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What Is The Strongest Tequila? Answered (2024 Best Edition)

What Is The Strongest Tequila

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Lydia Martin

You can’t deny that tequila has a bit of a “party image,” as it’s the drink people turn to if they want to get drunk quickly.

As such, most tequila labels are at least 40 percent ABV, which is more than enough to get the job done. 

This article aims to celebrate high-proof tequila. You would be surprised to know that besides the heat, good-quality tequila also has a nicely complex flavor profile. 

So, what is the strongest tequila in the market? Let’s find out. 

What Is The Strongest Tequila: Top 5 You Should Try

5. Pueblo Viejo

Bottle of Pueblo Viejo Tequila 104 Proof

Average Price: Around $40 

Alcohol Content: 52% 

Why We Like It:

Pueblo Viejo is a high-proof tequila at a whopping 104 proof.

It also has an impressive price point to boot, so you won’t have to worry about burning a hole through your wallet if you are thinking of trying this out. 

It’s definitely boozier than other tequila labels, but surprisingly, its vegetal and peppery notes hold themselves exceptionally well in cocktails and mixed drinks. 

Of course, if you knock this back in shots, expect a palpable burn in your throat due to its high proof. 

4. Dulce Vida Blanco

Bottle of  Dulce Vida Blanco, salt and white flower on top of a wooden table

Average Price: Around $40 

Alcohol Content: 50% 

Why We Like It:

Dulce Vida Blanco is made with 100 percent blue agaves and bottled at 100 proof. It’s pretty spicy owing to its high proof, but nothing too overwhelming. 

The agaves — harvested from the Jaliscan Highlands — give it plenty of grassiness and floral notes.

Other flavor notes that jump out are green olives, mint, and citrus, making it one of the most complex tequilas on this list. [1

This is a shooter, no doubt, but it’s also pretty enjoyable when sipped slowly with a large ice cube. The ice allows its nuance in flavors to shine better. 

5. Herradura Reserva 

Herradura Reserva Silver 2015 Limited Edition Bottle

Average Price: Around $100 

Alcohol Content: 55% 

Why We Like It:

Herradura Reserva is bottled directly from the still at a whopping 110 proof.

This expression was first released in 2015 as a limited edition bottle, so it can be difficult getting hold of one these days.

Its green agave and lime notes keep the flavor notes pretty interesting, especially since we recommend keeping things pretty simple and drinking this neat or with a spritz of lime juice. 

“It [Tequila] is a bartender’s best friend.”

– Stelios Papadopoulus, Jose Cuervo Global Brand Ambassador 

Herradura Reserva is also one of the best tequilas to pair with food, so don’t be afraid to experiment with having a tipple alongside a dinner of grilled squid or prawns. 

Of course, you can drink this in shots, but do you really want to, considering you paid around $100 for it? 

2. Tapatio Blanco

Bottle of a Tequila Tapatio Blanco 110

Average Price: Around $60 

Alcohol Content: 55% 

Why We Like It:

Tapatio Blanco is one of the best tequilas to mix in a high-proof Margarita. It has gorgeous sweet, cooked agave and fruity floral notes that cut beautifully through citrus. 

It is distilled at 114 proof and bottled at 110, so what you’re getting is the closest thing you can taste right from the still.

It has a rich, sweet, and drying profile, perfect if you’re looking for a tequila that can make a bold statement. 

If you ask us, though, the best part about Tapatio is its reasonable price point to match its quality. 

1. El Luchador

El Luchador 110 Proof Tequila Bottle with Lime and Salt

Average Price: Around $50 

Alcohol Content: 55% 

Why We Like It:

“Luchador” translates to “fighter” in English, which tells you a lot about this tequila. It is bottled at a whopping 110 proof for your ultimate satisfaction.

It has an intense mix of flavors ranging from medicinal to earthy to peppery. Of course, the blue agave notes are still front and center, making this the punchiest tequila on this list. 

This is our personal favorite for enjoying in a Margarita or Paloma, as its earthy tones balance the acidity of the fruit juices extremely well. 

We must warn you, though — it can be easy to drink too much as El Luchador has virtually no burn. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Tequila Gets You Drunk the Fastest?

The speed at which alcohol impacts an individual varies depending on numerous factors, including body weight, tolerance, and the rate of consumption. Tequila, like any other alcoholic beverage, can intoxicate drinkers differently based on these factors. While some may believe that tequila leads to a more rapid onset of intoxication due to its reputation for strong effects, it’s crucial to recognize that all alcoholic beverages have the potential to impact individuals differently.

The notion that tequila specifically gets you drunk faster than other spirits is more anecdotal than scientifically proven. Instead, alcohol content plays a significant role in how quickly one becomes intoxicated. In the case of tequila, its alcohol by volume (ABV) typically ranges from 35% to 55%, depending on the type and brand. High-proof tequilas, such as those with higher ABV percentages, may lead to a quicker onset of intoxication if consumed in large quantities.

