Liquor Laboratory

What’s the Worst Tequila? 7 Brands Reviewed (2024 Updated)

What's the Worst Tequila

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Lydia Martin

What makes a tequila drink undrinkable? Is it the taste? The burn? Or is it the splitting headache it gives you the next morning? 

Let’s find out what’s the worst tequila and discover why these are considered such.

7 Most Voted As The Worst Tequilas 

7. Cazadores Blanco

Cazadores Blanco on desk with cocktail

Average Alcohol Content: 40%

Cazadores Tequila is a trusted tequila brand. However, Cazadores Blanco is not considered one of their quality tequila variant.

It has very strong alcohol and medicinal presence. To the palate, it is superiorly bitter with unflattering vanilla sweetness.

For around $17.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine), this agave spirit is not worth your money.

6. El Toro Silver Tequila 

El Toro Silver on table with shot glass and shrimps

Average Alcohol Content: 40%

El Toro Silver Tequila is a bad tequila that gives a nasty hangover. The bottle of this Blanco tequila states that it is made of 100% Blue Agave.

However, the flavors are not evident. It is not the best tequila for sipping or mixed. Its cheap price of around $12.09 per 1L (Drizly) represents its cheap quality. 

5. Bribón Silver

Bribón Silver on desk with cocktail

Average Alcohol Content: 40%

Bribón Tequila Blanco has spicy hotness that is overwhelming, and the sweetness of the vanilla is off.

This drink is not for tequila shots. Including this in tequila tasting is not advisable because of its unpleasant blend of flavors.

For roughly $23.99 per 750ml (Drizly), it is overpriced for its caliber. 

4. Bandolero Tequila

Bandolero Tequila on table with cocktail

Average Alcohol Content: 40%

Bandolero tequila has flavors that can tickle taste buds with the full agave flavors, alcohol with the right spice, and earth notes.

However, the alcohol smell and the burn are not very pleasant. If you do not mind obvious harshness, 750 ml tequila bottles are roughly $7 only (Wine Searcher).

3. Tres Generaciones Silver

Average Alcohol Content: 40%

Many tequila enthusiasts have seen Tres Generaciones Silver as a diffuser tequila since La Perséverancia released this. Most spirits made by them are not pure.

Tres Generaciones Silver lacks strength and flavor. A 750 ml is roughly $36.99 (Drizly), and that is a very high price for a non-complex Blanco such as this spirit. 

2. Sauza Hacienda Reposado 

Sauza Hacienda Reposado on desk

Average Alcohol Content: 40%

Since this is rested, Sauza Hacienda Reposado should have been one of the best cheap tequilas. However, despite being aged and rested, it has a harsh alcohol flavor.

Each 750ml tequila bottle of Sauza Hacienda Reposado is around $18 (Wine Searcher), but you can get other reposado tequila at a cheaper price with a better flavor.

1. Jose Cuervo Especial Reposado

Jose Cuervo Especial Reposado on desk

Average Alcohol Content: 40%

Jose Cuervo Especial Reposado is the biggest disappointment among Jose Cuervo tequila variants. The taste may even be worse than cheap silver tequilas.

Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver and Extra Añejo, on the other hand, prove to be high-quality tequila.

For roughly $17.99 (Drizly) for every 750ml bottle of these agave spirits, you can find excellent tequilas at a much lower price. 

What Makes People Hate Tequilas 

What Makes People Hate Tequilas 


Cheap tequila is always associated with bad taste. Either the alcohol is harsh or overpowering, or the flavor profile is everywhere.

Some are too sweet, like sugar cane juice infused with alcohol. 

Top shelf tequila such as Don Julio is one real tequila that offers great flavors and is considered one of the smoothest tequilas in the market.

The worst spirits allegedly do not possess the qualities of premium tequila. But what’s the tequila on Queen of the South?

Hangover Effects

Avion 44 Extra Añejo

Congeners cause bad hangovers, and these are common in tequilas overflowing with additives.

The likes of Milagro Silver, Tequila Partida Blanco and Tequila Ocho Plata has lesser congeners.

Corn syrup and sugar cane-infused tequilas cause a hangover. Extra Añejo variants stayed in barrels longer, causing them to acquire more congeners [1] than Blancos.

Read: 512 Tequila & 818 Comparison 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are cheap tequilas worse than premium tequilas?

No, cheap tequilas are not worse than premium tequilas since some affordable brands are also known for their flavor and smooth texture.

Sauza Silver Tequila is hailed as the Best Budget Tequila, the same as Camarena Reposado and Olmeca Altos Plata by many tequila drinkers. These are a few of the best tequila brands you can drink neat.

Are “mixto” tequilas the worst?

No, Mixto tequilas are not the worst because some of these variants are flavorful and smooth, especially the Añejo barrel blend. You can even find high-quality Mixtos that qualify as the best sipping tequilas.

However, the best tequila bottles are the pure ones such as Espolòn Reposado, Don Julio Reposado Tequila, and Casamigos Blanco. 

What makes a bad tequila?

