Best Tequilas for 2023: Top 5 Bottles Most Recommended By Expert Websites

Who doesn’t like a refreshing margarita to accompany their Taco Tuesday or, really, any day of the week? Tequila, the delicious distilled spirit made from the blue agave plant, can be used as the lively star in various cocktails, or even enjoyed straight on the rocks. Finding the best tequila can help up your cocktail game, give you balanced flavors, and leave your head feeling a lot lighter in the morning by opting for a quality source.

“Tequila as we know it today—which is distilled—was likely first made by the Spanish colonists when they invaded South America. In the early 1600s, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle began the first distillery in what is now known as Tequila, Jalisco,” Master Class explains. “In 1974, the Mexican government declared tequila the intellectual property of Mexico, and that tequila can only be produced in certain Mexican states: Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas.”

While abstaining from heavy drinking is recommended for all people of drinking age, pure tequila is considered a healthier option compared to some other liquors due to its relatively low sugar content and nutritional make-up. Misleading headlines claiming tequila can improve your health are medically unproven, but many doctors agree that occasionally indulging in a quality tequila is OK for individuals in good health.

Just make sure to grab a healthy snack on the side! A recent study found that booze could actually help people shed extra pounds — as long as you’re nosing on nuts and other healthy bar snacks. Scientists found that high-protein foods soak up alcohol without leading to pot bellies and love handles. The more you know, right?

As all tequilas are not created equal, when looking for the best tequilas you want to focus on agave content, flavor profile, and how they’re produced. StudyFinds visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which tequilas were rated the highest. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended tequilas across these sites. Salud!

The List: Best Tequila, According To Experts

1. Fortaleza Blanco 

Produced in the heart of Tequila, Mexico, Fortaleza Blanco Tequila packs a quality punch with notes of citrus, olives, and black pepper.

“Among agave experts, Fortaleza is one of the most revered brands in tequila. The distillery is steeped in a rich history, tracing its lineage all the way back to Don Cenobio, who was the first to export tequila to the United States,” Insider writes. “Since the founding of Fortaleza, they have maintained many traditional practices, like open-air fermentation, stone rolling with a tehona, and cooking the agave in brick ovens.”

The Fortaleza Blanco is also extra-proof with 40 percent ABV, making it a great pick for any celebration.

“Needless to say, this is one of the more complex tequilas on our list — making it one that aficionados will undoubtedly appreciate,” Rolling Stone writes. “A nice touch: the hand-blown glass bottle, which is topped with a hand-painted agave piña and vintage-inspired label.”

2. Don Julio 1942

If you enjoy a side of luxury with your tequila on the rocks, Don Julio 1942 is known as one of the most highly-rated luxury tequilas on the scene.

“Before filling its tall, tapered bottle, this iconic, Don Julio 1942 añejo rests for two and a half years in American white-oak barrels. It’s made with agave that’s been cooked in a brick oven, roller-milled, and distilled with deep, mineral well water in a stainless steel pot still with a copper coil,” Liquor writes. “This mix of old and modern gear, and of course, those casks, yields a smooth and flowery potion with a caramel-and-vanilla flavor, along with a salt-and-spice finish.”

While Don Julio is a hugely successful tequila company, the company is also commended for its charitable efforts, with the The Don Julio Fund pledging $1 million to help local communities in Mexico.

“This variety of the famous brand earned its moniker for the year that founder Don Julio González started making his spirits. 1942 is known for its tall, brown bottle, which might be confused for wine or champagne at first glance, along with its rich flavor of vanilla and oak,” Tasting Table writes. 

3. Casamigos Blanco

You may be skeptical of celebrity-founded tequila, is it really worth the hype? Whether you’re a fan of actor and co-founder George Clooney or not, tequila aficionados say Casamigos is a safe bet.

“One of the smoothest, most natural tasting tequilas on our list, Casamigos is made in the Jalisco highlands from 100% agave,” Rolling Stone writes. “Each batch is distilled for a minimum of two months in stainless steel barrels, and delivers a nice mix of sweet agave, light citrus and just a hint of vanilla.”

Due to its smooth and approachable flavor, Casamigos makes for a great tequila to buy if you’re just getting into drinking the spirit.

