Finding the best tequila is a matter of personal taste and budget. However, some tequilas and tequila brands are consistently good. Here, you'll find the best tequila brands and individual tequilas to make great cocktails or sip straight.
1. Best Sipping Tequila - Don Julio 1942
Don Julio is an excellent tequila brand with an array of options. And while the Don Julio 1942 is one of its best offerings, you can't go wrong with any bottle of Don Julio you buy. So, if your budget is limited, you can still get a really good, smooth sipping tequila from Don Julio for a reasonable price. With that being said, 1942 is an exceptional tequila. Wine Enthusiast gave Don Julio 1942 a whopping 98-point rating. It's a golden, limited edition añejo tequila with hints of smoke, caramel, and spice. You'll pay around $175 for a bottle of 1942, but it's worth every penny. It's a satisfying and complex tequila that may have you rethinking what a tequila can be.
2. Best Reposado Tequila - Clase Azul Reposado
Reposado tequilas have been aged for at least two months and as long as two years in oak barrels. This imparts caramel and vanilla flavors and aromas to the smoky-sweet, funky flavors present from the blue agave used to make tequila. One of the best reposado tequilas comes from Clase Azul in a distinct, hand-painted, blue and white ceramic bottle that's as attractive as the tequila it contains. Community raters at Distiller.com give the Clase Azul reposado an aggregate rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, and customers at Total Wine & More rate it similarly at 4.6 out of 5 stars. It's a well-balanced reposado aged for 8 months that's delicious for sipping neat. You can also add a sugar cube and a dash or two of mole or orange flavored cocktail bitters to make a knock-your-socks off tequila old fashioned. You'll pay about $150 for a 750 mL bottle.
3. Best Tasting Tequila - Don Julio Double Barrel Reposado Lagavulin Cask
If you're looking for a tasty tequila experience akin to drinking a fine whiskey or Scotch, then give the Don Julio double barrel reposado Lagavulin cask a try. The limited edition tequila comes from Don Julio's master distillers. It's a smoky reposado with the smoothness of a fine whiskey, probably because the tequila has been aged in a Scotch whisky cask from one of Scotland's premiere whisky distillers, Lagavulin. The result tastes like a smooth Scotch-tequila hybrid (although it's 100% tequila). You'll pay about $80 for a 750 mL bottle. Sip it alone or try it in place of Scotch in a classic Scotch cocktail for an interesting twist.
4. Best Añejo Tequila - Clase Azul Añejo Edición Indígena Mazahua
Añejo tequila (pronounced anh-NYAY-hoh) is aged for a minimum of three years in oak casks, which imparts golden colors and vanilla and caramel notes on the palate. The Robb Report likes Clase Azul Añejo Edición Indígena Mazahua as one of its top 20 tequilas you can buy right now. It's a delicious tequila, although you'll pay about $500 for the privilege of enjoying it. It comes in a distinctive hand-painted keepsake ceramic bottle for a pretty presentation, and it's a deep amber-colored tequila with notes of citrus and cedar. It is aged for 25 months in bourbon barrels from Jim Beam, which impart whiskey smoothness and notes to a delicious sipping tequila. Reviewers at Quality Liquor Store rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
5. Best Extra Añejo Tequila - Avion Reserva 44 Extra Añejo
Extra añejo tequila is aged for longer than three years in oak barrels, giving it time to mellow and absorb the characteristic vanilla and caramel flavors and aromas from the wood. Flaviar's top rated extra añejo tequila is Avion Reserva 44 extra añejo; community members rate it 9.1 out of 10 stars. It's a small-batch tequila aged for 44 months, and you'll find notes of vanilla, marzipan, and spice with just a hint of smoke. Expect to pay about $110 per 750 mL bottle. It's an excellent cocktail and mixing tequila.
