1つのテキーラ, 2つのテキーラ, 3つのテキーラ, 床! この精神にもう一度チャンスを与える

1つのテキーラ, 2つのテキーラ, 3つのテキーラ, 床! この精神にもう一度チャンスを与える
Whether it be blanco, reposado and añejo, get sipping with the best tequilas from Amazon, ウェイトローズ, Master of Malt, The Whisky Exchange and more

Does the word “tequila” bring to mind shudder-inducing shots on grotty bar nights? You’re not alone; テキーラ, 残念ながら, still has a bit of an image problem (let’s call it a “hangover”) here in the UK. But when people say they don’t like tequila, what they usually mean is that they don’t like *cheap* tequila.

実は, this spirit – distilled from the blue agave plant in Mexico’s Jalisco state – is one of the most diverse out there. Taste enough, and you’re almost guaranteed to find a tequila you’ll not just tolerate, but actually love drinking.

Style is your first consideration. While sub-classifications abound, there are three main types of tequila – blanco, reposado and añejo. Blanco’s, also known as “silver”, are crystal-clear unaged spirits, akin to vodka or white rum. Añejo’s are aged in barrel for at least a year, taking on honey-brown, whisky-style characteristics. Reposados, stylistically, tend to hover between the two – shorter barrel ageing gives them some oaky character, but still with the freshness of blanco.

We’ve included all the styles in our round up below because they’re good for different things – blanco tequilas for cocktail mixing (hello, Margaritas!), and aged ones for meditative sipping. We’ve also endeavoured to include a range of price points, while still keeping things affordable.

Like with whisky, fine tequilas, especially those that have been aged, can come in at hundreds of pounds per bottle. We’ve chosen to cap our inclusions at around £100, because unless you’re a real aficionado, that’s probably the most you should consider paying.

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One thing we were really strict about? Only including tequilas made from 100 per cent pure blue agave – so no “tequila mixtos” that blend agave with corn or cane sugars.

Each of the tequilas below was tasted in the same way: sipped straight from a spirit tasting glass, to let the true character shine. Aside from taste, we also took into account sourcing, 物語, packaging and value for money. And while in many cases we tasted a range of tequilas from the same brand, we’ve only included a maximum of one from each – the one that we think is most worth your money.

The best tequilas for 2021 です:

G4 Blanco 40%, 75cl

ベスト: 全体

評価: 10/10

With such gorgeous complexity wafting from the glass – floral, fruity top notes mingled in with classic agave, grass and a buttery undertone – we could sit sniffing this premium tequila all day long. You don’t make a drink this good by accident, and the mix of experience – owner Felipe J Camarena’s family has been producing tequila since the 1930s – and prime terroir, with agave sourced from the Jalisco highlands, have gone into making G4 our winner.

It’s an artisan tequila through and through. They make it using a blend of spring water and, interestingly, captured rainwater – talk about attention to detail – and employ a rather laborious, old-school method of processing the agave to ensure they have maximum influence over flavour. And as we’ve said, the care shows in the glass. With an incredibly smooth mouthfeel and a long, minerally, delicate finish, this is a blanco you can definitely drink straight, as well as mix into cocktails; there’s no place it won’t shine.

Storywood speyside 14 añejo 40%, 70cl

ベスト: For whisky lovers

評価: 9/10

With their rich caramel hues and aged oak character, añejo tequilas are often compared to whiskies – and this one really does fulfil the expectation, given it’s been rested for 14 months in ex-Speyside single malt Scotch casks. Those toasty, roasted and nutty notes from the barrel mingle gorgeously with the deep vegetal richness of agave, creating a smooth, sippable spirit with a rambling, complex and savoury finish.

It’s good value for an añejo – it’s not unusual to see these bottles at double this price – and we’re big fans of the fun, fresh artwork on the bottle. While Storywood is certainly delicious enough to drink on its own (and that’s how the creators suggest enjoying it), if you’re a cocktail fan we’d also give it a go in place of whiskey in a classic Old Fashioned.