“Casamigos Blanco is all about being super classy and refined without trying too hard. This small batch tequila is made with Blue Weber agave and delivers hints of citrus, vanilla, and sweet agave with a long smooth finish,” Delish writes.

4. Tequila Ocho Plata

If you’re looking for an agave-centric tequila that shines through in margaritas but doesn’t overpower, Tequila Ocho Plata is a top choice.

“As the winner of the Best of Class Silver/Gold (unaged) Tequila award, Ocho Plata bested 110 other tequilas to take home. Developed by third-generation tequilero Carlos Camarena and industry legend Tomas Estes, this tequila is made from premium overripe agaves in Jalisco, Mexico. Complex with a hint of its home terroir, it exhibits both mineral and fruit flavors,” Forbes writes.

The spirit is full and complex with notes of grass and earthiness. 

“The first brand of tequila to designate both the year produced and the field from which the agave was taken, Tequila Ocho’s unaged expression is a popular among bartenders from all over when it comes to making the classic margarita,” GQ writes.

5. El Jimador Tequila

A great entry-level tequila at an affordable price-point, El Jimador’s Tequila doesn’t cut flavor or quality to fit into your budget.

“Jimadors are the farmers that harvest agave, so it makes sense that the tequila named after those hard-working people is a best bet when it comes to price for quality,” GQ writes. “It’s great not only for the price, but for its ‘fresh and crisp citrus profile’  that enhances just about any tequila cocktail.”

El Jimador is also highly rated for both mixology and sipping straight, making it an ideal pick regardless of your drinking habits.

“Made in Jalisco, this 100 percent agave tequila rests for 40 days before it’s bottled and sent to thirsty drinkers. This results in a crisp tequila that works particularly well in cocktails, and the fact that it’s one of the best-selling brands in Mexico confirms that. Tasting notes of roasted agave, lemon, and honey pair particularly well in a paloma,” The Spruce Eats writes. 

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 the Author

Meaghan Babaker

Meaghan Babaker is a journalist and freelance writer previously based out of New York City while working for CBS New York, CBS Local and MSNBC. After moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, she went on to write for Digital Luxury Group, The Travel Corporation and other international publications before joining the editorial team at StudyFinds.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer

Comments

  1. I would not include any tequilas with additives.

    My faves would be,

    Fortaleza, Lalo, Mijenta, Cazcanes, Tequileno, Don Fulano.

  2. Hi I’m Mexican and the only good tequila from the list is Don Julio 1942.

    Best tequilas from a Mexican :
    1. Casa Dragones Blanco
    2. José Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo
    3. Herradura Reposado
    4. Don Ramón Blanco, Maestro tequilero Blanco, Herradura plata, José Cuervo Tradicional for drinks.
    5. Maestro Tequilero Dobel ( Cristalino) for shots.

    1. Just goes to show being Mexican doesn’t mean you know good Tequila. Casa Dragones is the worst garbage there is, diffuser made and additive laced. Cuervo DlF and Herradura were great 20 yrs ago, now shadows of what they used to be.

      Los Abuelos / Fortaleza, Siete Leguas, El Tesoro, G4, Don Fulano, Don Pilar, Ocho. Brands that are traditionally made and haven’t been ruined by huge conglomerate buyouts.

  3. I have many Mexican Amigos they won’t touch Cassamigo.
    Try Don Roberto as a substitute for Don Julio 1942 style.
    I also enjoy Patron Silver in MARGARITA
    Casadora for Party Pitcher

  4. I have to agree wth Jaybird on this one. Additive have no business in a bottle of alcohol. You shold add what you want.

  5. Well paid ad. A couple of the names were right on but as soon as you put Casa Amigos on the list, you lose credibility.

  6. Oh. I get it. Writer wrote this up at the airport lounge as these were the only tequilas available. Understandable as to how it’s such a horrible top 5 besides Fortaleza and Ocho. The other 3 are all very commercialized and artificial. Try some additive free and real tequilas next time. Tequileño, Don Fulano, Lalo, Cazcanes… so many better options.

    1. Perfectly said, just check with Tequila Matchmaker and they’ll back everything up that celebrity tequila is mostly additives and just a rip off.