However, it’s essential to emphasize responsible drinking habits regardless of the type of alcohol consumed. Drinking in moderation, pacing oneself, and being aware of one’s limits are key to enjoying alcoholic beverages safely.

Is Tequila the Strongest Alcohol?

Tequila is not inherently the strongest alcohol available. While it can have a high alcohol content, there are many other spirits with higher ABV percentages. For instance, certain types of rum, vodka, and grain alcohol (such as Everclear) can have higher alcohol concentrations than tequila.

The strength of an alcoholic beverage is determined by its ABV, which indicates the percentage of alcohol present in the liquid. Tequila typically ranges from 35% to 55% ABV, although some variations may exceed this range.

It’s essential to be mindful of the alcohol content of any beverage one consumes and to drink responsibly. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to various health risks and impaired judgment.

What Determines the Alcohol Content in Tequila?

Several factors influence the alcohol content in tequila:

Distillation Process: Tequila is distilled from the fermented juices of the blue agave plant. The number of times the liquid is distilled can impact its alcohol concentration. Generally, the more times it’s distilled, the higher the ABV.

Aging: Tequila may be aged in barrels, which can affect its alcohol content. Over time, some alcohol may evaporate, leading to a higher concentration of alcohol in the remaining liquid.

Type of Tequila: Different types of tequila, such as blanco (unaged), reposado (aged), and añejo (extra-aged), have varying alcohol contents. Añejo tequilas, for example, may have a higher ABV due to the concentration that occurs during the aging process.

Water Dilution: Some distillers dilute tequila with water before bottling to achieve the desired alcohol content. The ratio of water to alcohol directly affects the final ABV of the product.

Understanding these factors can help consumers make informed choices when selecting and consuming tequila, ensuring they enjoy it responsibly and in moderation. By recognizing that tequila is not necessarily the strongest alcohol and that responsible consumption is key, individuals can enjoy the unique flavors and experiences that tequila offers without compromising their well-being.

Are There Specific Tequila Brands Known for Producing High-Proof Varieties?

Yes, there are several tequila brands known for producing high-proof varieties. These brands often offer tequilas with alcohol by volume (ABV) percentages that exceed the typical range. Some brands focus on crafting high-proof tequilas to appeal to consumers who prefer stronger spirits or to create unique flavor profiles.

One example of a brand known for its high-proof tequilas is “Tears of Llorona,” which produces ultra-premium tequilas with ABV percentages ranging from 43% to 54%. Another notable brand is “Don Julio,” which offers a range of tequilas, including some with higher ABV percentages than average.

Additionally, some craft distilleries experiment with producing high-proof tequilas, often in limited batches, to cater to connoisseurs seeking unique and intense flavor experiences.

What Are Some Examples of Tequila Varieties with High Alcohol Content?

Tequila varieties with high alcohol content typically fall within the extra añejo category or may be special releases crafted by distilleries to showcase the spirit’s potency. Here are some examples:

Extra Añejo Tequilas: These tequilas are aged for an extended period, often over three years, resulting in a rich and complex flavor profile. Some extra añejo tequilas may have higher alcohol content due to the concentration that occurs during the aging process.

Limited Edition Releases: Distilleries occasionally release special editions or limited batches of tequila with higher alcohol content as part of their product lineup. These releases may showcase unique aging techniques or experimental distillation processes.

Small-Batch Craft Tequilas: Some craft distilleries produce small-batch tequilas with higher alcohol content to appeal to discerning consumers who appreciate intense flavors and unique expressions of the spirit.

Examples of tequilas with high alcohol content include Tears of Llorona Extra Añejo Tequila, Don Julio 1942 Tequila, and Clase Azul Ultra Extra Añejo Tequila, among others.

Is There a Limit to How Strong Tequila Can Be?

While there is no strict legal limit to how strong tequila can be, there are practical constraints based on the distillation process and consumer preferences. The maximum alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage for tequila typically falls within the range of 35% to 55%, with most commercial tequilas hovering around 40% to 50% ABV.

Distillers must adhere to regulatory guidelines set by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) in Mexico, which governs the production and labeling of tequila. These guidelines dictate the permitted ingredients, production methods, and labeling standards for tequila.

However, within these regulatory boundaries, distillers have flexibility in crafting tequilas with varying alcohol content to suit different preferences and market demands. As a result, while there is no absolute limit to how strong tequila can be, commercial tequilas typically fall within a certain ABV range to maintain balance and drinkability while delivering the desired flavor characteristics.

Are High-Proof Tequilas Meant for Straight Sipping or Mixing in Cocktails?

High-proof tequilas can be enjoyed both straight and in cocktails, depending on personal preference and the desired drinking experience. Some individuals prefer to sip high-proof tequilas neat or on the rocks to fully appreciate their intense flavors and complexities. Sipping allows drinkers to experience the nuances of the spirit without dilution from mixers or ice.

