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Don Julio 1942 vs Clase Azul Tequila: Full Comparison (2024)

Don Julio 1942 vs Clase Azul

Luxury tequila brands like Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul have gained iconic status in Mexico and the global market.

These tequilas are, no question, worth splurging on because of their premium quality. 

Both tequilas are high-quality and worth every sip, so finding which is better is challenging without knowing their differences – from their origin and prices to tasting notes.

Check out our Don Julio 1942 vs Clase Azul Reposado in-depth comparison and see which of the two suits your palate.

Comparing Don Julio 1942 vs Clase Azul 

bottle of Don Julio 1942 & Clase Azul

Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul Reposado’s main difference is their category.

Don Julio 1942 is an aged tequila Anejo, while Clase Azul is a Reposado.

Don Julio 1942 has undergone distillation three times and is aged for at least 30 months, while Clase Azul Reposado is double distilled and is matured for eight months.

Also, each Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul bottle makes authentic expressions. Don Julio 1942 has a smoother profile, but the Clase Azul Reposado is sweeter.

How Do They Differ? 

History & Origin

Don Julio 1942 tequila originated in the Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco Highlands of Mexico.

It was released in 2002 to mark its 60 years in the market and commemoration of its founder — Don Julio Gonzales. 

Meanwhile, Clase Azul Reposado originated in the town of Santa Maria Canchesda in Jalisco, Mexico.

It was created by the founder and tequilero, Arturo Lomeli, to represent the luxurious Mexican culture and tradition. 

Production & Distillation 

Don Julio Tequila Distillery

Don Julio 1942 is made from 100% pure blue weber agave, or piñas, plants from the highlands of Jalisco.

Once it is harvested, piñas should go through a traditional slow-cooking method.

It is traditionally steam-cooked in masonry ovens for three days and is three-timed distilled in a pot still No. 6. Don Julio 1942 is bottled at 80-proof with 40% alcohol content.

Clase Azul Reposado is also made of 100% pure blue weber agave plant and also practices the slow-cooked process in masonry ovens. 

However, it undergoes double distillation in copper stills but is also bottled at 80-proof with 40% alcohol content. 

“There’s a certain magic in tequila, and it comes from the plant.”

– Arturo Lomeli, Founder of Clase Azul Spirits.

Maturation & Age Statement

Don Julio 1942 was produced in small batches and is aged for at least 2.5 years or 30 months in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels.

On the other hand, Clase Azul Reposado is masterfully aged in American whiskey casks for eight months.

Tequila Type

Don Julio 1942 bottle and a box

Don Julio 1942 is an extra-aged tequila Anejo, aged longer than a Clase Azul Reposado.

A Reposado must age for at least two months up to a year, while Anejo is aged longer, between one to three years, in an oak barrel. 

Naturally, Anejo has a darker hue because of its longer maturation than Reposado. However, other tequila brands add caramel to enhance its flavor and color.

Tasting Notes 

Don Julio 1942

  • Palate: It has a full creamy body with the warmth of oak, vanilla, and roasted agave with earthy undernotes.
  • Color/Hue: It has a light golden maple color.
  • Nose: It has rich caramel, oak, and dark chocolate aromas with a touch of herbal notes.
  • Finish: Medium finish with rich caramel, vanilla hints, and lingering toasted wood notes.

Clase Azul Reposado

  • Palate: It has a creamy feel with vanilla, caramel, and hints of wood.
  • Color/Hue: It has a golden color feature.
  • Nose: It has a butterscotch aroma and richness of agave syrups, vanilla, and oak.
  • Finish: It has a medium finish with sweet caramel notes and a bit of spiciness at the end. 

How It’s Served 

Don Julio 1942 is known for its creamy, smoother, richer notes with less and near to no alcohol burn, making it perfect for sipping it neat. 

Meanwhile, Clase Azul Reposado has sweeter notes and richer aromas, contributing to its full flavor profile.

It’s great on the rocks if you want to dilute the sweetness and enhance its flavor.

These premium tequilas are extremely good on their own but aren’t exactly made for shots. If you’re going to consume them, it is best to savor them by sipping.

Additives & Decanter

Don Julio 1942 can be personalized with engraving and gift-boxing services, while Clase Azul’s decanter is hand-made and painted by Mexican artisans, making each one a unique piece. [1]

These premium tequilas are made with 100% blue agave, which means it’s made with only agave sugars used for fermentation.

