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Rockin’ Spirits: The Best Tequila on the Rocks!

banner for the best tequila on the rocks

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Indulge in the enticing world of tequila as we uncover the finest on the rocks. Prepare for an exhilarating exploration of flavors, smoothness, and craftsmanship. Get ready to discover the best tequila on the rocks that will elevate your sipping experience to new heights. Let’s embark on this thrilling tequila adventure together!

What is tequila?

Tequila is a refined alcoholic beverage made from the blue Weber agave plant, essentially manufactured in the region adjoining the city of Tequila in Mexico [1]. It is regulated by Mexican law to ensure its authenticity and quality.

Why drink tequila on the rocks?

pink tequila on the rocks paired with blackberries

There are several reasons why people enjoy drinking tequila on the rocks:

  • Flavor Appreciation: Drinking tequila on the rocks allows you to savor and appreciate the unique flavors and characteristics of the spirit. The cold temperature of the ice can help mellow the flavors and enhance the overall taste experience.
  • Simplicity: Enjoying tequila on the rocks is a straightforward and uncomplicated way to consume the spirit. It requires minimal preparation, making it a convenient choice for casual or social settings.
  • Slow Sipping: Sipping tequila on the rocks encourages a slower and more contemplative drinking experience. It allows you to savor the complexities of tequila and enjoy it at your own pace.
  • Cooling Effect: The ice in the glass provides a cooling effect that can be refreshing and enjoyable, especially during warm weather or social gatherings.
  • Versatility: Tequila on the rocks can be enjoyed as a standalone drink or paired with various food items, allowing for versatility in taste combinations and culinary experiences.

Drinking tequila on the rocks offers a delightful way to appreciate the unique flavors, aromas, and characteristics of this iconic Mexican spirit.

Factors to consider for the best tequila on the rocks

Quality of tequila

Production methods

The production methods used in making tequila play a significant role in its quality. Look for tequilas that are created from 100% blue Weber agave and crafted using traditional or artisanal production techniques, such as slow cooking in traditional ovens and fermentation with natural yeast.

Aging process

The aging process can greatly influence the flavor and complexity of tequila. Tequilas that have been matured in oak barrels, such as reposado (aged for at least two months) or añejo (aged for at least one year), tend to have richer and more nuanced flavors.

Flavor profile

Consider the flavor profile of the tequila when selecting the best one to enjoy on the rocks. Look for a balance of agave sweetness, notes of vanilla, caramel, spices, and any other flavors that align with your preferences. Some tequilas may have fruit, floral, or herbal undertones, adding to the complexity of the taste experience.

Smoothness

A smooth tequila is desirable when drinking it on the rocks. A well-crafted tequila should have a refined and velvety texture, allowing for a pleasant and enjoyable sip. Tequilas that exhibit a smooth finish without any harsh or burning sensations are often considered superior in quality.

Price range

The price range of tequila can vary significantly, and it’s essential to consider your budget when selecting the best tequila on the rocks. While higher-priced tequilas often offer exceptional quality and craftsmanship, excellent options are also available at more affordable prices. Determine your price range and explore tequilas within that range to find the best balance between quality and value.

Top 10 Best Tequila on the Rocks

a glass of tequila with mint leaves and lime

Don Julio 1942

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $130
  • Type of Tequila: Añejo
  • Brand: Don Julio
  • Distillery: Tequila Don Julio
  • Brief Description: Don Julio 1942 is a luxury añejo tequila known for its rich and smooth flavor profile established in Don Julio González’ first tequila distillery.
  • Production Methods: It is made from 100% blue Weber agave and undergoes traditional distillation methods.
  • Aging Process: Aged in American oak barrels for at least two and a half years.
  • Flavor Profile: Rich and caramel-forward with notes of vanilla, roasted agave flavor, chocolate, and spices.
  • Tasting Notes: On the nose, you’ll find caramel, toffee, and hints of cinnamon. The palate offers a velvety texture with flavors of butterscotch, vanilla, and sweet oak. It has a smooth and long-lasting finish.
  • Food Pairing: Dark chocolate, caramelized desserts, roasted meats, or aged cheeses.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Don Julio 1942 is a highly regarded aged tequila known for its exceptional quality, complexity, and luxurious experience it provides when sipped on the rocks.

Patrón Añejo

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $60
  • Type of Tequila: Añejo
  • Brand: Patrón
  • Distillery: Hacienda Patrón
  • Brief Description: Patrón Añejo is a well-known and widely available tequila appreciated for its smoothness and versatility.
  • Production Methods: It is crafted from 100% blue Weber agave using traditional methods, including a double distillation process.
  • Aging Process: Aged for a minimum of 12 months in a combination of American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Offers a balanced combination of sweet and oak flavors with hints of vanilla, caramel, and dried fruits.
  • Tasting Notes: The nose presents honey, agave, and vanilla notes. On the palate, you’ll experience flavors of oak, chocolate, and roasted nuts. It has a smooth and warm finish.
  • Food Pairing: Grilled steak, spicy Mexican dishes, dark chocolate, or caramel flan.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Patrón Añejo is a reliable choice for tequila enthusiasts seeking a smooth and approachable añejo tequila that can be relished on the rocks or in cocktails.