On the other hand, high-proof tequilas can also add depth and character to cocktails when used judiciously. They can bring a robust agave flavor and a stronger alcoholic kick to mixed drinks, enhancing the overall profile of the cocktail. Cocktails like margaritas, tequila old fashioneds, or spicy tequila cocktails can benefit from the bold flavors of high-proof tequilas.

Ultimately, whether to enjoy high-proof tequila neat or in cocktails comes down to individual taste preferences and the desired drinking occasion. Experimenting with different serving methods can help discover the most enjoyable way to experience high-proof tequila.

Do High-Proof Tequilas Offer Different Flavor Profiles Compared to Lower Proof Varieties?

High-proof tequilas often offer different flavor profiles compared to lower proof varieties due to their concentrated nature. The higher alcohol content can intensify certain flavors and aromas while also affecting the overall mouthfeel and finish of the spirit.

In high-proof tequilas, drinkers may notice more pronounced agave flavors, along with deeper and more complex notes of caramel, oak, spice, and citrus. These flavors can develop during the aging process or through specific distillation techniques, resulting in a richer and more robust drinking experience.

Lower proof tequilas, on the other hand, may have a milder taste profile with softer flavors and a smoother finish. They may be preferred by those who enjoy a lighter, more approachable tequila drinking experience.

How Should I Enjoy High-Proof Tequila to Appreciate Its Strength and Flavor?

To fully appreciate the strength and flavor of high-proof tequila, consider the following tips:

Sip Neat or on the Rocks: Enjoy high-proof tequila neat or with a single ice cube to experience its full intensity and complexity. Sipping slowly allows the flavors to unfold gradually, providing a more nuanced tasting experience.

Use a Glencairn or Copita Glass: Use a specialized glass such as a Glencairn or copita glass to enhance the aroma and concentration of flavors in high-proof tequila. These glasses are designed to concentrate the aromas, allowing you to fully appreciate the spirit’s nuances.

Add Water if Desired: If the high-proof tequila is too intense for your palate, consider adding a small amount of water to help release the flavors and soften the alcohol burn. Experiment with different dilution levels until you find the perfect balance of strength and flavor.

Pair with Food: Enjoy high-proof tequila alongside complementary foods to enhance the tasting experience. Foods like aged cheeses, dark chocolate, or spicy dishes can complement the bold flavors of the tequila and provide a balanced palate cleanse.

By savoring high-proof tequila mindfully and experimenting with different serving methods, you can fully appreciate its strength and unique flavor profile. Whether enjoyed neat, in cocktails, or alongside food, high-proof tequila offers a distinct drinking experience that can be savored and enjoyed in various ways.

Which Tequila is Stronger: Gold or Silver?

The strength of tequila, often referred to as its alcohol by volume (ABV), is not determined by its color (gold or silver). Instead, it is influenced by the distillation process and aging techniques employed during production. Gold and silver tequilas can have similar ABV percentages, typically ranging from 35% to 55%.

Gold tequila, also known as joven or oro, obtains its color through the addition of caramel coloring or other additives after the distillation process. It may undergo minimal aging or be a blend of different tequilas, resulting in a smoother and slightly sweeter taste compared to silver tequila.

Silver tequila, also known as blanco or plata, is typically unaged or aged for a very short period, resulting in a clear appearance. It often retains the pure agave flavor and has a more intense, fiery character compared to gold tequila.

Ultimately, the strength of gold or silver tequila depends on its specific ABV, which can vary among brands and types.

What are the 5 Levels of Tequila?

The five levels of tequila classification, as recognized by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT), are:
Blanco (Silver or Plata): Blanco tequila is clear and unaged, bottled shortly after distillation. It offers the purest expression of agave flavor, with a crisp and robust taste profile.

Joven (Gold or Oro): Joven tequila may be a blend of blanco and aged tequilas or may include additives such as caramel coloring. It often has a smoother and slightly sweeter taste compared to blanco tequila.

Reposado: Reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months and up to one year. This aging process imparts a subtle complexity and smoothness to the tequila, with notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel.

Añejo: Añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of one year and up to three years. It develops rich flavors of oak, spice, and caramel during the aging process, with a smooth and velvety finish.

Extra Añejo: Extra añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years. It is characterized by its deep amber color and complex flavor profile, with notes of wood, dark chocolate, and dried fruit. Extra añejo tequila is the most aged and premium category of tequila.

Final Words

Tequila is one of the best party drinks, perfect for people looking to get drunk quickly. 

The tequilas we’ve listed above are bottled at least 100 proof, which is higher than the standard 80.

Our personal favorite is the El Luchador Tequila at a whopping 110 proof, but we can confidently say that it has complex flavor notes to back the heat up. 

It’s great in shots, but we especially love it in a high-proof Margarita or Paloma. Its earthy tones contrast beautifully with the acidity of the fruit juices. 

Other high-proof tequilas include Pueblo Viejo and Tapatia Blanco, which are also great choices with reasonable prices. 


  1. 10 things you need to know about tequila
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