      Fortaleza and Tequila Ocho are superior and additive free at half the price
      Cheers

    2. Camarena Blanco blue bottle
      Is the best
      And reasonably priced
      No one knows of this tequila
      I wanted to be a sales person for them to travel and get the name out there

      1. Everyone knows of Camarena tequila but ignore it because it smells and tastes like nail polish remover. One of the worst diffuser made tequilas out there, barely drinkable even mixed.

  7. I love good sipping Tequila and the best for the price is Herradura Ultra…Extremely tasty Tequila. After the second round, it’s starts to have a slight taste of cotton candy. Exceptional Tequila.

    1. Tequila should not taste like cotton candy, that flavor comes from sweeteners and additives designed to appeal to people who don’t like the taste of alcohol.

  8. 2 out of 5 is pretty bad when you consider all the great additive-free brands on the market these days. Thumbs up for Forteleza and Tequila Ocho. Please consider confirmed additive-free brands such as Cascahuin, Siete Leguas, Insólito, and the highly anticipated Flor de Fuego for 2023. We can and must do better and Casamigos ain’t it…

  9. I’ve always been a fan if 1942 but this year I’ve stumbled upon Adictivo Anejo…..wow!! It doesn’t have the oak finish of 1942 but definitely one of the smoothest and most flavorful tequilas I’ve tried. Love it!

    1. Lol, the most additives and sugar added tequila on the market. You aret drinking Tequila, you are drinking sugar water and a super outrageous price!

      1. Lol? You’re a moron and a cheap one at that! Not everyone likes tequila the same. Some sweeter, some a bit watered down and so on. Additives in tequila are no different than adding additives to any other alcohol. People have these things called tastebuds that help decide what we like for ourselves. But I guess opinions are like (Jays)…everyone has one!

        1. I have to agree wth Jaybird on this one. Additive have no business in a bottle of alcohol. You shold add what you want.

        2. Wow overreact much? Jay is dead on, you might like the taste of adictivo but it doesn’t taste at all like Tequila. And assuming someone is cheap just because they don’t like the overpriced additive laden garbage you do really makes you look like the moron to those who actually know Tequiula.

          I skip the adictivo and get Suerte extra anejo for the same price and it completely blows it away.

  10. If you’re going to drink blanco or anejo Herradura is hands down one of the best and if you want to jump up slightly in price point Casa Dragones is a better choice in my opinion. However 1942 although good, has been over hyped and now way over priced. At that price, Tears of Llorona is a far superior choice for about $20 more and the juice is actually worth the squeezed. Happy sipping!

  11. casomigos contains artifical flavor along with a ass of sugar. tequila made for Americans has to contains a high sugar content. yall don’t have a clue what ur talking about. example to not include sauza on this list but include the wrong date payout when they said tequila isn’t tequila if it doesn’t come from 3 places. that was all the sauza family back in 1934.

    1. I think you may want to go over your list again….. LMAO 1942 and Casamigos and the word Best should never be in the same sentence.
      Full of additives and fake flavors

    1. Teremana should be in no Indy tequila list entry or otherwise. Entry level try Espolón, Tapatio, or even Altos.
      For additives free and not over priced look at Pasote, Siete Lenguas, Casa Noble, Ocho and Fortaleza to name a few.
      Save your money no need for 1942 or Clase Azul unless you are looking for souvenir bottles

  12. Couldn’t agree more with the above comment. This is a list of over hyped tequilas. Casamigos has many additives for flavor and are we seriously putting El Jimador on the list?

  13. Seems to be a Diageo placed top 5. If you have any knowledge of the tequila market most of these over hyped and actually have been changed recipe wise to make more money. 1942 going back to when it first was released until today has quadrupled in price, it’s a good Extra Anejo. Not worth the $165 price point. Forteleza by far the best tequila on this list. After Clooney and Weber sold Casa Migos to Bacardi it’s been altered. Still a decent Blanco. Ocho Plata good but price keeps going up. Comparison Cuervo Reserve Blanco the original Blanco amazing for $45-50. What I find strange there isn’t a reposado on your list??
    Good Luck

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