6 Best Under-the-Radar Tequilas Worth Buying in 2023
The tequila market has exploded over the past decade, fragmenting across the globe into roughly defined categories like “celebrity-owned,” “additive-free,” “premium” and more. Amidst the shuffle, a number of tried-and-true brands have fallen through the cracks; top-tier distillers without the marketing budget or name recognition of their suddenly trendy competition.
Below, we’ve put together six excellent tequila recommendations that’ll cost you under $60. In terms of price-to-quality, you’d be hard-pressed to find better deals.
Pueblo Viejo Blanco
Let’s make it clear right off the bat: Pueblo Viejo Blanco costs only $19.
Unlike the majority of its bargain-bin-priced competition, however, this expression won’t scorch your throat like a box of lit matches. Instead, Pueblo Viejo balances in surprisingly fresh notes of lemon, cherry, grapefruit and apple, handily establishing it as a fan-favorite among bartenders and home mixologists.
If you’re cranking out cocktails by the dozen and need something reliable, Pueblo Viejo Blanco will be the life of the party.
After blessing the market with fantastic brands like Tequila G4, Volans and ArteNOM 1579, the Camarena family expanded its portfolio in 2016 with Pasote Tequila.
Within its eye-catching bottle is a vibrantly bright, complex blanco perfect for solo sipping and cocktail mixing alike. Sweet pepper, roasted fruits, grilled pineapple and a hint of rock candy linger on the palate, followed by subtle notes of lemon, salt and ash for a brief but complex finish. It’s a mystery why this blanco hasn’t garnered mainstream attention — at its price point, Pasote easily blows away name-brand bottles twice its price.
You can find Pasote Blanco for $51.
Like many criminally underrated tequila brands, Cimarron is an established hit in Mexico that’s never quite caught on north of the border.
Its maker, Enrique Fonseca, at one point produced 20,000 tons of agave every year, sold to some of the biggest names in the game. To this day, his dedication to the craft shows; Cimarron Reposado is a potently agave forward spirit, bursting with vegetality, earth, barrel spice and mellowed caramel. Best of all, a bottle will cost you as little as $20.
One of the best cocktail mixers on the market hands down.
Siete Leguas Reposado
Siete Leguas, founded in 1952, famously got its footing in the 80s by producing the first-ever iteration of Patron Tequila. Though Patron has since moved on, Siete Leguas still keeps in touch with its old-fashioned roots; mule-drawn tahonas, traditional brick ovens, copper pot stills and all the other buzzwords that tequila snobs love to hear.
Double distilled to 40% ABV and aged for 8-10 months in ex-bourbon barrels, the brand’s reposado floats on the palate with fresh roasted agave, vanilla, citrus and decadent (additive-free) sweetness. Though its bottle may appear unassuming, the spirit contained within is top-tier tequila royalty. Usually costs around $60.
Tequila Arette Añejo
To call Arette Añejo underrated might be a misstatement; over the years, the brand has been included in so many “overlooked tequila” roundups that it’s effectively transcended into the mainstream.
But who are we to disagree with the evidence?
Founded in 1986 at one of the oldest distilleries in Mexico, Arette’s iconic horse logo (designed in the likeness of an Olympic medal-winning thoroughbred) has endured as a stamp of quality for decades. The brand’s additive-free añejo — which can be picked up for under $40 — delivers darkened notes of molasses, baking spice, toasted nuts and gentle cedar.
This one is a touch more difficult to track down than the likes of Jose Cuervo or Hornitos, but we promise, the search is worth it.
Chamucos Tequila Añejo
Aged for 18 months in medium char American white oak casks sourced from Kentucky, Chamucos Añejo is a surefire hit for any whiskey and bourbon lovers.
Forget the wailing devil stamped on each bottle; this is a smooth sipper brimming with a buttery aroma that gives way to subdued flavors of almond, chocolate, pineapple and ample black pepper. With its hand-blown bottle, natty rubber stopper and $66 price tag, Chamucos Añejo is a perfect gift for your tequila-hesitant friends and family. Or, perhaps, keep it for yourself and enjoy the journey.
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