What Tequila brands do you enjoy?

Discussion in 'Other Beverages' started by JohnnyHopps, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. JohnnyHopps

    JohnnyHopps Poo-Bah (2,083) Jun 15, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    When I am not drinking beer, I enjoy sipping straight tequila. Of course, there is cheap stuff like Cuervo which is good for Magaritas. The pricier stuff like Patron tends to be my go to. I am wondering what brands BA members enjoy.
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  2. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,399) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I've never been a fan of straight-up tequila after barfing it through my nose in college, but can appreciate it in things such as frozen margaritas and Tequila BA Abyss. Probably Cuervo in most cases.
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  3. colby600

    colby600 Zealot (518) Mar 24, 2015 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Tres Generaciones Plata is my go to. I also have Avion & Deleon which I like to a lesser degree.
  4. Rainintheface

    Rainintheface Crusader (760) Apr 30, 2007 Massachusetts

    Cabot Wabo Reposado
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  5. JohnnyHopps

    JohnnyHopps Poo-Bah (2,083) Jun 15, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    When over-indulging in college is discussed, tequila always seems to be part of a person’s downfall.
    lucius10, beerdedking and bbtkd like this.
  6. Giantspace

    Giantspace Crusader (707) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I enjoy patron coffee

    I also enjoy Heradura

    Sure there are better out there but I’ve not tried them.

    In school we drank

    Dos wormos , two worms in one bottle. What we were thinking I have no idea.

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  7. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (99) Mar 15, 2014 California

    It was Seagrams Gin for me...(shudders)
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  8. darkandhoppy

    darkandhoppy Aspirant (259) Dec 26, 2008 Connecticut

    Don Julio Anejo
  9. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (99) Mar 15, 2014 California

    Go with a tequila like Codigo or Tequila "123" they are from better appellations and producers imo. Patron is over-priced for what you get over-all and the two brands I mentioned give you better sipping/cocktail quality for the same price point.
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  10. GreenBayBA

    GreenBayBA Savant (944) Aug 30, 2015 Wisconsin
    Society Trader

    This is my selection.
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  11. FriedSlug

    FriedSlug Poo-Bah (2,458) Feb 20, 2012 North Carolina

    Altos Reposado for straight up and Altos Blanco for mixed drinks. Really good for the price.
  12. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,127) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    Peligroso Añejo.

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  13. beerdedking

    beerdedking Devotee (450) Oct 15, 2008 Pennsylvania

    1800 silver accompanied by Miller Lite poured into a glass with a slice of squeezed lime. My summer go-to.
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  14. 67couple

    67couple Aspirant (243) Jan 31, 2006 South Carolina

    Any Don Julio
  15. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (313) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    The first thing you look for on the label is "100% agave." If it doesn't say that prominently, it isn't, and you're looking at a "mixto" 51% agave, 49% other fermentables like cane sugar. That would be regular Jose Cuervo, I wouldn't bother with that that stuff. Also anything labeled "Gold" is getting it's color from caramel, not from a barrel- I'd also avoid that stuff like that plague.

    Other good things to look for on label:
    Tahona stone crushed (Olmeca Altos and Roca Patron) use a big stone to crush the pinas after they've been roasted, this is a traditional way of doing it.
    Pot still: again, traditional way of distilling, using a column still is more modern/ efficient, but strips more of the flavor. Again, they will brag if it is pot still, so you can assume it's column still if it doesn't say otherwise.

    The age statements are pretty explanatory: SIlver/Plata: no age to 2 months, Reposado: 2 months to 12 months, Anejo: 1year to 3yrs, Extra Anejo: > 3yr. Silver should have the most minty, eucalyptus notes with fresh pineapple, reposado starts to pick up more of the black pepper, but still some fresh fruit, anejo: you lose most of the fruit and it has a rich vanilla, and extra anejo you're into scotch territory: lots of wood vanilla and some smoke.

    There are differences in the cooking too: (1) oven baked- traditional, best way to do it, most time consuming (2) autoclave- like a pressure cooker, much faster but doesn't develop the flavors like slow cooking in an oven (3) diffuser- rips the juices from pulp first, then cooks. Cheapest by far, worst by far. This will not be on the label, but the internet can tell you who does that.