6. Best Blanco Tequila - Casa Noble Crystal
Blanco tequila is clear in color because it isn't aged in oak; it's a pure expression of tequila that's delicious in cocktails. So if you like the flavor of agave without alterations, a blanco tequila is a great choice. Food & Wine lists Casa Noble Crystal blanco tequila as one of its top 10 blanco tequilas. Customers on Flaviar rate it 8.5 out of 10 stars, calling it "incredibly smooth," and "smooth and light." You'll find sweetness from the agave along with light citrus, honey, mint, and floral notes as well as the light vegetal funkiness that characterizes tequila. Expect to pay about $40 per bottle.
7. Best Silver Tequila - Patrón Silver
Silver tequila is really just another name for blanco, so it's essentially the same product as a blanco tequila but labeled differently since silver sounds more prestigious. Like blanco, it's a mixing tequila perfect for cocktails, so having either a silver or blanco tequila is essential for a well-stocked bar cart. Delish lists Patrón Silver as one of its top 15 tequilas for every mood, citing its versatility as a mixing or sipping tequila. Reviewers on Influenster rate it 4.8 out of 5 stars. Pick up a 750 mL bottle for about $50.
8. Best Joven Tequila - Casa Dragones Tequila Joven
Joven tequila, also called oro or gold tequila, can come in various forms. In general, it's a blanco tequila that has been blended with something, such as a wood-aged tequila, coloring, extracts, sugars, or similar flavorings. The result is a golden colored tequila that hasn't been aged in wood, but rather gets its aged coloring from something added to the blanco tequila. For example, Jose Cuervo Gold tequila is a well-known joven tequila.
Casa Dragones Tequila Joven is an award-winning joven tequila. In 2019, Forbes nominated Casa Dragones Tequila Joven as the Tastemakers' top tequila, and reviewers on Flaviar rate it 8 out of 10 stars. It's a spicy and clean tequila with notes of pear and roasted agave, and it's a delicious sipping tequila for tequila purists who don't need the bells and whistles of a wood-aged tequila. You'll pay between $250 and $300 for a 750 mL bottle.
9. Best Mezcal - Marca Negra Mezcal Tepeztate
Both tequila and mezcal are Mexican spirits made from agave, and there are flavor similarities between the two. Because of this, mezcal and tequila are often substituted for one another in mixed drinks, and there's enough similarity between the two that any list of top tequilas would be remiss without at least one mezcal on it. The main differences between tequila and mezcal include the region in which the agave is grown and the tequila is produced, as well as differences in processing of the agave and distillation. Because of the difference in how the agave is processed, mezcal often has a smokier character than tequila.
Flaviar's top rated Mezcal is Marca Negra Mezcal Tepeztate. Customers rate it 8.8 out of 10 stars. It's an agave-forward tequila with notes of smoke, herbs, and spice enhanced by distinct mineral and earthy flavors. You'll pay about $115 for a 750 mL bottle, and it's an extremely small batch mezcal. If you can find it, buy it.
10. Best Cheap Tequila - Milagro Silver
If you don't have a bundle to drop on tequila, it doesn't mean you can't afford it. There are plenty of good, inexpensive tequilas under $30 per bottle. VinePair's top rated tequila under $25 is Milagro Silver, a blanco tequila that costs right around $25 per 750 mL bottle. It's a smooth, crisp tequila that is fantastic in cocktails, and it won't cost an arm and a leg.
11. Best Splurge Tequila - Gran Patrón Burdeos
VinePair lists Gran Patrón Burdeos as one of its top splurge tequilas, and at about $500 for a 750 mL bottle, it's definitely an indulgence. The luxury añejo is aged in Bordeaux wine barrels, and it has a deep amber hue. Customers on Flaviar rated the tequila 9.7 out of 10 stars. It has the aroma of Bordeaux and exceptional smoothness. You'll also find flavors of vanilla, oak, and toast in a warm and flavorful sipping tequila that Wine Enthusiast rated 96 to 100 points.