El Jimador blanco 38%, 70cl

ベスト: バーゲン

評価: 7/10

Cheap tequilas are typically cheap for a reason – many are, 実際には, “tequila mixtos” which means that the blue agave base has been blended with other, less-costly fermentable sugars. 対照的に, anything that states it’s 100 per cent blue agave on the label will be the pure, premium stuff – including the impressively affordable, crystal-clear El Jimador.

Citrussy, peppery notes lead to a gentle warmth on the palate; there’s not huge amounts of complexity, but nor should you expect it at sub-£20. A natural pick for when you’re mixing up batches of tequila cocktails with plenty of big flavours, 例えば, a Paloma, made with lime juice and grapefruit soda.

Mijenta blanco 40%, 70cl

ベスト: Sipping blanco

評価: 8/10

Given that this new-to-the-UK tequila brand was founded by a former Bacardi CEO, you’d expect the branding to be pretty on-point – and with its cool glass cork and powdery pink colourway, it certainly is that. But we all know that glossy branding only goes so far, so it’s a good thing that this artisan pour, crafted by “meastra tequilera” Ana Maria Romero in the Jalisco highlands, is clearly made with skill.

Mijenta is incredibly complex on the nose, with a richly savoury backbone of roasted agave intermingled with honey and spice. The creamy, rich and full-flavoured palate suits neat sipping best – a serve most often reserved for barrel-aged tequilas.

Cazcabel reposado 38%, 70cl

ベスト: For richer cocktails

評価: 8/10

Tequilas labelled as reposado – which means, if your Spanish is rusty, “rested” – get their honeyed hue from time spent aging in oak barrels. The legal minimum is 60 日々, but this affordable bottling is aged for much longer than that: a minimum of nine months.

結果? ゴールデン, caramel flavours, with a gentle hint of dried fruit and spice – though, in true quality reposado fashion, there’s still plenty of enticing agave freshness, あまりにも. A great pick for richer tequila cocktails such as a Bloody Maria, the fiesta-ready cousin to our brunch-time favourite, the Bloody Mary.

El Rayo plata 40%, 70cl

ベスト: For T&Ts

評価: 9/10

Launched out of London by two childhood friends, El Rayo is an interesting prospect: a modern tequila designed to be sipped with tonic, à la G&T styles. And you know what? It works. Tasted straight it was enjoyable, with vegetal, herbaceous notes on the nose and a subtle citrussy sweetness on the palate. But when mixed with トニック (記録のために, we used London Essence) the drink really sparkled, with those lemon-lime notes really singing, and the savoury ones bringing in subtle complexity. If you’re feeling a bit over gin, we’ve just found your new summer aperitif – you can thank us later.

1800 Cristalino tequila 35%, 70cl

ベスト: For tequila skeptics

評価: 7/10

It looks like a blanco, でもそうではありません. A relatively new category of tequila, cristalinos are añejos that have subsequently been filtered to remove their amber colour. This process also tends to remove some of that trademark agave character, and while die-hard fans of the spirit might take exception to that, there’s a whole lot of people out there who will love it: つまり、, anyone who isn’t a big fan of tequila in the first place. This smooth, easy-to-drink pour from the 1800 brand has sweet vanilla, coconut and almond notes, with some butter and pepper creeping in. Try drinking it over a giant ice cube.

Herradura reposado 40%, 70cl

ベスト: Classic reposado

評価: 8/10

のために熟成 11 months in American white oak, this reposado has been flying off shelves since the 1970s – it was the first commercial bottling of the style ever sold – and it remains popular for a reason. An enticing caramel hue; dried fruit and cooked agave nose; a fruit and vanilla palate with hints of butterscotch – it all comes together to make one serious crowd-pleasing pour. And like a good reposado should be, it’s incredibly versatile. Drink it simply over the rocks, if that’s your thing, or try it in place of rum, whisky or even cognac in your favourite brown spirit-based cocktails.

