Taster’s Club’s Top 10 Tequila Reposado in 2023
Written by Emma C | Updated March 2023
Indulge in the world of Reposado tequilas—a perfect addition to your holiday celebrations or a thoughtful gift for the season. These "rested" tequilas age from two months to just under a year in oak barrels, infusing the spirit with sweet notes of vanilla and caramel. Simultaneously, the agave imparts a beautiful balance of spicy or sweet flavors. Reposados are not just tequilas; they're an experience—ideal for sipping on their own or enhancing the complexity of your favorite tequila cocktails. If you're curious about the best reposados available, you're not alone. To simplify your choice, our experts have tasted numerous tequilas and created the Taster's Club 2023 guide to the top 10 tequila reposados. All of these are available in our bottle shop, and in the spirit of the holiday season, we are extending a 5% discount storewide until the end of the year. You can’t go wrong with any of these picks, so grab one or multiple bottles to celebrate during this festive season. Happy holidays!
Top 10 Tequila Reposado Recommendations In Our Bottle Shop
1. El Tequileno, The Sassenach Select Tequila Reposado
The Sassenach Select is the first collaboration between the award-winning El Tequileño and The Sassenach Spirits teams. Antonio “Tony” Salles met with Scottish actor and spirit aficionado Sam Heughan on several trips to Mexico. Though literally a world apart, the two combined their cultures and shared passion for creating exceptional spirits to do this new blend justice.
Region: Jalisco | Notes: Agave, Oak, Vanilla, Sweet Spice, Herbal, Caramel | ABV: 42%
2. Hotel California Reposado
Aged for a minimum of six months in both French and American oak barrels, Hotel California’s reposado reveals aromas of wood, cooked agave, a bit of sweetness, almond, vanilla, and cocoa. This is a smooth tequila that boasts a well-defined character and a long finish.
Region: Guadalajara | Notes: Citrus, Floral, Oak Wood, Nut, Vanilla | ABV: 40%
3. Clase Azul Reposado
Clase Azul Tequila Reposado is a symbol of Mexican tradition and culture. Made with slow-cooked 100% Blue Weber agave, this ultra-premium reposado tequila is masterfully aged for eight months in American whiskey casks imparting its unique hazelnut, caramel, vanilla, and agave flavors as well as its exceptionally smooth finish. The spirit’s decanter is the brand’s most recognized icon with its distinctive "feathered" design, painted by hand in cobalt blue.
Region: Santa Maria | Notes: Hazelnut, Vanilla, Agave, Caramel | ABV: 40%
4. Mijenta Reposado
Mijenta’s reposado is a super premium, small-batch spirit that is carefully crafted with a commitment to environmental sustainability and support for the local community. The spirit is aged up to six months in a blend of American white oak, French oak, and French acacia casks. Mexico-based Maestra Tequilera Ana Maria Romero oversaw the entire creation process of the reposado. Presenting a mature, full expression with a long finish on the palate, the reposado is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as a nightcap cocktail.
Region: Jalisco | Notes: Oak, Toffee, Bergamot, Honey, Orange | ABV: 40%
5. 123 Organic Reposado Tequila Dos
Aged 6 months in oak, which gives it a very light color and no real hint of wood. Salted caramel, crème brûlée, and toffee notes. There's agave on the nose, but it quickly dissipates as you head for a light dessert course, complete with minty anise finish. Most complex tequila in the lineup.
Region: Jalisco | Notes: Cooked agave, vanilla, oak, butterscotch, pepper | ABV: 40%
6. ArteNOM Seleccion 1414 Reposado
In 1994, the Vivanco’s family dream of acquiring their own distillery was realized with the purchase of Destilería El Ranchito. With approximately 2,000 acres of estate-grown agave at their disposal, Sergio & José Manuél Vivanco have become renowned for producing rich, well-balanced tequilas. For ArteNOM Selección de 1414, the family brings back their unique and extraordinary tradition of fermenting the agave mash with field-extracted wild yeast for an unparalleled display of agave terroir.
Region: Jalisco | Notes: Agave, Vanilla, Oak, Pepper | ABV: 40%
7. Tequila Corralejo Reposado
This reposado tequila is aged for 4 months in American and Encino oak barrels. This gives it a light straw appearance with sweet vanilla, honey, spice, and a hint of oak aromas. The taste has lemon-lime, peppercorn, honey, oak, and agave notes that give this tequila a smooth, warm finish.
