Tuesday seems an odd day of the week for the observation of National Tequila Day. Sure, we get the whole Taco Tuesday tie-in, but if ever a made-up holiday deserved to be on a Friday or Saturday, this was it. Still, given the spirit’s resurgence in popularity of late, don’t expect the calendar to slow down people’s celebrations.
Whether you still count Jose Cuervo as a friend of yours or prefer Patron’s $7,500 per bottle Patrón en Lalique: Serie 2, odds are you’re drinking more tequila than you did a few years ago.
Sales of tequila were up 9.9% in 2017, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. And aged tequila is a growth area. Exports of pure tequila in Mexico are up 198% in the past decade. But trouble could be on the horizon. A worsening agave shortage is causing price spikes in the tequila industry and could lead to shortages even among major manufacturers.
Those are problems for another day, though. Today, it’s all about good tequila! Bypass the margarita (that drink has its own day) and try one of these tequilas either neat or chilled. Like any fine spirit, you’ll see that there’s a lot more variety to tequila than you might have imagined.
Avion Reserva 44 Extra Anejo
Aged in oak barrels for 43 months, then aged in “petite” oak barrels for another month, 44 Extra Anejo is a spicy, zesty tequila that smells of vanilla and citrus, but surprises you with a hint of cinnamon on the palate. The finish lingers, but this is a brand where you’ll never want it to end.
Don Julio Double Cask Reposado
Don Julio is regularly named the favorite brand of tequila drinkers. Earlier this year, the company launched its first new innovation in six years, a Reposado tequila finished in casks used to make Buchanan’s blended scotch whisky. The result is a complex tequila that blends the tastes of the two spirits.
Clase Azul Reposado
Often overshadowed by its distinctive bottle, Clase Azul is a smoky, woody reposado that’s remarkably smooth. It has a slightly sweet aftertaste that prevents the burn you get from some tequilas. Like many of the other tequilas on this list, this one’s enjoyed more as a sip than a shot.
Casa Noble Anejo
Aged in toasted French oak barrels for two years, this anejo is triple distilled to ensure purity. You’ll pick up the oak and a hint of caramel alongside the agave and enjoy a long, smoky finish. It’s a rich, smooth, full bodied tequila that’s a perfect way to end the evening.
Some people prefer a cleaner tequila, hoping to savor the blue agave rather than the oakiness of a barrel. If you’re one of them, Pasote’s Blanco is an excellent choice. It has a very soft mouthfeel that’s light and crisp and loaded with citrus elements, with a slightly peppery finish that lingers just long enough.