Casamigos Añejo

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $55
  • Type of Tequila: Añejo
  • Brand: Casamigos
  • Distillery: Productos Finos de Agave
  • Brief Description: Casamigos Añejo is a tequila created by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman and is known for its refined and flavorful character.
  • Production Methods: It is made from 100% blue Weber agave, fermented with proprietary yeast, and distilled in small batches.
  • Aging Process: Aged for 14 to 16 months in American white oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Exhibits a velvety texture that includes caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and a hint of spice.
  • Tasting Notes: The nose offers aromas of caramel, oak, and a touch of cocoa. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of toffee, roasted agave, and cinnamon. It has a smooth and lingering finish.
  • Food Pairing: Tacos al pastor, grilled pineapple, mole dishes, or creamy desserts.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Casamigos Añejo delivers a well-rounded flavor profile that appeals to both seasoned tequila drinkers and those new to agave spirits.

Herradura Reposado

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $45
  • Type of Tequila: Reposado
  • Brand: Herradura
  • Distillery: Casa Herradura
  • Brief Description: Herradura Reposado is a classic tequila with a balanced and smooth character, widely appreciated by tequila connoisseurs [2].
  • Production Methods: It is crafted from 100% blue Weber agave and undergoes slow cooking in traditional clay ovens, fermentation with natural yeast, and double distillation.
  • Aging Process: Aged for 11 months in American oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Offers a harmonious blend of sweet agave flavors, oak influence, and subtle spices.
  • Tasting Notes: On the nose, you’ll detect aromas of cooked agave, vanilla, and toasted oak. The palate presents flavors of caramel, butterscotch, and a hint of cinnamon. It has a smooth and warm finish.
  • Food Pairing: Grilled seafood, ceviche, guacamole, or spicy shrimp tacos.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Herradura Reposado is one of the best tequila brands celebrated for its authentic taste, smoothness, and ability to bring out the true essence of reposado tequilas when enjoyed on the rocks.

El Tesoro Paradiso

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $110
  • Type of Tequila: Extra Añejo
  • Brand: El Tesoro
  • Distillery: La Alteña
  • Brief Description: El Tesoro Paradiso is an exquisite and rare extra añejo tequila that undergoes a unique aging process.
  • Production Methods: It is crafted from 100% estate-grown blue Weber agave and distilled using traditional methods.
  • Aging Process: Aged for at least five years in ex-Cognac French oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Showcases a complex combination of agave, oak, and fruit notes with hints of spices and floral undertones.
  • Tasting Notes: The nose reveals aromas of cooked agave, ripe fruits, and vanilla. On the palate, you’ll experience flavors of caramel, dark chocolate, dried fruits, and a touch of pepper. It has a smooth and long-lasting finish.
  • Food Pairing: Smoked meats, rich chocolate desserts, mole sauces, or spiced nuts.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: El Tesoro Paradiso is a rare gem that offers a remarkable depth of flavors, complexity, and an exceptional sipping experience for tequila aficionados.

Fortaleza Añejo

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $90
  • Type of Tequila: Añejo
  • Brand: Fortaleza
  • Distillery: Tequila Los Abuelos
  • Brief Description: Fortaleza Añejo is a handcrafted tequila made using traditional methods and known for its artisanal character.
  • Production Methods: It is produced from 100% mature blue Weber agave, cooked in traditional stone ovens, and fermented with natural yeast.
  • Aging Process: Aged for a minimum of two years in American oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Offers a rich and robust flavor profile with notes of cooked agave, vanilla, caramel, and spices.
  • Tasting Notes: The nose presents aromas of butterscotch, toasted oak, and ripe fruit. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of cooked agave, cinnamon, and chocolate. It has a smooth and long-lasting finish.
  • Food Pairing: Slow-cooked barbecue, roasted vegetables, smoked meats, or dark chocolate truffles.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Fortaleza Añejo appeals to tequila purists who appreciate the craftsmanship, authenticity, and distinctive flavors that come from traditional production methods.

Clase Azul Reposado

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $150
  • Type of Tequila: Reposado
  • Brand: Clase Azul
  • Distillery: Productos Finos de Agave
  • Brief Description: Clase Azul Reposado is a high-end tequila known for its stunning handcrafted ceramic bottles and smooth taste.
  • Production Methods: It is crafted from 100% organic blue Weber agave and undergoes a slow cooking process in traditional brick ovens.
  • Aging Process: Aged for a minimum of eight months in oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Exhibits a well-balanced combination of sweet agave flavors, vanilla, and spices.
  • Tasting Notes: On the nose, you’ll discover aromas of honey, caramel, and roasted nuts. The palate offers flavors of cooked agave, vanilla, cinnamon, and a touch of citrus. It has a smooth and velvety finish.
  • Food Pairing: Lobster, grilled fish, gourmet Mexican cuisine, or creamy flan.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Clase Azul Reposado tequila stands out for its exceptional taste and beautiful presentation, making it an excellent choice for special occasions or as a collector’s item.

