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 Tromba, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | April 30, 2022 |

Here’s a fun fact: Tequila Tromba is the top-selling independent tequila… in Canada. A Highlands-born spirit, Tromba is now tiptoeing its way into the U.S., where all three traditional expressions are available. We tried them all. Here goes. All are 80 proof. NOM 1547. Tequila Tromba Blanco – Very light-handed on the whole, this silver tequila…

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Review: Inspiro Tequila Luna Blanco

By Christopher Null | April 29, 2022 |

Looking at the bottle above, you might expect Inspiro to be a vodka. I promise this is not but rather a blanco tequila, which launched in the U.S. in late 2021. The brand was founded by Mara Smith, a former Chicago attorney, who fell in love with tequila and recruited Ana Maria Romero Mena to…

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Review: El Mayor Tequila Extra Anejo – Sherry Cask Aged

By Christopher Null | April 29, 2022 |

El Mayor has been cranking out special editions like mad, including multiple spins on its extra anejo bottling. This one is particularly unique, spending 38 full months in sherry casks. It isn’t finished, it’s completely matured in sherry casks — though the type of sherry is not disclosed. It’s a powerhouse bottling that melds two…

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Review: Del Maguey Mezcal – Vida, Las Milpas, Chichicapa, and 100% Tobala

By Christopher Null | April 22, 2022 |

Ron Cooper founded Del Maguey (pro tip: “del ma-gay”) in 1995, created the category of artisanal mezcal in the U.S. singlehandedly. The brand has gone nowhere but up since, thanks certainly due to the way it works. Rather than being a bulk product, Miller works with 12 different families in 10 villages in Oaxaca (and…

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Review: Calirosa Tequila – Rosa Blanco and Anejo

By Christopher Null | April 20, 2022 |

The gimmick with Calirosa is right in the name: Instead of ex-bourbon barrels, this tequila is aged in California red wine barrels — even the blanco, for a short time — which gives the spirit a naturally pink, or rosa, hue. The operation uses a blend of highland and lowland agave and makes three expressions,…

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Review: Tequila Partida Elegante

By Christopher Null | April 18, 2022 |

Elegante is arguably Partida’s most elevated offering, an extra anejo — and not a cristalino, mercifully — that spends 40 months in oak before bottling. While many extra anejos are ultra-sweet desserts in a glass, Elegante manages to keep agave clearly in its sights. The nose is peppery and green, buttressed by coconut and caramel,…

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Review: Tequila Gran Diamante, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2022 |

Tequila Gran Diamante is a new brand out of Jalisco (by way of Southern California), using Highlands agave to make a full line of three tequilas which are bottled in some of the most over-the-top decanters I’ve encountered in years. While these bottles trickle into bars and retail, we received samples of the complete lineup…

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Review: De Nada Tequila, Blanco and Reposado

By Robert Lublin | March 15, 2022 |

De Nada Tequila is the brainchild of Adam Millman and Danny Neeson, who met while attending Tulane University, realized they shared a love for entrepreneurship and tequila, and set about starting a brand. Considering this origin story, I didn’t have high hopes for De Nada Tequila (lots of us loved tequila in college), but De…

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Review: Corazon Tequila, Complete Lineup (2022)

By Christopher Null | March 14, 2022 |

While we regularly cover Corazon Tequila’s special editions — aged in a variety of rare Buffalo Trace whiskey barrels — we haven’t reviewed the core lineup of tequila since some embarrassingly primitive coverage way back in 2008, when they came packaged in breakage-prone decanters with long, fragile necks. Things have changed for Corazon since then,…

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Review: Patron Anejo Tequila Sherry Cask Aged

By Christopher Null | February 10, 2022 |

Alternatively known as Patron Cask Collection Sherry Cask Añejo, this special edition of Patron Tequila is unique in that it spends its two-plus years of aging in oloroso sherry bottles. No finishing here; it’s sherry all the way. The sherry gives the tequila a brightly vivid orange hue, and its aromatic on the nose as…

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