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What Is The Smoothest Tequila? Explained (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by Lydia Martin

A well-crafted margarita isn’t the only way to enjoy tequila. Sipping tequila does exist, and the best way to enjoy it is to sip slowly and savor its grassy and peppery notes. 

You’ll also find they tend to be smooth, without much of the burn you associate with the tequila usually drunk in shots. But what is the smoothest tequila?

We’ve done our research to give you our list of the smoothest tequila on the market today. 

Top 10 Smoothest Tequila (Must-Try) 

10. El Tequileño

Bottle of El Tequileño Reposado

Average Price: Around $25 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

Good tequila is rarely cheap because of its laborious production process.

Blue agaves take a painstakingly long time to mature before being cooked, pressed, and distilled to make the final spirit. [1

Most tequilas use additives to cut corners, but not El Tequileño. We love how this label stays loyal to everything that makes tequila good without selling itself at a ridiculously high price point. 

El Tequileño is also a bar staple, with its pepper, citrus, and cooked agave notes translating extremely well to many tequila cocktails. 

9. Tequila Fortaleza Añejo 

Close Up Shot of Fortaleza Añejo With Glass

Average Price: Around $95

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

Hands down, Tequila Fortaleza Añejo is one of the best anejo tequilas in the market.

It has distinct bourbon notes balanced harmoniously with the usual roasted agave.

The final spirit has a distinctly oily and buttery mouthfeel, with a long, lingering finish that warms the chest. 

It can be difficult to achieve this sort of symmetry — only good anejos can have the richness and depth of whiskey yet still retain the sweetness of blue agaves.

Tequila Fortaleza Añejo is undoubtedly one of them. 

8. Antaño Tequila

Antaño Tequila Bottle and glass with sliced lemon

Average Price: Around $45 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

Antaño Tequila is a more aromatic tequila. It has notes of floral honey, cinnamon, figs, and dates alongside more unconventional flavors like horchata, spiced kiwi, and latte.

Although blancos are usually used in cocktails or shots, this is a satisfying sipping tequila because its complex flavor notes are more than enough to keep you intrigued. [2

7. Terralta Anejo

close up shot of Terralta Anejo Bottle

Average Price: Around $65 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

The word “terralta” translates to “high land.” With that, you can already tell what to expect with Terralta Anejo.

The spirit is made with 100 percent deep well water from the highlands, which gives it a distinct “rainwater” taste and feel. 

It’s also a lot more neutral and less acidic than other brands.

Our personal favorite is their blanco line, with a nice balance of white pepper, cooked sweet agave, licorice, and butter notes. 

Of course, we didn’t expect any less with third-generation master tequilero Felipe Camarena manning this brand. 

6. Casa Del Sol Anejo Tequila

3 Bottle of Casa Del Sol Anejo Tequila on top of a table

Average Price: Around $100 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

Casa Del Sol Anejo Tequila is made with 100 percent pure blue agaves grown in the Jalisco Highlands and aged inside French Limousin oak casks used to mature cognacs from Martell. 

“Great tequila starts with great agave.”

– Iliana Partida, Tequila Expert

Fancy, eh? This is what you get when four powerful women come together to build the brand: tequileros Alejandra Pelayo and Mariana Padilla, actress Eva Longoria, and interior designer Kelly Wearstler. 

This remarkable tequila has a distinct sweetness that could only come from good-quality cognac. It has exceptional caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit notes. 

5. Don Julio Blanco

Bottle of Don Julio Blanco Tequila

Average Price: Around $50 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

The Don Julio Blanco Tequila never lets you question that what you’re sipping on is an agave spirit.

It starts with an aroma of textbook tequila fragrances, like agave, sage, a hint of chili, and some citrus. 

The palate is earthier, with some herbs, black pepper, cooked agave, citrus, and sea salt. The agave is also pretty prominent on the tongue. 

This tequila is exceptionally smooth and perfect for people looking for something to drink shots in.

