Many of the most recognizable brands of tequila are also the lowest quality. If you’ve never tried tequila before, having your first experience with one of these low-quality brands could put you off for life. 

Even if you’ve been drinking tequila for years, you might be surprised at how different a bright, clean blanco can be from a rich, mahogany-hued añejo.

The truth is, tequila has just as much variety as any other distilled spirit: variety in flavors, price, and, yes, quality. That’s why we’ve scoured the internet to find these best-in-class tequilas for your drinking pleasure.

THE TEQUILAS WE RAVE ABOUT

Te amo, tequila. Here are the ones we love most.

Best Budget: Cimarrón Tequila

There are a lot of not-so-great brands on the bottom shelf. But great tequila doesn’t have to break the bank, and Cimarrón is proof. This is our go-to choice for affordable, versatile tequila.

Read Full Review

Shop Cimarrón Tequila

Best Mid-Range: Casamigos Reposado

You won’t regret spending a little more if you go with Casamigos Reposado. This brand won us over with its silky texture and unusually complex character for a mid-range tequila.

Read Full Review

Shop Casamigos Reposado

Best Top Shelf: Don Julio 1942

There are plenty of premium tequila brands, but none quite like Don Julio 1942. Flavors of roasted agave and sweet vanilla combine to make one of the best sipping tequilas around.

Read Full Review

Shop Don Julio 1942

Best Ultra-Top Shelf: Grand Mayan Ultra Aged

Smooth like cognac and featuring rich notes of spice, chocolate, and caramel, this tequila is the best of the best. For the most passionate epicures, Grand Mayan Ultra Aged is not to be missed.

Read Full Review

Shop Grand Mayan Ultra Aged

The best-tasting tequilas aren’t only available to those with lots of cash to spare. Paying more will almost always get you a superior tequila, but there are excellent products on the bottom shelf, too.

We’ve searched website after website for the top-scoring tequilas to suit every budget. Our ranking is based on real consumer opinions and official product reviews. This means that our category winners have been picked by tequila lovers around the world.

For lower budgets and tequila virgins, we have the best bottom shelf tequila. If you’re willing to shell out a little more, we have the best mid-range spirit. Finally, for tequila drinkers who know what they like, there’s our best top shelf and best ultra-top shelf picks.

FAQs

How is Tequila Made?

This spirit is made from the juice of the blue agave plant. This plant, native to only a few states in Mexico, is easily mistaken for a cactus in its appearance.

Distillation of tequila is no easy task. The heart of the agave plant, which can weigh 200 pounds or more, is stripped of leaves, then roasted to convert starches to sugars. Harvesters crush the agave heart to release its sugary juices, which are in turn fermented into alcohol.

What Are the Different Types of Tequila?

There are five distinct types of tequila.

Blanco tequila, also known as silver, is a clear liquid. Blanco tequila is not aged at all, or only for a very short time.

Reposado (“rested”), añejo (“aged”), and extra añejo tequilas are aged for varying periods, normally in oak barrels. Depending on the length of the aging process, the liquid will take on a darker hue ranging from light caramel to dark amber. Gold tequila, also known as joven, is often a blend of blanco and reposado tequila.

How Do I Know I’m Buying a Good Tequila?

In most cases, aged tequilas have a broader range of aromas and flavors than blanco varieties. The highest-quality aged tequilas show a gold or darker hue. Clear or silver tequilas are often lower in quality, or at least cheaper.

However, some cheaper brands attempt to pass their products off as a higher-quality spirit. They do this by using colorings and sugar, creating an inferior product.

To avoid cheap imitations, check out the label on a tequila bottle. If a tequila has a golden hue and states “100% agave” on the label, then it’s the real deal. If the percentage is far lower, then you should steer clear.

What Should I Mix With Tequila?

Many people find that their first encounter with tequila comes in shot form, often with lime or lemon. However, this practice is most common outside of Mexico. The truth is that this spirit can be immensely pleasurable to drink straight from a suitable glass.

If you choose to mix your tequila, then you have an almost endless range of possibilities. The Long Island iced tea incorporates tequila, as do many other popular cocktail recipes. Tequila lovers often report that two or more ingredients are better than one when it comes to mixing.

However, you can enjoy this spirit with a simple mixer of soda, too. Citrus-based flavors are often touted as a perfect pairing. Cola makes another fan-favorite.

What Are the Best Tequilas?

