Yes, national cocktail and booze days are kind of silly, but they do provide an excuse to drink an old favorite, or perhaps even try something completely new.
July 24 is National Tequila Day, and there are plenty of options to help celebrate this boozy holiday.
You can find something good at every price point, from blanco to reposado to anejo, all the way up to the Cadillac of the category, extra anejo. Check out this list of new and old bottles, and try them all if you have the time (and stamina).
Tequila Don Julio Reposado, Double Cask
Whiskey drinkers looking for a tequila to try, particularly if they enjoy Islay scotch, should check out the brand-new Double Cask expression from Don Julio.
This is the brand’s second barrel-finished release, the first being last year’s Double Cask finished in Buchanan’s whisky barrels. This one spends two weeks in Lagavulin casks, giving the tequila light smoky notes that are clearly present but not overpowering. $65
Maestro Dobel Diamante
Maestro Dobel first came out about a decade ago. This top-notch bottle is a blend of aged tequila that has been filtered to remove the color. The point is to offer a tequila with the flavor of years spent aging in wood, but with the color removed to be more attractive to bartenders as a cocktail component. $50
Bacardi acquired Patron last year, ensuring that this premium tequila will continue to dominate the market.
Patron is generally recognized as a high quality spirit, from the core range to the Roca lineup (in which the agave is crushed with a tahona stone) to the new Single Estate release, made using agave grown on the grounds of the distillery and hacienda. $50 and up
Let’s get this out of the way – yes, a diffuser is used in the production of Camarena, something that understandably turns off many tequila fans.
But we are covering all types here, and this inexpensive tequila is light, vibrant, and doesn’t taste like the dreaded “AgaVodka” that often results from that process. The range now includes an anejo expression that was released this past spring. $22-$30
Hiatus Tequila is a recent addition to the market, launching in the U.S. this past winter. It’s made at the same distillery as other well-known brands like Casa Noble and Astral.
There are blanco, reposado, and anejo expressions available, with notes ranging from citrus to black pepper to sweet vanilla throughout. A percentage of Hiatus sales will be donated to The Best Friends Animal Society, so you animal lovers should take note. $44-$54
Grand Mayan Tequila
Grand Mayan is an excellent choice for a higher-end tequila, one that you will probably want to sip instead of using to make a cocktail.
The reposado launched a few months ago, joining the silver and the decadent ultra aged, which is a bend of tequila from three to five years old. Each clay bottle is hand numbered and painted, making this an attractive addition to your home bar. $70-$90
El Tesoro prides itself as being focused on tradition, including the use of a tahona stone to crush all of the agave used in its tequila production.
That spirit shines through in this high quality spirit, from the blanco all the way up to the extra anejo Paradiso expression. Flavors including coriander, citrus, and chocolate pop up as you explore the range, making this brand a solid choice. $45-$100
Herradura is Brown-Forman’s premium tequila brand (it also owns El Jimador and Pepe Lopez). Herradura claims to have released the first reposado back in 1974.
That expression is still part of the lineup, aged for 11 months, along with a silver aged for 45 days, an anejo aged for 25 months, and an extra anejo aged for 49 months. These are all complex and layered tequilas, with the reposado in particular standing out. $42-$350
The tall, sleek Milagro Tequila bottles are instantly recognizable, and the liquid within stands out as well. The brand launched in 1998, and since 2006 it has been part of the William Grant & Sons portfolio.
Try something from the core range, or give the Select Barrel Reserve series a try – this liquid spends time aging in both American and French oak. $25-$40
Chamucos Diablo Blanco
Chamucos isn’t the best-known tequila brand here in the U.S., but it’s definitely worth seeking out. Originally, the lineup consisted only of a reposado, but now there are various expressions to round out the range.
If you are looking for something with a bit more muscle than your average 80 proof tequila, check out Diablo Blanco. This expression takes the ABV up to a higher 55 percent, but does not overwhelm the tequila’s sweet, peppery, and floral agave notes. $60