Excerpted from InsideHook.com.
BY KIRK MILLER
October 25, 2023 7:22 am
Kirk Miller is InsideHook’s Senior Lifestyle Editor (and longest-serving resident). He writes a lot about whisk(e)y, cocktails, consumer goods and artificial intelligence.
I love tequila. But there’s a serious glut in the marketplace. We’ve mentioned this before, but there are thousands of tequilas (literally). And our inbox and mailroom are inundated weekly with new brands and new expressions, all of which often end up residing in the “meh” category. They’re fine, usually. And that’s about it.
“There’s 190 new brands every year for the past three years and a half, four years,” Loco Tequila Co-founder Juan Pablo Torres Padilla told us earlier this fall. “That means every two days, there’s a new brand that just pops up. The industry has gone to a high-volume, low-quality model.”
When compiling a list of the best tequilas of the year — which is ongoing until the end of December and certainly doesn’t include a few things I’m desperate to try (looking at you, Tequila Ocho Plata Puntas 2023) — executive decisions were made. I had to have tried the expression, obviously. The brand and/or the bottle had to offer something distinctive within a category where a certain sameness has taken place. And, obviously, it had to taste good.
However, we’re not sticklers. Some of these tequilas certainly debuted before 2023, even if it was just regionally or as a limited release. The criteria for inclusion was something that was “new-ish” to market that I was able to taste in this calendar year. And we didn’t care if the tequila had a celebrity connection, if it was a blanco or añejo, cheap, luxury, whatever. Interestingly, though, we still haven’t fallen in love with cristalinos.
Don’t see a bottle you love? Let us know — we’ll clear out some space in the overstocked tequila cabinet and sample some more.
Inspired by Mediterranean winemaking and presented in ceramic bottles, these tequilas are aged in wine barrels and aerated to finish. Available in four expressions (Reposado Rosa, Añejo Cristalino, Añejo Reserva and Extra Añejo), the Extra Añejo actually scored the first 100-point score ever by The Tasting Panel. Our favorite is the Reserva — aged in French oak wine barrels, bourbon barrels and sherry casks, it achieves a wonderful and sweet jamminess with hints of cocoa and the earthy agave notes intact.
Read the full list at InsideHook HERE