However, some tequila aficionados state that Clase Azul Reposado has additives because of its peculiar sweetness.

But there are no legal claims to prove these speculations.

Although, in making tequila, there’s a law that allows adding additives as long as the amount added does not exceed 1% of the total volume.

Ownership & Distillery

CLASE AZUL TEQUILA BOTTLE

Don Julio tequilas started at Don Julio’s Distillery, also known as the La Primavera Distillery.

But in 2014, the Diageo Brands had full control of Don Julio, including its 1942 variant.

Meanwhile, the Clase Azul is owned by a tequilero named Arturo Lomeli, and the company was founded in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. 

The company has its distillery located in Jesús María in the Los Altos in Jalisco, Mexico. But is Don Julio 1942 available at Costco?

Price & Value

A bottle of Clase Azul Reposado is priced at around $160 for 750ml (Drizly).

The amount of time, effort, and dedication in creating this luxurious tequila are the main reasons it’s expensive.

On the other hand, Don Julio 1942 is more expensive at around $190 per 750ml bottle (Drizly). 

It is aged longer than Clase Azul Reposado and is more aromatic than an average Anejo tequila, making it one of the higher-priced tequilas in most shops.

FAQs

Are Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul top-shelf tequilas?

Yes, Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul are top-shelf tequilas. These tequilas are of premium quality and are of high value as well.
In most bars, high-end and luxury bottles like these tequilas are placed on the top shelf.

Which is better on the rocks, Clase Azul or Don Julio 1942?

Clase Azul is better on the rocks. It has a peppery and sweeter flavor profile than Don Julio 1942, which is excellent with a little dilution to enhance its flavor.

What Are the Main Differences Between Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul Tequila?

Don Julio 1942 is a premium añejo tequila known for its smoothness and rich flavor profile, while Clase Azul is revered for its distinctive bottle design and artisanal production process, resulting in a tequila with a unique character and taste.

Which Tequila Offers a Smoother Taste: Don Julio 1942 or Clase Azul?

Don Julio 1942 is often praised for its exceptionally smooth and velvety texture, making it a favorite among tequila enthusiasts seeking a luxurious sipping experience. Clase Azul, while also smooth, may exhibit a slightly different flavor profile due to its distinct production methods.

Which Tequila Is More Suitable for Sipping Neat?

Both Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul are often enjoyed neat due to their high quality and complex flavors. However, Don Julio 1942’s smoothness and depth of flavor make it particularly well-suited for sipping on its own.

Can Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul Be Used in Cocktails?

While Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul are primarily sipping tequilas, they can also be used to elevate cocktails for a more refined drinking experience. Experiment with classic cocktails like margaritas or palomas to showcase the unique qualities of each tequila.

Do Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul Have Different Aging Processes?

Yes, Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul may have different aging processes, which can contribute to variations in flavor and texture. Don Julio 1942 is aged for at least two and a half years in oak barrels, while Clase Azul undergoes a unique aging process in used American oak barrels, adding complexity to its taste.

Are Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul Limited Edition Tequilas?

While Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul may release limited edition or special bottlings from time to time, both brands offer standard expressions that are available year-round. However, certain variations or editions may be more limited in availability.

Which Tequila Brand Is More Widely Recognized: Don Julio 1942 or Clase Azul?

Don Julio 1942 is often more widely recognized and celebrated within the tequila community for its long-standing reputation for excellence. However, Clase Azul has gained significant recognition for its unique bottle design and artisanal approach to tequila production.

Final Verdict

Don Julio 1942 vs Clase Azul isn’t a close fight; one is Anejo the other is Reposado, respectively.

Even though they’re both made with 100% agave plants, they have unique distillation and aging processes. 

These tequilas are both satisfying and exceptional, but Don Julio got the upper hand for being the better “sipping tequila.” 

However, Clase Azul is great with minimal dilution.

Also, hands down to its luxurious handcrafted ceramic bottles, which make it more attractive for drinking and bottle collection.

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/boburlingham/2020/05/12/message-in-a-bottle-how-clase-azul-celebrates-mexican-culture-with-handcrafted-tequila-and-decanters/ 
  2. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=top-shelf 
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