquite charcoal for seven days in underground stone pits, then crushed with a stone tahona wheel, the tequilas are primarily a departure from tequila’s traditional oven cooking.…

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Review: Desert Door Lady of Spain Texas Sotol

By Christopher Null | July 22, 2023 |

  Sotol may sound like a one-off experience, but Texas-based Desert Door sure does a lot with it, cranking out special editions of this unique, American twist on tequila. Lady of Spain is Desert Door’s second release in its Explorer Series for 2023, and is actually a relaunch of a previous expression which was aged…

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