Don Julio Tequila Blanco

Don Julio Tequila Blanco (Photo by Arturo Verea on Shutterstock)

Tequila is a very popular liquor to sip on, especially brands that are considered high-end. The smooth, sweet, and spicy flavor can warm you up and can be used to make some tasty cocktails year-round. But which bottles stand out above the rest? That’s where StudyFinds comes in. We scoured online recommendations and compiled a list of the best luxury tequilas on the market today.

Types of Tequila:

Tequila can exhibit a variety of flavors and characteristics depending on factors such as the type of agave used, the production process, and aging. Here’s a list of different tequila flavors and types:

  • Blanco (Silver/Plata): Unaged tequila with a crisp, clean, and fresh agave flavor. It often has herbal and citrus notes with a peppery kick.
  • Joven (Gold): Also known as “gold” or “young” tequila, it’s typically a mix of blanco and reposado tequilas, with added caramel or sugar coloring. The flavor may be slightly sweet and mellow.
  • Reposado: Aged for at least two months but less than a year in oak barrels, reposado tequila develops a smoother and more complex profile. It can exhibit notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel while retaining the agave essence.
  • Añejo: Aged for a minimum of one year but less than three years in oak barrels, añejo tequila has a rich, robust character. Flavors often include oak, spice, toffee, and chocolate, with a pronounced agave presence.
  • Mezcal: Although distinct from tequila, mezcal is also an agave-based spirit. Its flavor can vary widely, featuring smoky, earthy, and vegetal notes influenced by the roasting process of the agave hearts.

Are you looking to add a top-shelf tequila bottle to your liquor cabinet? StudyFinds has the top seven best luxury tequila brands most recommended by experts. Did one of your favorites not make the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Shots of tequila
Shots of tequila (Photo by sweet marshmallow on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Luxury Tequilas, According to Experts

1. Patrón

The experts’ top pick of best luxury tequilas? “Not only has Patrón been one of the main players in tequila’s rise to the top shelf, it has also been somewhat of a trailblazer in the industry’s quest to become more sustainable. Identifying the effects of climate change on Mexico’s finely tuned agave-growing landscape before most, Patrón took action,” writes Elite Traveler.

 

PATRÓN Añejo Tequila
PATRÓN Añejo Tequila (patrontequila.com)

Esquire calls Patrón El Cielo the best tequila blanco. “Patrón has stepped up with this seriously smooth, four times distilled silver tequila. Elegant and complex, on the nose you’ll find honeycomb, vanilla and green pepper, moving to a clean and pronounced palate that’s made for sipping neat.”

Town & Country Magazine recommends Patrón Añejo, saying it’s an everyday essential. “If you’re looking for a tequila that you can enjoy on its own but won’t feel guilty about mixing into a cocktail, this añejo is just what you need. It garners a robust flavor that can hold its own against mixing from a 12-15 month aging in oak barrels and a subtle sweetness from baked agave.”

2. Clase Azul

Clase Azul came second on the list for its sweet and spicy taste. “Clase Azul has achieved cult status, and along with Patrón and a handful of others, it has cemented tequila’s place in the luxury-spirit world,” says Elite Traveler. “When the tequila and mezcal brand was founded 25 years ago, its aim was not only to show the world how complex tequila can be but to rescue Mexico’s evaporating artisan culture. Over the past two decades, in the small Mexican town of Santa María Canchesdá, Clase Azul has helped to revive the dwindling artisanal heritage by commissioning highly skilled local artists to create beautiful decanters to hold its prized spirit.”

Clase Azul tequilas
Clase Azul tequilas (claseazul.com)

“Clase Azul is instantly recognizable due to its gorgeous ceramic bottles. Artists hand-paint and hand-sculpt the casing in Santa Marina Canchesda,” notes La Patiala. “Each bottle of Clase Azul tequila ages for a minimum of eight months in small oak barrels, which impart its signature flavor. Sip it neat or on the rocks.”

Observer writes, “Clase Azul’s beloved reposado tequila, and their hand-painted white and blue bottles, may not be the most under-the-radar, but their other expressions are often overlooked. The añejo tequila comes in its own unique hand-painted bottle, to further differentiate itself. The delicate blue and 24-carat gold touches are a tribute to the indigenous Mazahua people, representing the water, earth and sun. The tequila has experienced plenty of both, having spent 25 months aging inside used bourbon and whiskey barrels, which means that it is more complex and refined. The tequila itself is full of big, round flavors, with an emphasis on caramel and butterscotch, balanced with toasted oak and warm baking spices.”

3. Casa Dragones

Experts are fans of Casa Dragones due to its joven tequila popularity. “Joven is the name given to a blend of blanco and an extra añejo tequila that’s been filtered to remove the color and smooth out the flavor,” explains Robb Report. “And Casa Dragones is one of the most exclusive joven tequilas in the world. The aroma is fresh and floral with notes of citrus and sweet roasted agave. It’s silky and delicate on the palate, offering hints of vanilla and spiced undertones, balanced with faint notes of pear.”

“This joven-style tequila from San Miguel de Allende combines an extra-añejo aged for five years in new charred American white oak barrels with un-aged tequila,” says GAYOT.

Elle recommends Casa Dragones Blanco. “This is the perfect un-aged blanco for your next Tommy’s margarita — we’re talking fresh, clean and sweet. The panel loved how unique the flavor is, with a menthol and clove note and a super smooth finish. Superb.”