Tapatio blanco 40%, 50cl

ベスト: Traditional blanco

評価: 9/10

There’s plenty of spicy, savoury character packed into this flavourful agave tequila – it just goes to show how complex a good blanco can be. Tapatio has been made using the same artisan methods since the 1930s, and that commitment to tradition might have something to do with all that richness. Green pepper, white pepper and sweet fruit on the nose, with a heavily spiced, savoury palate ending in a flash of roasted agave. You will either entirely love its bold intensity in your lime-drenched Margaritas or, if you’re tequila-shy, find it a bit too much. And as tequila lovers, we are firmly in the former camp.

Padre Azul añejo 38%, 70cl

ベスト: For sweet-tooths

評価: 7/10

The bottle is outrageous: topped with a giant silvery skull, and coddled in a leathery sleeve, it’s a love-it or hate-it kind of presentation. And when it comes to its liquid profile, this premium sipping tequila is no shrinking violet either. Rich chocolate, toffee and cinnamon spice on the nose are followed up with a syrupy-rich palate of brown sugar, pepper, coffee and vanilla. This is a sweeter, more contemporary style of tequila – it will appeal to bourbon and rum drinkers especially – but it’s a great (if pricey) gateway tipple if you’re still working out if this spirit is for you. Trying pairing it with a dessert for a sweet ending to a meal; a chocolatey coffee cake would be perfection.

Código rosa 35%, 70cl

ベスト: For summery drinking

評価: 8/10

Now here’s a bit of an oddity: a blanco tequila that’s been rested for a month in Napa Valley Cabernet wine barrels, imparting a blushing pink hue and a hint of fruity brightness. Tequila purists might baulk, but actually, it’s gorgeous to drink, especially in sultry summer; pour it over ice or mix with a splash of tonic and you’ve got agave’s answer to pink gin.

Don’t expect the ripe, overtly red fruit notes you’ll find in most pink gins though. The main effect you’re getting with Código rosa is a rounded mouthfeel, and gentle sweetness to balance out an underlying earthiness. Sublimely sippable.

AquaRiva reposado 38%, 70cl

ベスト: Low-key celeb tequila

評価: 8/10

Celebrity-endorsed tequilas have become big business – it seems like everyone from ジョージ・クルーニージャスティン・ティンバーレイク have launched their own brands. Cleo Rocos, a comedian, is behind this floral, honeyed reposado, から作られた 100 per cent agave sourced from the Jalisco highlands. A single sniff brings to mind a bouquet of summer blooms; a buttery, smooth but still bright palate is rippled with rose. A natural pick when you’re mixing up a round of Palomas or Margaritas, especially given its fairly friendly price point.

Vivir blanco 40%, 70cl

ベスト: For Instagramming

評価: 8/10

With its slick, contemporary bottle and confident messaging – it claims that this is “tequila, but not as you know it” – this spirit feels as much like a lifestyle brand as it does a drink. But that’s not a knock, as the quality is obviously there too.

It’s made with 100 per cent blue agave, harvested at a fully mature nine years of age, and blended with volcanic spring water. That mature agave brings complexity to your glass, with rounded vegetal and honey notes mingling in with citrus. A clean, fresh palate has a gentle savouriness while ending with a touch of sweetness. 基本的に, like some other modern tequilas, it’s crying out to be mixed with tonic in a T&T. Bottoms up!

評決: Tequilas

All the tequilas recommended above deserve their place on this list. But our favourite is the bottle that shows both classic tequila character and elevated finesse – as well as great value for money. そう, it’s hats off to G4’s blanco: premium in profile and flavour, and yet still accessible price-wise, it’s a great tequila however you choose to drink it.

When it comes to aged styles of tequila, we loved the complexity of Storywood’s speyside 14 añejo. And as for contemporary tequilas that shine when mixing with tonic? El Rayo is a winner for all your summer T&T needs.

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