Several factors contribute to the perception of a bad tequila:
Low-Quality Ingredients: Tequila made from low-quality agave or mixed with non-agave sugars may lack the desired flavors and characteristics.
Industrial Processes: Tequila produced using mass-production methods that prioritize quantity over quality may result in a less complex and refined spirit.
Artificial Additives: Tequilas with added colorings, flavorings, or artificial sweeteners may compromise the natural taste and quality of the spirit.
Poor Aging Conditions: Tequilas aged in inappropriate or overused barrels may absorb undesirable flavors, affecting the overall quality of the spirit.
Incorrect Distillation: Improper distillation processes can lead to impurities and off-flavors in the final product.

Is Jose Cuervo a real tequila?

Yes, Jose Cuervo is a real tequila brand. It is one of the oldest and most well-known tequila producers in the world. Jose Cuervo offers a range of tequilas, including traditional silver (blanco), reposado, añejo, and specialty expressions.

While Jose Cuervo has faced criticism for its more commercial products, it produces authentic tequila that adheres to the regulations and standards set by the Tequila Regulatory Council in Mexico.

Which tequila is not real?

Tequilas labeled and produced in accordance with the regulations established by the Tequila Regulatory Council in Mexico are considered authentic and real tequilas.

Tequilas that deviate from these regulations, such as those made outside the designated regions of Mexico or those containing additives not allowed by the council, may be considered not real or counterfeit tequilas.

Why don’t people like Jose Cuervo?

While Jose Cuervo is a reputable and authentic tequila brand, some tequila enthusiasts may express preferences for other brands based on personal taste or perceptions. Jose Cuervo has a broad range of products, and opinions can vary on the quality and flavor of specific expressions.

Some people may prefer tequilas that emphasize artisanal or craft production methods, while others appreciate the accessibility and familiarity of Jose Cuervo in cocktails.

Is Jose Cuervo Gold not real?

Jose Cuervo Gold is a real tequila, but it is important to note that it is a mixto tequila. Mixto tequilas are made with a minimum of 51% agave sugars, supplemented with other sugars, typically from cane or corn. While mixto tequilas may be more affordable, they are generally considered of lower quality than 100% agave tequilas, which use only agave sugars.

Jose Cuervo Gold, while popular in cocktails, has faced criticism for not being a pure agave tequila, contributing to the perception that it may not be as high in quality as other tequilas on the market.

Does cheap tequila go bad?

Tequila, like most spirits, does not spoil or go bad in the same way perishable foods do. However, exposure to air and light can lead to changes in flavor over time. Lower-quality or cheaper tequilas may be more susceptible to degradation in flavor due to their production methods and ingredients.

Proper storage in a cool, dark place with a tightly sealed cap can help preserve the quality of any tequila, regardless of price.

What is the number 1 ranked tequila?

The title of the “number 1 ranked tequila” can vary depending on personal preferences and industry awards. Tequila aficionados may have different favorites based on taste profiles, aging processes, and brand reputations.

Some well-regarded tequila brands include Don Julio, Patrón, and Casa Noble. Awards from competitions such as the Tequila Masters or the San Francisco World Spirits Competition can also influence rankings.

Is it bad to drink bad tequila?

Drinking tequila that has gone bad or has been improperly stored might result in an unpleasant taste, but it is unlikely to cause harm. However, it’s crucial to distinguish between the natural evolution of flavor in aged tequilas and the negative effects of exposure to light, heat, or oxidation.

Consuming contaminated or counterfeit tequila could pose health risks, so it’s advisable to purchase from reputable sources and store tequila properly.

Is Cuervo 100% agave?

Jose Cuervo produces both 100% agave tequilas and mixto tequilas. Their traditional Jose Cuervo Especial, often referred to as Cuervo Gold, is a mixto tequila, meaning it contains at least 51% agave sugars, supplemented with other sugars.

However, the Jose Cuervo Tradicional line includes 100% agave tequilas, adhering to higher quality standards by using only agave sugars in the production process.

What tequila is not 100% agave?

Tequilas labeled as “mixto” are not 100% agave. Mixto tequilas are made with a minimum of 51% agave sugars, and the remaining percentage can come from other sugars, usually cane or corn. These tequilas are often more affordable but may lack the depth of flavor and complexity found in 100% agave tequilas.

Some well-known mixto tequilas include certain expressions of Jose Cuervo Gold and Sauza Silver. It’s essential to check the label to determine whether a tequila is 100% agave or a mixto.

So, What’s The Worst Tequila? 

The worst tequilas on this list either have the worst flavor, overwhelming alcohol burn, or are insanely priced. Top-shelf brands like Don Julio, Casamigos Blanco, and Clase Azul Reposado Tequila come with a higher tag price because of their quality smoothness and remarkable flavors. 

However, price is not the basis for being part of the best tequilas. You can drink cheaper brands than Don Julio Tequila that possess impeccable taste. There is quality tequila even in the lower parts of the shelf, too. 


  1. Effects of oral exposure to naturally-occurring and synthetic deoxynivalenol congeners on proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine mRNA expression in the mouse
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