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

Cazadores Tequila Blanco

Review: Cazadores Tequila – Blanco and Extra Anejo

By Mike Gerrard | July 15, 2020 |

The Cazadores Distillery is in the town of Arandas in the highlands of Jalisco in Mexico, and of their range of tequilas we’ve only reviewed their Reposado to date. While it’s definitely at the budget end of the tequila market, it’s a reliable choice if you want a 100% agave tequila for margaritas or palomas,…

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Review: Dano’s Dangerous Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | July 13, 2020 |

Made at what is reportedly the second oldest tequila distillery in the world, the Dano’s Dangerous Tequila brand is based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and dates back to just 2018. While it started with its pineapple/jalapeno infused tequila (see below), it has since extended the brand to the standard trio of unflavored varieties. The operation…

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Review: Gran Centenario Plata Tequila (2020)

By Christopher Null | June 21, 2020 |

The last time we encountered Gran Centenario’s Plata tequila was way back in 2008! Has 12 years changed anything about this unique joven-esque tequila, which spends a short 28 days in French Limousin oak barrels before bottling (and rendering it a very pale yellow in color)? (One thing that’s changed is the price, driven down…

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Review: Insolito Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 11, 2020 |

New tequila brand Insolito (Spanish for “rare” or “extraordinary”) is distilled by Octavio & Alberto Herrera at Premium de Jalisco, which lays claim to being the highest-elevation distillery in Mexico, at 7200 feet above sea level. There’s a curious partnership with the Herreras: Midland, a Texas-based country music trio (and former bartenders). While the distillery…

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Review: Tequila Partida Single Barrel Reserve Reposado – Medio

By Christopher Null | May 8, 2020 |

Partida Tequila is getting into the single barrel action, launching three different limited-edition reposado bottlings, each designed to “explore the versatility” of the style. Per the company, “Ligero offers notes of fresh agave, maple syrup, toasted oak and caramel; Medio provides flavors of cooked agave, vanilla and butter; and Intenso, dried fruit, nuts and coffee.…

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Review: Nosotros Tequila Reposado

By Christopher Null | April 8, 2020 |

Nosotros’ initial tequila — a blanco — was nice enough to make our Top 10 Tequilas of the Year feature. Alas, we only sampled the silver at the time. Now we get to take a second spin with Nosotros by reviewing its other 100% agave expression, a reposado. (An anejo expression remains unproduced.) Let’s dive…

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Review: Tanteo Blanco and Pepper-Infused Tequilas (2020)

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2020 |

A lot has changed since we first covered Tanteo Tequila back in 2009. Back then, the company was focused exclusively on flavored tequilas, with offerings ranging from tropical fruit to chocolate. Recently, Tanteo dropped two of its three flavors and doubled down on peppers. In addition to its jalapeno flavored tequila, it rolled out chipotle…

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Review: Los Vecinos del Campo Mezcal Ensamble No 1 and Tobala

By Christopher Null | February 18, 2020 |

Los Vecinos Mezcal hit the scene last year with a killer expression made from espadin agave, produced by its independent co-op (of sorts) comprised of 10 mezcaleros. Now it’s back with two new mezcals, a blend called Ensamble and an expression made of 100% tobala mezcal. Let’s give them both a try. Los Vecinos del…

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Review: El Mayor Tequila Cristalino

By Christopher Null | February 12, 2020 |

El Mayor has been on a tear lately, with two special edition tequilas landing spots in our Top 10 Tequilas of 2019 list. Up next for the brand is an on-trend Cristalino bottling, taking its anejo tequila (aged 12 months) and filtering the color out using charcoal. Let’s take it for a spin. The nose…

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Review: El Tesoro Tequila Extra Anejo

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2020 |

El Tesoro has long had an extra anejo tequila on the market — Paradiso was first released in 1994, before extra anejo was ever legally established — but this has always been a limited release that tends to be tough to find. Now El Tesoro is launching a year-round, full-time extra anejo, billed without the…

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