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: Del Maguey Vida Puebla Mezcal

By Christopher Null | July 12, 2023 |

God bless Ron Cooper and Del Maguey for the instruction of “Sip it. Don’t shoot it.” printed directly on the bottle of his mezcals, the latest of which is a single village version of the entry-level Vida called Vida Puebla. Made in — you guessed it — Puebla, Mexico, Vida Puebla joins Vida Clasico and…

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Review: Volcan de Mi Tierra Tequila X.A.

By Christopher Null | July 6, 2023 |

Volcan de Mi Tierra is one of those ultra-premium tequila brands that deserves its status. Its blanco and cristalino bottlings are both top-tier offerings, and recently the brand finally added another expression to its lineup, Volcan X.A., a blend of reposado, añejo, and extra añejo tequilas packaged in an over-the-top bottle complete with a battery-powered…

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Review: Storywood Tequila Reposado and Anejo Speyside Scotch Barrel Aged

By Robert Lublin | June 22, 2023 |

It isn’t always clear what barrels are used to age tequila. Most often it’s ex-bourbon and sometimes new oak. But Storywood is the first brand I know of to age all of its tequila in ex-Scotch casks. Begun in 2018, Storywood was founded by Michael Ballantyne, who was born in Scotland and raised in Houston,…

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Review: Tequila Komos Anejo Reserva

By Drew Beard | June 19, 2023 |

Last summer, we were introduced to Tequila Komos, the curiously Mediterranean-inspired tequila brand whose lineup includes a handful of expressions but not the most obvious, a blanco offering. So, when the brand announced a new addition to the lineup this year, we were a little surprised to find a second anejo joining the portfolio. Given…

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Review: Santo Tequila Blanco, Reposado, and 110 Blanco

By Robert Lublin | June 11, 2023 |

Santo was launched by rocker Sammy Hagar and foody Guy Fieri in 2019 as a blend of tequila and mezcal. While the celebrity backing may raise eyebrows, it’s been a success, and the brand has since extended into various straight tequila expressions. These tequilas  hail from El Viejito Distillery and is made with no additives…

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Review: Cierto Tequila Blanco and Extra Anejo

By Robert Lublin | June 6, 2023 |

We recently had a chance to try Cierto Private Collection Tequila Reposado and Añejo, and both were excellent. Today we swing back around to try the youngest and oldest tequilas Cierto produces. Both are 100% Blue Weber agave and 100% additive free, and both come in the same stylish, oversized bottles — with sky-high price…

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Review: Ravella Tequila Extra Anejo

By Robert Lublin | May 29, 2023 |

We have seen a number of tequila brands fronted by celebrities, but this is the first I know of to be fronted by a celebrity company. Ravella is a new tequila brand being released by 11 Ravens, a high-end manufacturing company known for its custom luxury game tables, including billiards, table tennis, poker, and more.…

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Review: Calirosa Tequila Extra Anejo Cinco Anos

By Christopher Null | May 26, 2023 |

Calirosa, which ages its tequila in red wine barrels from California, is back with a new expression. No, it’s not a reposado — though the company finally now makes one — but an extra extra anejo, aged for five years, roughly three times the length of aging of the anejo offering and two years longer…

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Review: Gran Centenario Cristalino Tequila

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2023 |

The march of Cristalino tequila bottlings continues courtesy of Gran Centenario, which takes anejo and extra anejo tequila, finishes them in Calvados brandy casks, then filters out all the color. It’s a bold approach and it shows in the finished product. The nose is festive and fruity, bold apple cider notes layered with baking spice…

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Review: Astral Tequila Reposado and Anejo

By Robert Lublin | May 19, 2023 |

We reviewed Astral Tequila last year, but at the time they only had a Blanco expression. Today we try their newly released Reposado and Añejo. As with the earlier release, these tequilas are also distilled from 100% Blue Weber agave drawn from the Lowlands region of Jalisco, Mexico and are made using traditional methods. The…

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