Casa Noble Añejo

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $55
  • Type of Tequila: Añejo
  • Brand: Casa Noble
  • Distillery: Casa Noble
  • Brief Description: Casa Noble Añejo is a premium tequila crafted with precision and care, offering a delightful sipping experience.
  • Production Methods: It is made from 100% blue Weber agave, fermented with natural yeast, and triple-distilled for purity.
  • Aging Process: Aged for a minimum of two years in French white oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Showcases a harmonious balance of agave sweetness, oak, and subtle spice notes.
  • Tasting Notes: The nose reveals vanilla, caramel, and dried fruit aromas. On the palate, you’ll experience flavors of cooked agave, chocolate, and spices. It has a smooth and lingering finish.
  • Food Pairing: Braised pork, grilled vegetables, roasted pineapple, or cinnamon-spiced desserts.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Casa Noble Añejo impresses with its refined flavor profile, smoothness, and dedication put into its production, making it a top choice for tequila enthusiasts.

Avión Reserva 44 Extra Añejo

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $160
  • Type of Tequila: Extra Añejo
  • Brand: Avión
  • Distillery: Productos Finos de Agave
  • Brief Description: Avión Reserva 44 Extra Añejo is an ultra-premium tequila renowned for its exceptional quality and attention to detail.
  • Production Methods: It is made from 100% blue Weber agave grown at high elevations and distilled using a proprietary process.
  • Aging Process: Aged for a minimum of 43 months in oak barrels, followed by an additional month in petite oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Offers a complex and refined flavor profile with notes of caramel, vanilla, roasted nuts, and spices.
  • Tasting Notes: The nose presents caramel, roasted agave, and oak aromas. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of chocolate, butterscotch, and a hint of black pepper. It has a silky smoothness and a long, elegant finish.
  • Food Pairing: Aged steak, truffle dishes, espresso-infused chocolate, or rich caramel desserts.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Avión Reserva 44 Extra Añejo stands out as a meticulously crafted tequila that exemplifies luxury, depth of flavor, and a truly indulgent sipping experience.

Tequila Ocho Añejo

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $70
  • Type of Tequila: Añejo
  • Brand: Tequila Ocho
  • Distillery: Destilería La Alteña
  • Brief Description: Tequila Ocho Añejo is a small-batch tequila that showcases the terroir and unique characteristics of each vintage.
  • Production Methods: It is made from 100% blue agave and undergoes traditional production methods, including slow cooking in stone ovens and double distillation.
  • Aging Process: Aged for a minimum of one year in American oak barrels.
  • Flavor Profile: Offers a well-rounded combination of agave sweetness, oak influence, and subtle spice notes.
  • Tasting Notes: On the nose, you’ll discover aromas of vanilla, caramel, and toasted oak. The palate presents flavors of cooked agave, butterscotch, and cinnamon. It has a smooth and lingering finish.
  • Food Pairing: Slow-cooked pork, grilled corn, mole sauces, or vanilla bean ice cream.
  • Why It’s a Good Choice: Tequila Ocho Añejo is highly regarded for its commitment to showcasing the unique characteristics of each vintage, making it an excellent choice for those who appreciate tequila as an artisanal expression of terroir and time.

FAQs

Is tequila best on the rocks?

Tequila can be enjoyed in various ways, and whether it’s best on the rocks or not depends on personal preference. Some people prefer the chilled and diluted flavors that come with serving tequila on the rocks, while others enjoy it neat or in cocktails. It’s all about finding the serving method that suits your taste and enhances your enjoyment of tequila.

Which type of tequila is best for sipping?

Añejo tequila is often considered one of the best-sipping tequilas. Añejo tequila is aged for at least one year in oak barrels, imparting rich and complex flavors to the spirit. The aging process gives añejo tequila a smoothness and depth that is ideal for sipping and savoring the intricate nuances of tequila.

What type of tequila is the smoothest?

Extra Añejo tequila, añejo tequila, and silver tequila can all exhibit smoothness, with extra Añejo tequila often providing an exceptionally smooth experience. Extra Añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of three years, allowing it to develop a smooth and refined character. The extended aging process softens the flavors and creates a velvety texture, resulting in a tequila that goes down smoothly and delights the palate with its complexity.

References

  1. https://www.diffordsguide.com/g/1084/tequila/how-is-tequila-made
  2. https://802spirits.com/descriptions/tequila-descriptions
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