Often misconstrued as purely a party spirit, Tequila has a soulful, complex side to it that is crying out to be explored.
Tequila is made from agave, which is closely related to the lily family of plants. Like grapes, there are a multitude of different varieties of agave, but in order to make Tequila, producers must use only the varietal known as Blue Weber.
Blanco Tequilas – which may also be labelled plata or silver – are classified as having been aged for less than two months in stainless steel or oak barrel, meaning that oak influence is kept to a bare minimum and the qualities of the agave plant are fully expressed.
8 top Blanco Tequilas to try
Don Fulano Blanco
Produced by the Fonseca family, Don Fulano is made entirely from agave grown on the family’s estate. This blanco is rested for 60 days in stainless steel tanks. A refined Tequila with a distinct herbal hit of mint and rosemary, some floral honeysuckle, sweet butterscotch and a creamy mouthfeel. Alc 40%
Don Julio Blanco
Don Julio is named after the brand’s founder, Don Julio Gonzalez, who started making Tequila in 1942 when he was 17 years old. The flavour profile of Don Julio Blanco is hailed as a classic, balancing creamy and peppery characters with a vegetal note, some lemon, pastry and a clear minerality. Alc 40%
Ocho Blanco Las Presas 2018
Made by legendary distiller Carlos Camarena, Ocho made waves when it was launched because it was the first-ever single-field Tequila to be produced. These single-field vintage releases are limited – once they’re gone, they’re gone, to be replaced by a new vintage from a different field later. This particular Tequila, from the field Las Presas, or The Dams, is all tropical characters of guava, melon and pineapple, mingling with the unmistakable agave and pepper character that come with Ocho products. Alc 40%
The beautiful hacienda of Herradura now boasts an almighty distillery to produce enough spirit to meet the demand for its Tequilas. The Plata is aged for 45 days in American oak barrels. A nose of marzipan, cooked agave, orange, lime and pine sap leads onto a palate full of vanilla, orange oils, honeyed agave and pencil shavings. Alc 40%
Olmeca Altos Plata
Created in partnership between Olmeca master distiller Jesús Hernández and two top bartenders from the UK, this 100% agave tequila hailing from the Highland region of Jalisco boasts a nose full of agave character, alongside grass, citrus and spring blossom. These characters continue onto the palate, accompanied by a chalky hint and a cocoa finish. Alc 38%
Patron may be a big producer of Tequila, but its production process and the small sizes of its numerous stills mean that it is still able to make its product in relatively small batches. This is a smooth, soft liquid with base notes of toffee and fudge overlaid with a greener vegetal note, lemon peel, some pepper and numbing anise. Alc 40%
Another Tequila brand produced by Carlos Camarena at his La Alteña distillery, Tapatio Blanco is an affordable masterclass of a classic agave-forward Tequila, which is perfect for sipping neat or using in cocktails. Mineral, vegetal and peppery, with a hit of lemon and grapefruit, plus further cinnamon spice. Alc 40%
Tequila Fortaleza Blanco
The tiny Fortaleza distillery is situated in Tequila town. The distillery maintains the traditional practices of making the spirit, producing it by hand in tiny batches. Taking a tour here is like entering a time capsule. A distinctive grassiness with fresh lemon zest and mint mingle with rich agave and drying sea salt characters. Alc 40%