Aged to Perfection: 6 Best Extra Añejo Tequilas That Are Worth Every Penny
“Aged to perfection” is a term thrown around the alcohol world far more often than it’s deserved. Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell if a $500, 10-year-aged spirit is worth your time until after you’ve dished out the dough.
Hopefully, we can make things a little easier for tequila. We’ve compiled a list of the six best extra añejo tequilas (aged for at least three years) that are well worth their $100+ price tags. Whether you’re looking for a classy gift or an elegant solo sipper, none of these will steer you wrong.
Casa Noble Single Barrel Extra Añejo
Previously co-owned by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana, Casa Noble’s stacked lineup might leave you reconsidering the stigma surrounding celebrity-backed tequila.
For the extra añejo, it’s all about the age. Distilled from 14-year-matured agave and then rested in French Limousin white oak barrels for six years, Casa Noble Single Barrel picks up an earthy aroma packed with flavors of damiana, clove and honey.
At $120, this bottle isn’t necessarily cheap, but a great deal within the oftentimes uber-expensive world of ultra-aged tequila.
Tapatio Excelencia Extra Añejo
There’s a laundry list of details behind Tapatio Excelencia Extra Añejo. The spirit is made from single-estate agave harvested in the 90s, distilled in 2000, aged in ex-whiskey barrels for five years then rested an additional 10 years in glass jugs.
It emerges from the other side with a powerful nose of prickly pear, tobacco and distinct vanilla. On the palate, it folds in expected notes of cinnamon, caramel and darkened agave sweetness.
Given the exclusivity of this release, bottle prices can vary wildly from around $130 to upwards of $400.
Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo
Jose Cuervo may not typically be associated with top-shelf excellence. That being said, Reserva de la Familia is a welcome exception.
Cuervo introduced the Reserva lineup back in 1995 as a premium-tier alternative to its usual fare. The extra añejo, aged three years in oak barrels before being blended with 30-year tequila reserves, dials up the complexity with notes of toasted sesame, anise, honey and sourdough.
17,000 of these are released every year in bespoke artist-designed boxes, retailing for around $180. Makes for a good gift.
Avion Reserva 44
A decade after its release in 2013, Avion Reserva 44 was named a tequila finalist at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Supposedly, this expression picks up 44 distinct flavor notes and aromas from its 36 months in American Oak barrels. Whether or not you buy into that tidbit of marketing lingo, Reserva 44 is a remarkably well-received tequila lauded for its oaky mix of cocoa, spicy black pepper and cherry notes.
At $135, this is a great pick within its price range.
Don Fulano Imperial
Every bottling from Don Fulano is fantastic in its own right. Imperial Extra Añejo, aged for five years in new French oak barrels before finishing in oloroso sherry casks, goes above and beyond.
This one balances brown sugar, butter, pepper and a hint of soil on the palate before packing in a long finish chock full of roasted agave and rock candy.
Unfortunately, at this point in the list, we’re beginning to veer into truly expensive territory. If you want to try Don Fulano Imperial for yourself, it’ll cost $270.
Tears of Llorona Extra Añejo Tequila
Clocking in at 43% ABV, this 1-liter behemoth of an extra añejo is aged for five years in a mix of scotch, brandy and Sherry oak barrels. Tears of Llorona was first brought to market back in 2014 by Master Tequilero German Gonzalez and has since established itself as the crown jewel in many a tequila aficionados collection.
It offers up a nose brimming with sweet orange, pear and baking spice followed by a complex palate of dry oak, maple, fuji apple and cinnamon. This one should feel right at home for cognac and whiskey lovers.
Of course, all of that praise comes at a price — Tears of Llorona retails for around $250. If you have a couple hundred bucks and some change lying around in your spirits budget, we promise, this one won’t disappoint.
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