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: El Sativo Single Estate Tequila Reposado and Anejo

By Christopher Null | November 27, 2021 |

We brought you coverage of El Sativo’s organic, “single estate” Lowlands blanco earlier this year — which we loved. Now we’re back with reviews of its other expressions, a reposado and an anejo, both of which launched months later. Ready to dive in? Both expressions are 80 proof. El Sativo Single Estate Tequila Reposado – Aged…

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Drinkhacker’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2021 |

Ready for Christmas? Ready for Christmas 2023, maybe? Our long day’s journey into night may have continued unabated this year, but we’re hopeful you’ve at least found some ability to get out of the house, maybe take a trip, and reconnect with friends and family this season. Naturally, you’re still not going to be able…

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The Top 10 Tequilas and Mezcals of 2021

By Christopher Null | November 15, 2021 |

Celebrities turned their attention to whiskey in 2021, which left the tequila world free to explore new products without a bunch of Hollywood types sniffing around. Whew! Innovation is running wild down in Mexico these days, with some really interesting products hitting the scene of late. As we always do around this time of year,…

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Review: Hiatus Tequila Reposado

By Christopher Null | November 6, 2021 |

Hiatus Tequila is a new premium brand which launched in 2018, but we only recently received a sample to check out — and only the reposado. It’s founded by Kristopher DeSoto, a former helicopter salesman, and is produced in collaboration with third generation tequila makers La Cofradía near the town of Tequila from blue agave…

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Review: Casa Mexico Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | October 19, 2021 |

“Casa Mexico” has to be the laziest tequila branding on the planet, but let’s put that aside for the moment. Recently updated with new packaging, the company behind Casa Mexico — which boasts ownership that includes both Oscar De La Hoya and Mario Lopez — offers the traditional trio of tequila expressions, all 100% agave…

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Review: Tequila Dahlia Cristalino

By Christopher Null | October 12, 2021 |

Dahlia is a new brand of tequila from the folks behind Mezcal El Silencio. Available exclusively as a Cristalino, it is aged for a rather spare 6 months — most Cristalinos start their life as extra anejos — before being filtered back to clear. Essentially a “clear reposado,” this is a considerably rougher cristalino than most…

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Review: Rosaluna Mezcal Joven

By Christopher Null | September 30, 2021 |

Rosaluna is a 100% espadin mezcal from Santiago Matatlan in Oaxaca, developed by co-founders Nate Brown (“the creative mind behind brands such as Yeezy, Beyonce, Alexander Wang, and more”) and Terry Lee (advisor to the likes of Thrive Market and Sundays). The product is distilled by brother-sister duo Frida and Juan Jiménez who have been growing,…

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Review: Tequila Zarpado Blanco

By Christopher Null | September 25, 2021 |

Latitude Beverage — which markets Hunt & Gather and Wheel Horse Whiskey — is getting into the tequila business. Tequila Zarpado is made in Jalisco at the Cavas de Don Max distillery, which I’m not familiar with but which has been around for decades. This is a low-cost, 100% agave product available exclusively as a…

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Review: Montelobos Mezcal Joven – Tobala

By Christopher Null | September 13, 2021 |

Montelobos recently expanded its mezcal lineup with a second expression, this one made in Puebla from tobala agave. It’s also higher in alcohol than the earlier espadin-based expression — and quite a bit different all around. The nose here is pungent, but not in the way you think. It’s actually just mildly smoky an vegetal,…

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Review: Madre Mezcal Espadin y Cuishe

By Christopher Null | September 5, 2021 |

Made with espadin and madrecuishe (aka cuishe) agave, Madre Mezcal was formerly billed as an ensamble, but now carries the identities of both of its primary agave varieties on its label. The Oaxaca-made product shows promise right away. Initially rather sweet on the nose, with notes of overripe fruit, it finds balance in its smoky…

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