These Are The 20 Most Expensive Tequilas In The World
America’s favorite spirit, tequila, originates from the region of Jalisco, North of Guadalajara in Mexico. It is an old alcoholic drink that is made from the blue agave plant, and it was first introduced in 16th century Mexico near the city of Tequila.
There are a few fun facts that you should know about this beloved spirit. Up until not that long ago, Tequila was considered a worker’s drink. Since it was distilled for less than 18 months it made a great mixing base.
The longer tequila is aged the higher quality spirit you get, and the darker color means richer in flavour. Contrary to popular belief, great quality Tequila is best enjoyed by sipping it slowly to take in its full flavor.
- How is Tequila made?
- Types of Tequila
- What Makes a Good Tequila?
- 20. Casamigos Reposado Tequila
- 19. Trago Reposado Tequila
- 18. Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
- 17. Tears of Llorona No.3 Extra Anejo Tequila
- 16. Gran Patron Platinum Tequila
- 15. Casa Dragones Joven
- 14. Don Julio Real Tequila
- 13. Casa Herradura Seleccion Suprema Tequila
- 12. Tres-Cuatro-Cinco Tequila
- 11. Rey Sol Anejo Tequila
- 10. Gran Patron Burdeos
- 9. AsomBroso Gran Reserva 5 Year Extra Anejo
- 8. Clase Azul Extra Añejo Ultra
- 7. 1800 Coleccion Tequila
- 6. Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario
- 5. Barrique de Ponciano Porfidio
- 4. AsomBroso Reserva del Porto Extra Anejo
- 3. Tequila Ley .925 Ultra-Premium
- 2. Clase Azul 15th Anniversary Edition
- 1. Tequila Ley .925 Diamante
How is Tequila made?
Distilled in wooden casks for periods of time ranging from a few months to a few years, the pina of the blue agave plant, or its central stems are cut out, steam cooked and fermented, then distilled at least twice before it reaches the bottling process.
If we want to get technical, Mexican law requires all bottles of tequila to contain at least 51% Weber Blue Agave in its distilled product. This plant can be found in several regions of Mexico, but it grows on red soils that are elevated at more than 1500 feet from sea level.
Once the pinas are baked or steamed, the sweet juice is crushed from the stems, then yeast is added in order to begin the fermentation process. The tepache, or the juice from the baked pinas is fermented in containers until the mixture reaches 5%, or ten proof alcohol. Then it is distilled until the mixture reaches 55% alcohol or 110 proof, but to make the end result 76-80 proof, water is added when bottled.
Types of Tequila
Depending on the aging process, there are five types of Tequila:
- Tipo uno, or the Tequila Blanco is clear in color and it can be aged for only up to 60 days. The best option for mixing, as it is the least expensive spirit.
- Tipo Dos, or Joven Tequila is also known as golden tequila, or tequila Oro. It is basically tequila blanco with other flavors added and it is also not aged very long either. Another inexpensive option that is flavored with sugar syrup or other types of sweeteners in order to enhance its taste.
- Tipo Tres, or Tequila Reposado, has been aged anywhere from two to nine months in wooden casks. What the casks do is soften the sharpness of the tequila and give it that oaky flavor. There are some distilleries that use bourbon casks for the resting period, and that gives it a unique flavor and its soft yellow color.
- Tipo cuatro, or Tequila Anejo, is aged tequila. They are typically aged in barrels from 18 months to three years, and the final result is a darker, more robust spirit. In general the Anejos have a well balanced agave and oak flavor.
- Tipo Cinco. or the Extra-Anejo Tequila, is the extra old category, that is aged for more than three years, and has the richest aromas. They are best for sipping.
What Makes a Good Tequila?
In order to qualify as good quality tequila, it has to be made from 100% Weber blue agave juice. It cannot be mixed with other ingredients, but that is not the only factor. The greatest tequilas on the market offer consumer reliability in terms of quality and taste, year after year. They do not cut corners and use cheap ingredients to come up with quantity. You know what they say: “quality over quantity”!