    There are tons of 100% agave brands that are great: two I like Olmeca Altos ($25/750), and Fortaleza ($45/750), are great values. Add $10 for Reposado and $20 for Anejo. Altos will blow away your JC (and probably your Patron, at half the price) and Fortaleza, you'll never look at Patron again. Espolon is another cheaper one that's good, and Avion, or Don Julio are good at the higher price point also. Altos and Fortaleza are probably not at every liquor store, the other three should be at any liquor store in the USA at this point.
  16. JohnnyHopps

    JohnnyHopps Poo-Bah (2,083) Jun 15, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    As somewhat of a novice, I grateful for the posts in this thread. Yours is particularly solid. Now I need to spend some money on tequila.
    BrewsOverHoes likes this.
  17. Buckeye55

    Buckeye55 Poo-Bah (1,545) Jan 11, 2019 North Carolina

    What he said. Not a huge Tequila drinker, but when I want some I go to Cabo
  18. VoodooBear

    VoodooBear Zealot (570) Aug 25, 2012 Puerto Rico

    Don Julio 1942 is one of the best spirits (not just tequilas) that I've ever had, period. It's expensive (but not really in the grand scheme of things) but absolutely worth it.
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  19. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,806) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Tequila and I are not on speaking terms, have been for 35 years or so. Mr Jose Cuervo kicked my ass on New Year’s Eve, a royal ass kicking I felt for two days. Fucking epic hangover where death was considered an option. Ugh, still makes me sick to smell the stuff.
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  20. Milktoast75

    Milktoast75 Devotee (449) Oct 27, 2012 Wisconsin

    None for me, thank you.
  21. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,806) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Nice breakdown. I believe some people aversion to the spirt is from getting trashed on the cheap stuff from the ignorance of youth. Back before I abused Cuervo I used to respectfully sip on Mezcal, which I admit I really no nothing about, but I liked it back in the day.
  22. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (313) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    I missed this post, but this stuff is simply stellar. They do everything that the really expensive brands do (high elevation, mature agave + brick oven slow cook + Tahona Stone crush + pot still only) and you get so much of that pulp-y, pineapple fruit in every sip. You're 'literally' getting top shelf quality at mixto diffuser crap-ola price. It's insane.

    What you aren't paying for is the boatload/buttload of advertising and bullshit that you are funding when you buy a bottle of Patron or Don Julio (both of those brands have amazing products, but the regular old bottles are pretty damn overpriced). You should be able to get a 1.75 of Altos Silver do $5-15 less than a 750 of Patron Silver. Even if they were the same price, I'd pick the Altos, weighted for price- it's not even close.

    This brand will be way more expensive 10yrs from now, pretty much guaranteed.
    FriedSlug likes this.
  23. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (313) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    Definitely, the first key is explaining that those products are "barely legal" tequila, literally every cost cutting measure permitted by the Mexican government is used.

    It would be like everyone judging bourbon whiskey based on Kentucky Gentleman, which is 51% Bourbon 49% Neutral Spirits (vodka basically). Sure it has it's place, but 150yrs of bourbon tradition and know-how are being bastardized by something that is putting 'bourbon' all over the label, but isn't even a bourbon. If it's not 100% agave, to me, it's not tequila. The big companies who sell those types of mixto don't want the Mexican government to change the naming laws, but it's the 'real' producers who suffer.

    Mezcal is a whole 'nother beast. It's really closer to wine than spirits to me. There are definitely homebrewers on this site who have more modern setups than the families who make MOST of the mezcal that's distributed in the USA. There are people using clay stills, and it actually makes it to the USA. It's nuts.
  24. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (4,609) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Don't drink as much tequila as I do bourbon or Scotch, but it's my #3 fer sure...

    Lean toward the anejo, given the chance...
    Riazul might be my fave, but Avion is excellent, too...
    Herradura is another favorite...

    Had some mezcal, too, and found it equally enjoyable...
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  25. Bigrock

    Bigrock Initiate (72) Feb 4, 2013 Texas

    After many horrible episodes (I'm a slow learner) with the Cuervo, I began bringing back bottles of Hornitos from my excursions to Ciudad Acuna back in the 70's. Still my go to today. Love sipping the plata as I prefer the raw, fresher flavor.
  26. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (4,524) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire

    A friend of mine brought a bottle to a gathering last summer... mmmm good.. Casamigos Anejo... straight up ... Prosit!
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  27. Buckeye55

    Buckeye55 Poo-Bah (1,545) Jan 11, 2019 North Carolina

    Every time I look at this thread, this song comes to mind
    nc41 likes this.
  28. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,806) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    A night at the bar when your 17. Ugh, I don’t do hangovers well.
  29. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Disciple (340) Apr 29, 2012 California

    I drink mainly Blanco's and Reposado's.

