Taster’s Club’s Top 10 Tequila Añejo Picks for 2023
Written by Emma C | Updated April 2023
Añejo tequila is one of our favorite expressions for its interesting and complex flavor profile. This tequila type is aged for one to three years in oak and comes out dark, rich, and smooth with nuanced flavor. While they’re often sipped and savored slowly, añejos are also excellent companions in cocktails. To help you out, we’ve put together this Taster’s Club Top 10 tequila añejo choices for 2023 – we’ve tried a lot of them, so we know what we’re talking about. Any of these bottles make a great addition to your home bar and can be easily found in our online bottle shop.
Top 10 Tequila Añejo Recommendations In Our Bottle Shop
1. ArteNOM Seleccion 1146 Añejo
At Tequileña in Tequila, Jalisco, Master Distiller Enrique Fonseca distills agave predominantly grown in and around his highland hometown of Atotonilco el Alto. For this añejo expression, Enrique ages select tequilas initially in used Cabernet Franc wine barrels from the Loire Valley of France for a minimum of 14 months. The tequila is then extracted from the French oak and laid into toasted American white oak previously used to age either Canadian whiskey or Tennessee rye whiskey, for a minimum of 14 additional months, for a truly masterful balance of oak and agave flavors.
Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, Chocolate, Vanilla | ABV: 40%
2. Herradura Tequila Legend
Tequila Herradura Legend is a unique añejo tequila. It’s made from the finest 100% blue agave, naturally fermented, distilled, and then matured for 12 months in heavily charred, new American white oak barrels. These barrels have been deeply grooved, exposing the tequila to more layers of toasted oak, as it patiently ages, which results in a special añejo tequila with an incredibly rich, deep color and a luxurious and velvety smooth taste with vanilla, caramel, pepper, and oak flavors.
Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Caramel, Pepper, Oak | ABV: 40%
3. Dulce Vida Tequila Lone Star Añejo 100 Proof
Dulce Vida’s Lone Star Edition is specially aged in Garrison Brother's Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey barrels. Made in small batches, you’ll find the aroma rich with tantalizing flavors of sweet caramel, vanilla, and a bit of spice and oak.
Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Vanilla, Spice, Oak | ABV: 50%
4. Riazul Tequila Añejo
This añejo is aged for two years in French oak barrels previously used for brandy or cognac, giving the tequila a rich golden amber color. It offers aromas of caramel, vanilla, and cinnamon with similar flavors along with oak, and a long, savory finish.
Region: Los Altos | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Vanilla, Oak, Cinnamon | ABV: 40%
5. El Mayor Tequila Añejo
Designed for slow, contemplative sipping, this 100% Blue Agave añejo tequila is aged in white oak barrels for 18 to 36 months. It’s incredibly smooth, with oak, caramel, and vanilla notes on the nose and palate, followed by a long, peppery finish.
Region: Los Altos | Tasting Notes: Oak, Caramel, Vanilla | ABV: 40%
6. Don Julio 1942
Celebrated in exclusive cocktail bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, iconic Don Julio 1942 Tequila is the choice of connoisseurs around the globe. Produced in small batches and aged for a minimum of two and a half years, the expression is handcrafted in tribute to the year that Don Julio González began his tequila-making journey. It offers aromas of sweet floral and fruit, agave, and oak, followed by flavors of grass, vanilla, fruit, vanilla, agave, and clove.
Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Grass, Agave, Vanilla, Oak, Fruit, Clove | ABV: 40%
7. Black Sheep Añejo
Award-winning, additive-free Black Sheep Tequila Añejo has a clean, light mouthfeel and nice, sweet agave, honey, and toasty, oak barrel aromas. The taste follows with more sweet agave and a deliciously long finish that brings in a bit of honey. This is a perfectly balanced tequila, with a remarkably long, elegant finish and lingering notes of natural agave.
Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Agave, Honey, Vanilla | ABV: 40%
8. 123 Organic Añejo Tequila Tres
After eighteen months in oak, Tres' wood character is more prominent, and on first blush, it’s heavy on the nose with tannin and wood oil notes. This fades after time from opening up in the glass, revealing richer versions of those characteristics in caramel and chocolate notes.
Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Chocolate, Wood | ABV: 40%
9. Casa Noble Añejo
Patience is the secret ingredient of this acclaimed añejo. Aged for a full two years in new French oak barrels, the complex aromas of dried fruits and spice complement flavors of toasted oak, butterscotch, vanilla, and sweet cooked agave.
Region: Tequlia | Tasting Notes: Oak, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Agave | ABV: 40%
10. Don Fulano Añejo
Don Fulano Añejo is a marriage of very old tequilas aged in French limousin and nevers oak casks that previously held wines. It’s deep and complex with dried fruits and spice elements like cardamom and allspice which elegantly complement the right touch of sweetness that comes from slowly cooked mature agave. Honey and caramelized nuts emerge from a long finish together with a refreshing light menthol.
Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Agave, Spice, Dried Fruit, Honey, Nut | ABV: 40%
With this handy best añejo tequila list for 2023 from Taster’s Club, you can refer back and visit our online shop for any bottle whenever the mood strikes. Or, If you’re looking for a more curated experience you can always sign up for a Taster's Club Tequila membership. The club has two tiers to choose from, each offering award-winning selections from today's top tequila makers.
Tequila Añejo FAQs
What is tequila?
Tequila is a distilled alcoholic mezcal spirit that comes from the Blue Weber agave plant, native to Mexico. Once the plant is matured (typically over 7 years), jimadors, or agave farmers, harvest it and send the hearts to distilleries to turn into tequila.
As per Mexican law, tequila can only be produced in the country and in the Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas regions, specifically.
How is tequila made?
Tequila is made by first gathering ingredients. "Puro” tequilas are made wholly from 100% Blue Weber agave, while “mixto” tequilas contain at least 51% agave with the rest being 49% sugars. Then, the tequila wash gets mixed, and the tequila ferments for about 5-7 days. It's then strained to remove solid material (which affects purity).
From there, the wash goes through two distillations, one without separation of the heads, hearts, and tails, and the other a separated distillate. Once this is done and the distillate is collected, any aging of the spirit takes place. This is not required, and different tequila types generally sit for different time periods. For example, añejos are aged for 1-3 years.
What is tequila's history?
Around 1000 B.C., the Olmecs enjoyed pulque - a milky fermented drink that originated from the sap of the agave plant. Later, the Aztecs adapted the drink but were quickly taken over when the Spanish appropriated pulque during the invasion of the 1400s. They used mud and agave to distill spirits until the 1600s, when the Marquis de Altamira built the first mass distillery in Tequila, Jalisco. Then, in 1758, the Cuervo family got into the business, followed by the Sauza family in 1873. Both are still prominent tequila makers today.
What is añejo tequila best for?
Añejo tequila is best for either sipping slowly or mixing into certain cocktails. This is because it has unique characteristics, including a smooth, complex profile, from the long oak-barrel aging process.
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