To determine our category winners, we aggregated reviews and customer feedback from a host of websites. This brought us the best selection of tequilas on the market, with something to suit all budgets.

Here are the results of our search:

  • The Best Budget Tequila: Cimarrón Tequila
  • The Best Mid-Range Tequila: Casamigos Reposado
  • The Best Top Shelf Tequila: Don Julio 1942
  • The Best Ultra-Top Shelf Tequila: Grand Mayan Ultra Aged

Best Budget Tequila

  1. Cimarrón Tequila

    Made in Atotonilco, Jalisco, Cimarrón Tequila was created by a tequila lover for tequila lovers. The slow, low-pressure roast of hillside agave yields a bright, clean flavor. This spirit is perfect for margaritas, cocktails, and shots. 

    The aromas of Cimarrón Tequila are light and fruity, while the body is pleasantly smooth and lightly acidic. The sweet flavor of green agave is balanced with spicier notes of cumin and pepper.

    Shop Cimarrón Tequila
  1. Honorable Mentions

    Tequila Ocho Blanco

    Balanced and complex, Tequila Ocho Blanco is a solid choice, but not as well suited for cocktails as Cimarrón.

    Shop Tequila Ocho Blanco

Best Mid-Range

  1. Casamigos Reposado

    Aged for 7 months in American Oak barrels, this tequila has a golden hue, though not quite as dark as an añejo variety. The spirit is delivered in a bottle that opts for simplicity in its labeling and design.

    The Casamigos Reposado brings the desirable mint and cinnamon flavors of the Blanco variety, but with a strong accent of caramel. On the nose, there’s peanut, vanilla, and smoky aromas, with caramel, butter, and tobacco coming through in the finish.

    Shop Casamigos Reposado
  1. Honorable Mentions

    Herradura Añejo

    Herradura is ideal for drinking neat or in cocktails, but lacks the complexity and character of Casamigos.

    Shop Herradura Añejo

Best Top Shelf

  1. Don Julio 1942

    Don Julio Gonzáles opened his distillery, Tequila Tres Magueyes, in the early 1940s. Aged for around two and a half years in American Oak barrels, Don Julio 1942 is an añejo tequila that pays tribute to the iconic distillery’s heritage.

    Don Julio 1942 carries aromas of caramel and chocolate. To taste, there’s the familiar warm oak and roasted agave of other aged tequilas, with nuances of caramel and pepper. A long finish brings about flavors of sweet chocolate and rich vanilla.

    Shop Don Julio 1942
  1. Honorable Mentions

    Alquimia Reserva de Don Adolfo Extra Añejo

    The Alquimia Reserva de Don Adolfo Extra Añejo is vibrant and robust – just not quite as much so as Don Julio 1942.

    Shop Alquimia Reserva de Don Adolfo

Best Ultra-Top Shelf

  1. Grand Mayan Ultra Aged

    Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Tequila is truly an impressive product, delivered in a stunning ceramic bottle. As an extra añejo variety, the spirit has a rich hue that comes from three years’ worth of aging. Its mahogany appearance and rich taste are easily confused with other aged spirits.

    On the nose, the Grand Mayan carries nutty aromas of cognac, chocolate, and caramel. To taste, this tequila is sweet and smooth, with spice, vanilla, and caramel undertones. Between the quality of the tequila and the bottle in which it’s sold, Grand Mayan is the epitome of ultra-top shelf.

    Shop Grand Mayan Ultra Aged
  1. Honorable Mentions

    Herradura Selección Suprema

    Although there’s plenty to love about Herradura Selección Suprema, it has little of the agave taste that’s distinctive to tequila.

    Shop Herradura Selección Suprema

You don’t need much more than a glass to enjoy a good bottle of tequila – but these products can’t hurt. We’ve got a select list of recommendations that have been approved by consumers across the internet:

  • Tequila Glasses: Unless you plan on drinking from the bottle, you’ll need tequila glasses. These handmade glasses have overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews.
  • Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses: For those of you who take salt with your tequila, these Himalayan salt shot glasses are just what you didn’t know you needed. No two glasses are ever the same.
  • Bormioli Rocco Decanter: There are some seriously attractive tequila bottles on the market, but you can store your spirits in a different way. This decanter will make the ideal centerpiece for your drinks cabinet.
  • Whiskey Stones Set of 8: Drinking tequila chilled isn’t for everyone. But if you do prefer your tequila on the rocks, these whiskey stones will stop your spirits from being watered down.

Related Posts