Expensive liquor is rising in popularity, and tequila has some pretty pricey bottles as well. There are numerous affordable tequila brands and varieties out there, but today we will take a closer look at the most expensive tequilas ever sold.
20. Casamigos Reposado Tequila
When you first noticed its price tag, you probably wondered why we included this bottle on a list of the most expensive tequilas. Although George Clooney and Rande Gerber are the famous names behind this brand, the reposado offering has some impressive characteristics. Aged for seven months in American oak barrels, its gentle taste is noticeable due to hints of caramel and cocoa.
19. Trago Reposado Tequila
Another starter to the best tequila brands, this reposado is aged in American oak barrels for four months. Not too long, but enough to bring out its strong agave taste, with notes of banana and fruit. A sweet nose with hints of minty freshness, the finish is very smooth on your palate. It is very enjoyable to sip on its own, although on the more affordable side of premium tequilas.
18. Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
The collector’s bottles that are hand-made in a small village in Mexico is reason enough to give this reposado from Clase Azul a try. Aged for eight months in oak barrels, this premium spirit is made from organic agave. Offering a smooth palate with notes of caramel, pineapple, and hot peppers, the long finish is pleasantly surprising with a salty note. A great sipper for an alternative to scotch or whisky.
17. Tears of Llorona No.3 Extra Anejo Tequila
The singular sipping experience that is offered from this label comes from each batch being aged in barrels that were used for Islay scotch, Spanish brandy and Spanish Sherry. The warm amber color and aromas of custard and caramel make this a great substitute for desert. The palate will love the sweetness that comes from toffee and cocoa, and its long finish is savory and complex.
16. Gran Patron Platinum Tequila
The trick this label uses for the sweet taste of this spirit comes from perfectly timed harvested agaves. Their bottles are unique as well, and the packaging is in a category of its own. Offering a buttery, sweet yet smoky taste and a peppery cirtusy finish, many find that it is a well marketed slightly overpriced tequila, but a decent choice overall.
15. Casa Dragones Joven
The Blue Agave flavor in this offering is dominant and it makes the taste exquisite, with no unpleasant aftertaste. A blend of unaged spirit with an extra-aged one that was matured in new American oak barrels for five years is what differentiates this liquor from others in this category. Vibrant on the nose with notes of tangerine, sea salt and pepper, it finishes with a fruity and nutty flavor on the palate.
14. Don Julio Real Tequila
This Extra-Anejo offering from Don Julio is aged in white oak barrels for three to five years, instead of the typical two years that is common in this category. They pride themselves with this crown jewel of their portfolio, and you will enjoy sipping it slowly on special occasions. Gentle nose of citrus and honey with notes of caramel and toffee for a long finish. Hints of wood can be detected.
13. Casa Herradura Seleccion Suprema Tequila
An award winning spirit, this offering from Casa Herradura has been produced since 1990. With a complex yet smooth profile, this product was aged in American White Oak barrels for 49 months. This ultra rested tequila has a rich amber color, and you can detect notes of cooked agave, florals and spices. A subtle sweet aftertaste finishes off this premium spirit.
12. Tres-Cuatro-Cinco Tequila
The beautiful golden brown color of this spirit that comes in a beautiful crystal decanter is achieved by mixing tequilas aged from different periods. The melange is 30% tequila that is aged for three years, 40% is aged four years, and 30% is aged for five years, hence the name. Floral aromas and an earthy nose that envelopes you with hints of vanilla and fruit is what you can expect from this premium liquor.
11. Rey Sol Anejo Tequila
As its name suggests, the bottle is an embodiment of the sun. Aged for six years in new French oak barrels, this intense amber liquor offers you a mellow taste that goes down smoothly. Their specific way of processing is what gives this tequila’s distinguishable taste. They use fresh spring water from the highlands of Jalisco state, and they bake the agave at 194F for exactly 48 hours.
10. Gran Patron Burdeos
Distilled and aged in American and French oak barrels, this tequila is then blended and distilled again, and it then goes to get “rested” in vintage Bordeaux casks. This whole process might be time-consuming, but the deep amber spirit that results from this specific way Patron has of distilling is worthwhile. It’s easy to see why they’re often considered one of the best tequila brands.
