Excerpted from Wine Enthusiast.
Tequila continues to be one of the most popular spirits categories around. Whether you’re looking for a popular tequila to mix into a margarita or Tequila Sunrise, or simply want to pour a shot of the best tequila, there are thousands of tequila options out there for every drinker. And as the demand for “premium” bottles intended for savoring has soared over the last few years, you may be wanting to add the best sipping tequila bottle to your at-home bar for relaxed evenings.
Some of these higher-end bottles are aged or filtered to maximize smoothness, while others are rare or otherwise special in some way. According to the drinks market analysis firm International Wine and Spirits Record (IWSR), consumers have been gravitating toward higher-priced tequila bottles for a while, and that trend is only expected to accelerate. As of 2016, the segment they categorize as “super-premium and above” accounted for a mere 13% of global tequila volume. By 2026, that’s anticipated to reach 40% of category volume.
“Over the years, tequila has evolved from being a low-price shot to a more premium option used in cocktails and high-end sipping,” says Brandy Rand, chief strategy officer at IWSR. “Tequila has an association as an affordable luxury, and many brands are aligned with celebrities, leading to lifestyle-oriented marketing.”
The category also has grown as consumers learn more about tequila and seek to experiment with different expressions, and as consumers value tequila’s connection to Mexican heritage, creating a sense of place, she adds.
Which Type of Tequila is for Sipping?
In theory, any tequila made from 100% blue agave can be suitable to sip, as long as it’s a bottle you enjoy. For more information about what makes a good tequila, check out our beginner’s guide to tequila.
Many people prefer the crisp, bright flavors of a blanco (or plata/silver) tequila served neat. This style of Tequila is unaged and bottled within 60 days of distillation.
However, others gravitate toward agave spirits with some barrel-aging time as sipping tequila, like a reposado or añejo. Similar to aged whiskeys or aged rums, barrel-aged tequilas develop inviting vanilla, fruit and spice tones, making them ideal to savor slowly.
The Best Sipping Tequilas
If you need a place to begin, here are some of the best sipping tequila bottles on the market.
This Tequila was aged in French oak white wine barrels, filtered for clarity, then aerated in clay amphorae. All this yields a liquid with a faint straw tinge and slightly floral aroma warmed with cooked agave. The silky palate is lightly sweet, with toasted coconut and almond leading into a gentle, mouthwatering finish accented with lemony acidity and pink peppercorn. Top 100 Spirits 2022 —K.N.
Read the full list HERE on winemag.com.