Region: Guanajuato | Notes: Honey, Oak, Citrus, Pepper, Agave | ABV: 40%
8. El Tesoro Reposado
Pale straw in the glass, this reposado tequila has a savory, herb-tinged aroma that suggests jalapeno, bell pepper, and mint. The persistently peppery palate finishes with mint and basil freshness. A tequila crafted with knowledge passed down through centuries and infused with the passion of its makers, El Tesoro honors Don Felipe Camarena, the man who established La Altena Distillery in 1937. Today his grandson, Carlos Camarena, oversees production.
Region: Jalisco | Notes: Pepper, Mint, Basil | ABV: 40%
9. Don Julio Tequila Reposado
Aged for eight months in American white-oak barrels, Don Julio Reposado Tequila is golden amber in color. You'll get aromas of vegetal agave, grass, stewed fruit, honey, and vanilla oak, along with very similar flavors on the tongue. This spirit is medium to full-bodied with vanilla and herb notes as it sits, along with baking spice and green pepper as it goes down. The reposado offers a long, rich, smooth, and warm finish with caramel, pineapple, and agave flavors.
Region: Jalisco | Notes: Pepper, Herb, Vanilla, Spice | ABV: 40%
10. Tequila Código 1530 Reposado
Código 1530 Reposado combines the purity of the brand’s blanco and the elegance of its aging process. Matured for six months in the finest Napa Valley cabernet French white oak wine barrels, this reposado embraces the agave-driven flavors of Los Bajos tequila, with notes of agave, vanilla, oak, caramel, and pepper, along with subtle hints of many signature flavors found in whiskeys.
Region: Jalisco | Notes: Agave, Vanilla, Oak, Caramel, Pepper | ABV: 40%
With any of these Taster’s Club best reposado tequila options from our bottle shop, you'll be ready for any last-minute company or cocktail cravings that arrive. Or, if you’re looking for a more curated experience, though, 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.
What to Look for in the Best Reposado Tequila
There are a few key factors to consider when you’re shopping for a great reposado.
Flavor of the agave
The agave’s spicy and fruity notes are at the core of great tequila, and no production process or amount of aging should take away from these flavors.
When tequilas are aged in barrels, their roughness from distillation is removed. When it comes to reposados, you should taste flavor and notice character, but they should still be smooth and easy to sip.
NOM identification number
NOM stands for “Norma Oficial Mexican”, which is the official identification number for the distillery in which a tequila is made, and every bottle should state this. You can use the number to learn more about the distillation process.
FAQs: Best Reposado Tequila Frequently Asked Questions
What is tequila?
Tequila is a distilled alcoholic mezcal spirit that comes from the agave plant. It's only made with Blue Weber agave, native to Mexico. In fact, Mexican law states that tequila is only allowed to be produced in the country (specifically in the Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas regions).
After seven years typically, when the blue agave matures, jimadors (agave farmers) harvest it by removing the leaves and exposing the hearts (piñas), which are then sent to distilleries and turned into tequila.
What is tequila's history?
Tequila's roots go back to 1000 B.C. with a sweet fermented drink that came from the agave plant's sap, called pulque. Later, the Aztecs adapted the drink but it was quickly appropriated by the Spanish in the 1400s, during their invasion. They distilled spirits using mud and agave.
Then, in the early 1600s, the first mass distillery was built by the Marquis de Altamira in Tequila, Jalisco. In 1758, the Cuervo family began distilling tequila, and in 1873 the Sauza family did the same. Cuervo and Sauza are still two common tequilas you'll find today.
How is tequila made?
Tequila is made by some version of these steps:
- Gather ingredients. The two main tequila categories are “puro”, made from Weber azul agave, and “mixto”, made from at least 51% agave (the remaining 49% is sugar).
- Ferment. The wash is mixed and the tequila is fermented for 5-7 days. Once it’s ready, it no longer produces vapors or tastes sweet.
- Distill. The tequila is strained to remove any solid material, which can affect its purity. Pot stills are fired up, and the tequila wash goes through two distillations. In the first, there is no separation of the heads, hearts, and tails, while in the second, the distillate is separated.
- Collect distillate. The first 35% of the distillate is discarded (foreshots and heads), the next 30% is kept (hearts), and the remaining 35% is removed from the wash but kept to become its own wash later.
- Age. There is no legal aging requirement, and different tequilas have different aging timelines. That said, blancos typically aren’t aged but rest for up to 60 days, jovens are mixed with aged tequilas, reposados are aged from 2 months to under 1 year, añejos are aged for 1-3 years, and extra añejos are aged for longer than 3 years.
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