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: Avion Tequila Reserva 44 Extra Anejo

By Drew Beard | September 28, 2020 |

The core offerings from Avion Tequila have consistently impressed us over the years, and the brand remains a significant player amid an ever-growing field of ultra-premium tequilas. In 2013, Avion followed the lead of other premium tequila producers and introduced an extra anejo as the Cadillac offering in their portfolio. Extra anejo is a category…

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Review: Convite Mezcal – Esencial and Tobala

By Christopher Null | September 14, 2020 |

Convite — Spanish for invitation — is a new(ish) brand in the U.S. with a substantial range of expressions already under its belt. The Oaxaca-based brand launched with three varieties and now markets at least seven in total, many made from single species of agave. We received two of Convite’s product line to check out. Thoughts…

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Review: Cincoro Tequila – Blanco and Reposado

By Christopher Null | September 7, 2020 |

Ready for more celebrity tequila? Cincoro was created by Michael Jordan and a group of four other NBA team owners with a specific goal: “to create the new gold standard for the spirit.” The collection includes four different 100% agave tequilas which, unusually, use a blend of agave from the Highland and Lowland regions. The insanely…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Tradicional Tequila Anejo

By Christopher Null | August 4, 2020 |

While most drinkers know to keep Jose Cuervo’s mixto tequilas at bay, the Jose Cuervo Tradicional line — the brand’s most budget-priced 100% agave tequila — isn’t bad as a mixer. For years this line has included only a silver and a reposado version. Only now has the lineup finally been rounded out with an…

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Review: Izo Mezcal Joven Cenizo

By Christopher Null | July 28, 2020 |

Izo is a new mezcal brand, and while a collection of spirits is planned for the future, the present of Izo is a single product, a joven style mezcal made from wild Cenizo agave grown in Durango, Mexico. Izo has put a lot of effort into standing out from a packaging standpoint — the bottle…

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Celebrate National Tequila Day 2020 with Our Favorite Cocktails

By Jovie Belisle | July 23, 2020 |

We can think of no better time of year to celebrate tequila than summer, so the liquor gods knew what they were up to when they made July 24th National Tequila Day. If, like us, simply reading the following cocktail recipes featuring tequila makes you want to don on a swimsuit, throw on your sunglasses,…

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Review: Acre Mezcal Cenizo Joven

By Christopher Null | July 22, 2020 |

Brand new operation Acre Mezcal — you’ll know it by the large “A” on the top of the twine-wrapped bottle — is an up and coming producer of the smoky, Mexican spirit. It makes four varieties of mezcal, all unaged/joven, each made from a different species of agave. Cenizo is a wild agave grown in…

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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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