It’s also equally pleasant in margaritas and palomas and can hold itself extremely well when drunk on the rocks. 

4. ArteNOM

ArteNOM 1414 Tequila Bottle

Average Price: Around $60 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

ArteNOM Tequila takes a unique approach to the labels in its lineup.

For one, they partner with the tequileros themselves at their own distillery, to create an expression unique to the tequileros’ vision. As such, it is the “art” to their “nom.” 

Our personal favorite is the Selection de 1414, made by Master Tequileros Sergio and Jose Manuel Vivanco in Distileria El Ranchito.

This is a fairly sweet tequila, with notes of salted vanilla, allspice, oak, and a bit of heat — but no burn. 

3. Patrón

Bottle of Patrón Añejo Tequila

Average Price: Around $60 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

The Patron Anejo is another anejo bottle we can confidently get behind.

It is aged anywhere from 12 to 15 months inside oak barrels, which imparts a subtle golden hue and vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch flavor profile. 

It is technically made from a blend, as the blue agaves were distilled using two vastly different methods: the first made traditionally with Tahona and fermented with agave fibers, and the second with a modern roller shredder. 

2. Tequila Ocho

Tequila Ocho Plata Puntas Bottle

Average Price: Around $50 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

Did you know that the family that makes Tequila Ocho has been distilling for generations?

They mostly use old production methods passed down in the family, such as using traditional brick ovens to slow-roast extra-ripe agaves. 

They also manually hand-pick the agaves used for the final spirit, which they choose from specific fields each year.

As a result, their tequila has various flavors depending on the weather and terrain. 

Each expression varies in profile and flavor, but Tequila Ocho generally has a nice balance of earthy and floral tones, with bright citrus, smoked pepper, and a distinct sweetness from the overripe agaves. 

1.  El Tesoro Paradiso Tequila

man holding El Tesoro Paradiso Tequila bottle

Average Price: Around $150 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Why We Like It:

El Tesoro Paradiso Tequila is one of Beam Suntory’s brands (also behind bourbon giant Jim Beam).

However, you would be wrong to assume that they have adapted large-scale production methods, choosing instead to go with local agaves and traditional production processes. 

Our top pick for the smoothest tequila is the El Tesoro Anejo, with its palpable bourbon notes (after all, it spends some time inside American oak bourbon barrels).

Traditional maple, vanilla, and caramel are balanced with agave, pepper, and floral notes for an exceptionally smooth and sweet tequila. 

FAQs 

Which tequila type is smoothest?

Anejo tequilas are the smoothest and best for sipping. This tequila is aged inside oak barrels for no more than three years, which rounds out most of the harsh alcohol notes.

The aging period also lends additional flavors to the final spirit, like caramel, vanilla, and smoked oak. 

Can you sip tequila straight?

Yes, you can sip tequila straight. When choosing tequilas to sip straight, the important thing to consider is selecting one that doesn’t have a lot of burn. 

Is tequila a good sipping drink?

Yes, tequila is a good sipping drink. You’ll be surprised to know that tequila is one of the best sippers, especially if you know what you’re looking for.

It can be a pretty sweet liquor, especially if made with 100 percent ripe agaves and no additives. 

Final Verdict 

Many consider tequila good only for shots or mixed into cocktails. However, it can be a smooth sipping liquor, especially if you choose the right labels. 

The best sipping tequilas go down smoothly and don’t burn the throat.

For this reason, we suggest going with aged tequilas, like reposados, anejos, or extra anejos, as the aging period rounds out most of the harsh alcohol burn found in cheaper, unaged tequilas. 

Our personal pick for the best, smoothest tequila has to be El Tesoro Paradiso Anejo, which has just the right balance of floral agaves and oaky caramel.

It is aged inside ex-American bourbon casks, which gives the final spirit plenty of enjoyable bourbon notes. 

References: 

  1. https://www.britannica.com/plant/Agave 
  2. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/tequila-cocktail-recipes 

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