12. Best Tequila for Shots - El Padrino Blanco
Blanco or silver tequilas are the best for tequila shots; that is, the kind you drink in one gulp versus one you sip. El Padrino Blanco tequila is perfect for shots for a few reasons. First, the Beverage Tasting Institute rated it 95 out of 100 points for its smooth tropical flavors. Likewise, for around $50 for a 750 mL bottle, you won't feel bad shooting it instead of sipping it. It's a clean, classic tequila that pairs perfectly with the classic tequila shot accompaniments, salt and lime.
13. Best Tequila for Margaritas - Hornitos Añejo
For margaritas, classic tequila flavor and affordability are a must. Hornitos Añejo hits both of these points, which may be why it made Taste of Home's list of best tequilas for margaritas. You'll pay less than $30 per 750 mL bottle, and customers at Total Wine & More rate it 4.8 out of 5 stars. It blends beautifully with lime juice and whatever you use for the sweet element, whether it's orange liqueur (triple sec) or agave syrup. You can't go wrong when you add this tequila to your margaritas.
14. Best Flavored Tequila - 1800 Coconut Tequila
Just as flavored whiskies and vodkas have revolutionized the distilled spirits market, flavored tequilas are also gaining in popularity. Some are good as sippers, while others add interest to traditional cocktails. And while flavored tequila might not be everyone's cup of tea, for some people, they prefer flavored spirits whether it's a spicy jalapeño flavored tequila or a tropical fruity flavored tequila such as the 1800 coconut tequila. This tequila has a light coconut flavor that can make margaritas more interesting, or it can replace coconut rum in an array of cocktails. Expect to pay around $30 for a 750 mL bottle.
15. Best Celebrity Tequila Brand - Teremana Reposado Tequila
Celebrities like Ryan Reynolds (Aviation American Gin) and George Clooney (Casamigos tequila) have been entering the distilling game in recent years. And one of the best celebrity brand tequilas comes from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - Teremana Reposado Tequila. On Flaviar, the mid-priced tequila (you'll pay about $50 for a 750 mL bottle) receives 8.6 out of 10 stars. It's a zesty reposado with notes of vanilla, spice, and caramel.
16. Best Spicy Tequila - Tanteo Tequila Cocoa
Tanteo Tequila Cocoa is a chocolate and jalapeño-infused tequila that has a bit of spice accompanied by smooth cocoa flavors. The result is a harmonious sipping tequila with just the right amount of heat to make it interesting. Tanteo makes other flavors as well, including jalapeño, chipotle, and habanero, all which make excellent spicy margaritas. You'll pay around $50 for a 750 mL bottle.
17. 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge Best Mezcal - Mezcal Vago Elote
Every year, the Ultimate Spirits Challenge names the "best" in various liquor categories. In 2020, the challenge named Mezcal Vago Elote its top mezcal with a score of 96 points. It's a unique mezcal in that along with agave in the mash, it is also infused with roasted corn (hence the "elote"), which imparts unique, un-mezcal-like flavors. The result is a toasty mezcal with flavors of corn, nuts, and agave that's lightly sweet. Expect to pay around $50 per 750 mL bottle.
18. 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge Best Tequila - El Tesoro Extra Añejo
The Ultimate Spirits Challenge top two tequilas for 2020 aren't available in the United States. However, their tied for third finisher, El Tesoro Extra Añejo is, and it receives a 94 point rating. It's aged for five years in bourbon barrels, and it has notes of coffee, herbs, apricots, and almonds. Expect to pay around $130 for a 750 mL bottle.
19. World's Best Tequila - Cierto Tequila Reserve Collection Extra Añejo
The 2020 World Tequila Awards selected Cierto Tequila Reserve Collection extra añejo as the world's best tequila. It's an exceptionally smooth sipping tequila with hints of cognac and wood. This tequila isn't easy to find, however. It's available to Cierto club members only, and you can apply online for membership. Due to high demand, there's a wait list.
Enjoy the Best Tequila Brands
The best brand of tequila is one you love. The above tequilas are some of the top-rated, but that doesn't mean they are the only great tequilas available. The best way to find your best tequila is to start tasting and see what tequila brands and flavor profiles you like best.