Notes of raisin and vanilla make this delectable liquor a delicacy to enjoy on its own, or even in an Old Fashioned if you prefer.
9. AsomBroso Gran Reserva 5 Year Extra Anejo
This Extra anejo is aged for five years in new French oak barrels. The full bodied taste gives an aroma of roasted marshmallows with notes of vanilla. With a smooth finish that leaves you with a lingering hint of hot peppers, you will enjoy sipping on this liquor without needing a special occasion. Offered for purchase with or without a humidor.
8. Clase Azul Extra Añejo Ultra
This limited edition series is one of the most renowned tequilas in the world. At only 100 bottles that were released on the market, it is pretty hard to get your hands on one. This Extra Anejo Ultra Tequila was crafted using 100% Weber Tequilana blue agave. Once it is harvested and distilled, it is aged in Sherry oak barrels for ten years. Their crystal decanters are a piece of art in themselves, and these ones feature 24-karat gold, silver and platinum.
7. 1800 Coleccion Tequila
Owned by the Beckman family, 1800 Coleccion is a premium brand that is named after the year the label’s tequila was first aged in oak casks. This offering is made from mature agave plants, it is distilled twice and aged in French oak barrels for ten years. With a hint of almond on your palate, this blended tequila has a delicate taste and golden color. The Belgian crystal bottle it is offered in is designed by Bosco Sodi and Gary Baseman, then placed in a case lined with suede.
6. Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario
The intense taste your palate will experience after sipping this liquor is due in part from its creamy texture. Aromas of citrus, sherry and smoke, along the butterscotch, chocolate and vanilla notes create that unique flavor they are famous for. The dark amber color is presented in a beautiful yet simple glass decanter. This one will charm you with its modesty and warm feeling on your palate.
5. Barrique de Ponciano Porfidio
Another bottle that is famous for its unique design that is decorated with 21-karat gold lettering and design is as close to perfection as it gets. Its undiluted taste comes solely from pure agave, which was aged for ten years in French oak barrels. Its limited releases only bring 2,000 bottles per year, so try to get your hands on one. You will enjoy its clean yet rich taste and its mellow oaky flavor.
4. AsomBroso Reserva del Porto Extra Anejo
This is the longest aged tequila in the world. Aged in oak barrels for eleven years, it is then rested for another eleven years in Port barrels that were used for making wine in Portugal. Only then it is bottled, and the decanter they use is inspired from history. The hand-blown Italian glass bottle is an almost identical replica to a decanter dating back from the eighteenth century that was found in a European castle.
3. Tequila Ley .925 Ultra-Premium
Now we’re entering the category of ultra-premium bottles that are collectible. They are so rare, it is quasi-impossible to acquire a bottle. The liquor is nothing more than their regular tequila that is aged for 18 months in oak barrels and offers you notes of butterscotch and vanilla. The reason they are so unique is the art the bottles represent and are one-of-a kind. The gold and silver bottles go for around $25,000, and the gold and platinum bottle retails for $150,000.
2. Clase Azul 15th Anniversary Edition
In 2012, Clase Azul celebrated their 15 year anniversary with this limited edition that only came with 15 bottles, and they retailed at $30,000. They are known for their high quality premium tequila, but the story behind the making of these bottles is so fascinating, it is worthy of a pottery class. They are each uniquely crafted by local artisans, but their anniversary flasks are decorated with 24-karat gold and amber details.
1. Tequila Ley .925 Diamante
The ultimate collector’s item is worth an astounding $3.5 million. Rested in barrels for seven years, the butterscotch and vanilla aromas are acquired by aging the liquor for eighteen month in oak barrels. It is also the same tequila their other vintage collector’s bottle is filled with. But you’re paying for the dragon-themed design that is made from 4.4 pound of platinum and 4.100 perfect white diamonds. It is a bottle worthy of its own display.
We hope you enjoyed this virtual tour into the world’s most expensive tequila brands.