    My Favorite? Fortaleza Blanco (Reposado is fantastic too). Exceptional neat, chilled, and on the rocks.

    New to tequila? Corralejo Reposado is one that can capture people new to tequila coming from other spirits/beer. It's also available pretty much everywhere. It's so smooth and tasty that it can be dangerous. You'll be down a half a bottle before you know it.

    Making a bunch of margaritas? El Jimador Reposado or Hornitos Reposado are great choices. Kirkland Signature Silver is also an exceptional value mixer at $19 for a 1.75L bottle. In fact, the last time I made pitchers of margaritas (to be poured over ice) for a party, I used the Kirkland Signature Silver Blanco. They were really good!
  30. LongTaco15

    LongTaco15 Disciple (375) Feb 4, 2016 Illinois

    Big fan of Don Julio 70 when it goes on sale, but any Don Julio will do. I've slammed back many a Cazadores with my Dad and his friends.
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  31. Sesmu

    Sesmu Aspirant (204) Feb 28, 2007 Massachusetts

    This is a really strange post. Above, you exalt tequila producers for keeping with traditions, but pretty much shit on mezcal producers for the same reasons.

    I'm sorry, I really don't want to start arguments in the topic where people share their opinions/favorites, but there is no other way about it. Mezcal is not close to wine, nowhere near. It's a distilled product and is close to... well, tequila. In fact, tequila is mezcal; same relationship as with cognac and brandy - one is essentially a subset of the other. People who previously tried tequila, but not mezcal, usually say mezcal resembles smoky tequila, in simple terms. But wine...
  32. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (313) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    Wow, you have totally misread what I meant, like I'm laughing here that's how you read what I was trying to say, all good though.

    1) I meant 'nuts' like "how they hell can these guys using a clay still and crushing the agave with a rock and a donkey, make such a knockout, world class product!?" Tequila is as industrialized as it gets, and mezcal is the total opposite, I'm not shitting on it at all, in fact the opposite.

    2) Of course mezcal in taste is closer to tequila than wine (very astute observation :stuck_out_tongue:), but in tequila you don't have different plots making 2 distinct products, I don't know of anyone who notes where they got the agave from at all... in mezcal, you can have three silver Tepextate that taste totally different. In Tequila the 'other ways of doing it' are the shortcuts/ cheats (diffusers and autclave) to save money but to make the top shelf "the right way", they are pretty much all made the same way. Not so for mezcal, every village and family has their own way of doing it, not to cut costs, but just "because." And it makes it taste different, kind of like in the wine world, where there are many accepted ways to go about making a wine, not just the right way, and then a bunch of shortcuts you want to avoid on the shelf.

    I only made the homebrew comment, because without looking at pictures (the Del Mageuy site is a great mezcal learning site)you would never believe THAT is how they make the mezcal that you can buy at a high end liquor store in the USA. It really is NUTS!
    Sesmu likes this.
  33. mambossa

    mambossa Disciple (369) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    My mom is a big tequila fan, so I usually try what she has stashed around when I visit for Sunday dinner. Usually blanco or reposado of Casamigos, Milagro, Suavecito, or 1800. All have been pretty tasty!
  34. Sesmu

    Sesmu Aspirant (204) Feb 28, 2007 Massachusetts

    It's not like it's unheard of to misunderstand what someone meant by simply reading his thoughts with no current or prior interaction. But I really don't see how one could read it differently. Now, since you added the content, it makes a big difference. All good! Now we're on the same page )

    Check out Ocho if you get a chance - this is exactly what they do. And not only they show where agave was grown, they also do vintages - to show how agave changes throughout the time of growing. To boot, the tequila is made by Carlos Camarena, of El Tesoro/Tapatio fame.
  35. Sesmu

    Sesmu Aspirant (204) Feb 28, 2007 Massachusetts

    Btw, around Cinco de Mayo, many stores start doing tequila/mezcal tastings. It's a good chance to try something new if anybody's interested.
    TriggerFingers likes this.
  36. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (313) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    No worries brother.

