If you’re looking to flirt with Mexico’s favourite spirit without breaking the bank, these are our favourite best value tequilas, in time for National Tequila Day in the US.
Tequila. It’s the one timeless spirit that people usually have strong opinions on. Generally blamed for more than its fair share of bad decisions, the agave spirit remains a favourite with bartenders thanks to its complexity and diversity.
In Asia, consumers are increasingly forgiving their youthful tequila-soaked indiscretions and are getting in on the act, appreciating sipping tequilas like they would a single-malt whisky or small-batch rum. Sure, spend a bit more and you’re likely to get a better product, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t affordable tequila on the market just begging to be shaken into a Margarita or a Paloma. Here are some of our favourites.
Herradura Original Reposado
The world’s first Reposado remains one of its best value tequilas, at least in our books. Herradura introduced its Reposado in 1974, aging the spirit longer than the industry standard to produce a tequila that’s mellow and silky smooth, with plenty of vegetative agave notes, the sweetness of vanilla and caramel, and touches of smoke from its nap in charred American white oak. This is a tequila you can sip, hydrate with a touch of soda and a squirt of lime, or get creative with at the blender.
Corralejo Añejo Tequila
Hacienda Corralejo was founded in 1755 so the company knows a thing or two about good tequila. The distillery slow roasts its agave for 27 hours in traditional clay ovens to bring our the earthy-sweet flavours and ages its Añejo tequila for 12 months in new, charred American oak barrels. The supermodel-slim bright-red bottle will look great at home, and its contents will please both palate and soul thanks to a rich smokiness, a deep flavour profile, and touches of cinnamon sweetness on the finish. This is a very reasonably priced spirit that you can actually enjoy over ice or neat.
Patrón is the brand that really brought tequila back into the fold, in the US at least. Savvy marketing, sexy bottles, and a great liquid have made the tequila brand a market leader. It’s also surprisingly well-priced and while it goes against the grain of many small-batch-loving bartenders, it’s a great tequila to order when you’re out or to have at home.
Aim for the Patrón Reposado, which has been aged for two months and boasts oak, white pepper, and fresh agave on the nose, a light amber hue, and citrus, honey, and oak on the palate. It’s smooth enough that you can sip it, shoot it, or shake it up.
1800 Anejo Tequila
A tequila that offers great value for money as well as an elegant and enhanced take on classic tequila cocktails, 1800 Anejo is made from 100 percent blue agave and aged in French oak barrels for over a year (and up to 3). You’ll recognise 1800 for its Inca-esque bottle but you’ll love it for its complex profile of toasted coconut, vanilla, spicy wood, and lingering dry finish.
Casa Noble Reposado
Not only is Casa Noble’s Reposado tequila clean, fresh, and approachable, it’s also organic, one of a growing number of tequila brands that are going organic-certified. Not only does the Reposado offer great value and plenty of complexity, with plenty of French oak on the nose, hints of honey and vanilla on the tongue, and a long smokey finish, but it’s also a great gateway spirit to the brand’s many innovative single-barrel expressions.
Part of the Campari family of spirit brands, Espolòn is an inexpensive yet innovative tequila packed with great agave flavour. The brand’s Reposado is made from 100 percent blue weber agave using both pot and column stills and is aged in new American oak barrels for 3-5 months.
Perfect for elevated tequila cocktails like the Acapulco, Mexican Mule, or as a nice touch to a Long Island Iced Tea, look for spice and caramel fudge on the nose, followed by a bold, full-bodied palate with touches of tropical fruit, brown sugar and vanilla, and a long, spicy finish.
KAH Reposado Tequila
Not only does KAH Resposado tequila come in an eye-catching Day of the Dead bottle, but it’s also genuinely good hooch. Aged in French Limousin casks for 10 months, and bottled at 55%, this is the unashamedly bad boy of the bunch; with a big punch of agave up front, followed by accents of caramel and vanillas, and a strong herbal finish, this is a great tequila for giving traditional agave cocktails a kick in the pants, if only to dial it down a little.
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