Come in, take a seat, make yourself comfortable. For you are entering into a realm of tequilas for which time slows down.
Stepping into this price bracket is to explore the world of super-premium tequilas, ones where the production processes and ageing techniques are used to make something a bit more special and justify an elevated price tag.
This might mean employing traditional production methods, such as using a huge volcanic stone wheel known as a tahona to crush the agave, or very limited-edition releases of liquid from a single barrel, or tequila made from genetic mutations of Blue Weber agave.
You will also find more aged tequilas at this more expensive price point too. Being aged the longest, añejo and extra añejo tequilas often command the highest price points, because barrels and storage space cost money.
Looking for a special tequila to drop your hard-earned cash on? Then look no further than this selection.
Best sipping tequilas under $100 / £100
Calle 23 Criollo
Made by Calle 23 distiller, Sophie Decobecq, to celebrate the birth of her son, this limited-edition blanco is made from criollos – a Blue Weber agave mutation that’s small and with a higher sugar content – and presented in a hand-blown bottle. The resulting liquid is rich, with earthy, vegetal agave notes, salt, black pepper, cooling mint, kiwi and distinct minerality. Alc 49.3%
Actor George Clooney and nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber decided to create their perfect tequila for personal consumption, and in doing so accidentally created a brand. The añejo is aged for 14 months in American white oak barrels, resulting in a tequila with flavours of vanilla custard, cocoa, espresso and black pepper, mingling with notes of roasted mango and tobacco tin. Alc 40%
Don Fulano Añejo
Made in Atotonilco, Don Fulano’s tequilas are unusual in the sense that it uses both column and pot stills to distil separate liquids and then blends them together. The añejo is aged for three years in new and old French casks. It boasts a delicate nose with a lifted florality that leads onto a velvet smooth palate of sour orange, cocoa powder, chamois leather, juicy blackcurrant, vanilla pod and dried chili flakes. Alc 40%
The products that come out of the diminutive Fortaleza distillery are all excellent, but the añejo definitely had to make this list, given that owner Guillermo Sauza describes it as his ‘crème brûlée’. Made using traditional techniques, this is a banoffee pie of a tequila, with ginger nut biscuits, nutmeg and a sprinkling of sea salt. Alc 40%
Fortaleza Blanco Still Strength
The tiny Fortaleza distillery employs tequila production techniques and equipment from a bygone age. The result is a range of flavourful, artisanal tequilas that are even sold in bottles closed with handmade and hand-painted stoppers. This Still Strength tequila is bottled, unsurprisingly, right off the still. It has a rich mouthfeel that carries vegetal notes of roasted agave, green capsicum and asparagus, along with black olive, sea salt and lemon. Alc 46%
Ocho Single Barrel Añejo Las Aguilas 2017 Barrel Number 11
Famed for producing single-ranch vintage tequilas, Ocho also releases the occasional single-barrel añejo with a very limited production run. This particular incarnation comes from ‘The Eagles’, and balances fresh flavours with an obvious wood element without tipping into the dessert spectrum. Lemon zest, Granny Smith apples, bitter grapefruit, vanilla fudge and salt pillar combine on a palate that is simultaneously creamy, drying and spicy. Alc 54%
Olmeca Tezon Anejo
The Tezon range by Olmeca uses liquid that comes exclusively from agave that have been crushed by a tahona wheel. The result is a less efficient extraction of sugars, however the flavour profile of the resulting spirit is often richer, with more depth. Aged for 18 months in refill bourbon casks, it has rich flavours of butterscotch, orange zest and vanilla pod mingled with coal smoke and cracked black pepper. Alc 40%
Patrón Roca Reposado
Patrón’s Roca range is another brand which is made with agave that’s exclusively crushed by tahona wheel, as opposed to the mechanised roller mills that are more frequently used. Aged in ex-bourbon barrels for between four and five months, the reposado is a delicate blend of agave, honey, vanilla and coconut, alongside spicy notes of ginger and pepper. Alc 42%