4. Don Julio

Coming fourth on the list is Don Julio. “This small-batch tequila has gone through a 30-month aging process, left in American white-oak casks to bring out the best flavors,” writes Evening Standard about Don Julio 1942. “The tall bottle, destined to steal the spotlight in any home bar, is filled with smooth yet complex flavors. Watch the nights draw in with a measure in your hand and savor the notes of tropical fruit, cinnamon and of course, agave. If you’re looking for a gift that will be welcomed with open arms, this is it.”

Don Julio 1942 (donjulio.com)
Don Julio 1942 (donjulio.com)

“Don Julio was started in 1942, which explains the name of the distillery’s iconic sipping tequila that you see on the top shelf of most bars,” says InsideHook. “Produced in small batches and aged for a minimum of two and a half years, this one has notes of roasted agave, chocolate, vanilla and oak. (Another cool luxury release of theirs? The new Don Julio Rosado, a reposado rested in ruby Port wine casks, also in a distinctively spiky bottle.)”

Robb Report calls Don Julio Ultima Reserva Extra Añejo the best extra añejo tequila. “In celebration of the brand’s 80th anniversary in 2022, Tequila Don Julio Ultima Reserva was released, representing the final agave harvest planted by González and his family in 2006 and set aside for this special distillation. This 36-month-old extra añejo has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels and was then finished in seasoned Madeira wine casks. The resulting liquid is golden in color, with a bouquet of toasted oak and caramel, followed by flavors of apricot and citrus, and with a smooth, honeyed agave finish. As a fitting tribute to Don Julio, it should be enjoyed neat.”

5. Casa Noble

Casa Noble made the list because it “has a bottle for every type of Tequila drinker.” “Casa Noble Tequila is a 7 generation endeavor, lead by founder and Maestro Tequilero Jose ‘Pepe’ Hermosillo. Beginning in the late 1700s in Jalisco and a leading Tequila brand today, Casa Noble produces its Tequila with great integrity, only using estate-grown agaves cooked in traditional stone ovens and then naturally fermented and distilled three times over,” says La Patiala. “Casa Noble offers a wide variety of Tequilas, including a Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, Joven, Single Barrel Extra Añejo, and a Single Barrel Reposado.”

“Its multi-award-winning anejo tequila is aged for two years in French white oak barrels and has notes of dried fruits and spice as well as toasted oak, butterscotch and sweet agave. Like all of Casa Noble’s expressions, it is created in small batches,” notes Elite Traveler.

Observer recommends Casa Noble Marqués De Casa Noble Anejo. “A good sipping tequila often comes down to either the blend or the barrel—this particular bottle from Casa Noble has both. Maestro Tequilero Jose ‘Pepe’ Hermosillo hand-selected the trees for the casks in the Allier region of France, and rested the spirits for a minimum of one, but up to five, years. The French oak is known for its excellent tannic structure, and is used for some of the best French wines. Hermosillo then blended nine añejos with twelve extra añejos. The resulting liquid starts off with lots of caramel, red berries and cinnamon, and finishes with rich chocolate notes.”

6. Komos

Another popular luxury tequila brand is Komos. Esquire says Komos Anejo Cristalino Tequila is the best tequila to use in an Old Fashioned. “Who says an old fashioned needs to be made with whisky? Komos Anejo Cristalino has an unexpected butterscotch sweetness that will give the classic cocktail a whole new lease of life. Outstandingly complex, however you decide to drink it, you can expect notes of black peppercorn, dark chocolate, brown sugar and toasted coffee bean to boot.”

Evening Standard is a fan of Komos Extra Anejo. “Made from agave plants harvested in Jalisco, Mexico, this elegant ceramic bottle makes an impression from the off. It takes inspiration from across the Atlantic to the Med, with an aging process that involves a three-year stint in French oak white wine casks as well as American oak whisky barrels. Both leave their mark on the mature anejo serve; expect vanilla and caramel flavors lifted with refreshing orange peel. Delightful.”

InsideHook highly recommends Komos XO. “Tequila Komos offers a winemaker’s approach to tequila — and thanks to the bottle design, price and flavor, any of their core releases could be justified as luxury. But let’s talk XO. It’s produced in a single batch as a limited-edition bottle with tequila that’s aged three to 11 years in a combination of American oak bourbon barrels and both French oak red and white wine barrels. Komos Xo is then finished in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and has notes of dried fruit, vanilla, chocolate and oak spice. It’s housed in an etched clear crystal decanter.”

7. Casamigos

Rounding out the top seven list of best luxury tequilas is Casamigos. “Once co-owned by George Clooney (before selling to drinks giant Diageo), it’s made using a ‘traditional’ brick oven method,” says Elle. “The golden liquid has a rich caramel note, flecked with juicy orange and sweet cinnamon — making it an excellent choice for a warming tequila old fashioned.”

https://twitter.com/Casamigos/status/1728480271408979998

“Presumably, when George Clooney isn’t drinking Nespresso, he’s pouring himself a measure of Casamigos, a brand he co-created with high profile friends Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman (and has since sold to Diageo for a reported one billion dollars),” writes Esquire. “With buttery caramel, juicy orange and sweet cinnamon notes, our serving preference would be in a tequila old fashioned that’s as smooth as the main man himself.”

Town & Country Magazine calls Casamigos the celebrity favorite. “George Clooney and Rande Gerber started Casamigos based on their love of sharing tequila at their neighboring houses in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While Clooney’s no longer involved with the brand, what began with just a blanco has evolved into a line with reposado and this añejo version, which is aged for 14 months in American oak barrels.”

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Sources:

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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