    Yes, I have not bought any of those Ochos yet, they are just starting to pop up in DC a little bit. Since we are usually ahead of the curve I assumed most people didn't see them yet, but yeah, that's very cool.

    When I was in Jesus Maria, the only billboards we saw were for Tapatio. I'm still not sure what that was all about, although they make some great stuff. I like that 110pf silver a lot (although it's not very common to come by).
    Sesmu likes this.
  37. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,331) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Appreciate the tip on the Olmeca Atlos and Fortaleza. Am not familiar with either of those producers, but will look for them next time I'm down in California (Portland is great when it comes to beer, but good Tequila is a bit harder to fine - that doesn't seem to be the case in California).

    Getting too old to drink a whole lot of Tequila any more, but I do like a good Anejo Tequila from time to time. The wife and I mostly drink Don Julio and Chinaco in margaritas; I refuse to buy Patron (which I think is hugely overpriced for its quality).

    I do have a question for you (as you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about this topic).

    When I was younger, I had always heard that one shouldn't waste a really good tequila on margaritas. I was happy to subscribe to that philosophy, as Cuervo gold was cheap and plentiful where I lived, and I didn't have a whole lot of money (and I liked margaritas). However, some years ago I was watching some program on TV showing how tequila is made, which included interviews with various producers. Across the board, everyone of them stated that this was an old wives tale, and that you absolutely should use good quality tequila when making a margarita. They all seemed to have different opinions as to whether it was better to use a silver or blanco to make a margarita, but they felt quite strongly that if you wanted to make a good margarita, you needed to start with a really good tequila.

    So my question is this. Would you agree that it makes sense to use the best tequila you can find (based on personal preference of course) when making a margarita? Also, is there a particular classification that you feel works best when making a margarita?

    Just speaking for myself, my wife and I tend to prefer anejo tequilas in our margarita, but I'm always willing to explore and try new things. Also, while arguably the bottle of Don Julio1942 we were given as a wedding present made some of the best margaritas I've ever tasted, I didn't think it was so much better than the Chinaco anejo I typically order, that I'd want to make a habit of using it. My point being that it seems to me that there's a point of diminishing returns when it comes to selecting a high end tequila for a margarita (you end up paying a LOT more money for only an incremental increase in quality - or so it seems to me).
  38. Glider

    Glider Aspirant (212) Nov 15, 2004 Massachusetts

    In my opinion you should always use a 100%
    Agave tequila for any drink, but save the really special stuff for sipping or Old Fashioned style drinks where the tequila is front and center.

    I think you’re right on the incremental benefit and sometimes a rougher spirit goes very nicely with lime and sugar.

    I also go back and forth between blanco and reposado for my margaritas. I’m not really an anejo drinker.

    Some of the cheaper options like Agavales, Espolon, Lunazul, and Milagro make completely respectable margaritas. Siete Leguas is also a good brand in the mid-range that I heard is what Patron used to be like before it got bought out.
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  39. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (313) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    First off thanks for saying I'm not an idiot, I hear quite the opposite usually!

    It totally depends on you budget, but seeing as you said 1942 was a wedding present (not something you put out a case of, for your friends on poker night), I'd keep poking around in the Repo world and see if something strikes you fancy, there's quite a bit of variation, even at seemingly similar pricepoints.

    Like @Glider said, use a quality product- 100% agave should be the bare minimum (but a good start) to your selection. Like what you drink, drink what you like, goofy saying but quite true. Unless you really like something, I'd keep poking around, some repos are another companies anejos (in terms of intensity, and vice versa).

    You're not wrong to like a more aged product even in a marg. Keep playing with your recipe too, sometimes a personal breakthrough is just one tweak away.
  40. Thankin_Hank

    Thankin_Hank Defender (641) Nov 18, 2013 Texas

    My 2 cents. Hornitos Reposado is great for shots and it's normally kept in the freezer. I often add 3-4 drops of Gran Gala (Italian Orange Liqueur) or Gran Marnier (French) and a lime wedge. Occasionally salt. Always with a cold beer too.
    My other favorite is El Jimador Anejo. About $25 and a smooth taste as I don't usually like Anejo Tequilas but found this jewel at Lake El Salto fishing lodge, Angler's Inn.