All tequila starts as an unaged blanco. Put it in a barrel for at least two months and up to a year, and you have a reposado. Both of these styles are the most popular for refreshing tequila cocktails like the margarita (and the many delicious margarita variations). Leave it in there for more than a year and up to three years and that’s when you get an añejo tequila. In the case of the latter, all that time in the barrel (usually one that previously held bourbon) leads to a spirit that has some of the same notable barrel notes like vanilla, carmel, and oak as your favorite whiskey does.
All that extra aging can also lead to extra price. However, there are still añejo tequilas on the market that are just as, if not more, affordable than your go-to whiskeys.
The Best Añejo Tequilas For Whiskey Drinkers
El Tesoro Añejo Tequila
This award-winning tequila is matured between two and three years in ex-bourbon barrels. The result is a complex tequila that still holds onto the fruity, sweetness of the agave, but also carries notes of toasted vanilla beans, rich oaky wood, and gentle cracked black pepper. It’s an indulgent, slow-sipping spirit that appeals to both tequila and whiskey drinkers.
Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila
This añejo tequila was matured for at least 18 months in American oak barrels. This creates a balanced, complex tequila with notes of candied nuts, rich oak, vegetal sweetness, toffee, and dried fruit. This is the kind of añejo tequila that you’ll want to always have on hand for mixing up your favorite tequila-based cocktails or for drinking neat or on the rocks.
Casa Noble Añejo Tequila
If you’ve never tried any expressions from Casa Noble, now is your chance. Its añejo tequila is matured for at least two full years in French oak barrels. This creates a very refined tequila with a flavor profile featuring sweet cooked agave, vanilla beans, buttery caramel, dried fruits, and rich oak. This is truly a tequila that deserves to be sipped neat and slowly on an unseasonably cool evening.
Riazul Añejo Tequila
Riazul takes great effort to mature this expression for the perfect amount of time. It’s matured for at least two full years in French XO cognac casks. Instead of the usual ex-bourbon barrels, the use of cognac casks imparts notes of toasted marshmallows, caramel candy, agave sweetness, vanilla, and spices. It’s nuanced, sweet, and highly sippable.
Casamigos Añejo Tequila
Made from 100 percent Blue Weber agave piñas that are slow roasted in brick ovens, this popular añejo tequila is matured for at least 18 months in oak barrels. This creates an easy drinking, highly sippable tequila with notes of vanilla beans, caramel, cooked agave, and gentle spices.
Cazul 100 Reserva Añejo Tequila
This award-winning tequila (Silver Medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition), made from 100 percent Blue Weber agave, is matured in oak barrels for a minimum of two years. This creates a highly complex, balanced tequila with toffee, vanilla beans, baked agave, and cinnamon. If you find yourself with a bottle of this tequila, savor it.
Baluarte Añejo Tequila
The distillers at Baluarte believe the use of traditional brick ovens to cook their agave piñas adds to the overall flavor experience more than anything else. Add to that the fact that it’s aged in oak barrels for at least 15 months, and you have a great, flavorful tequila. Sipping it brings forth flavors like dried fruits, charred oak, vegetal sweetness, and buttery toffee.
Espolòn Añejo Tequila
Sipping Espolòn Tequila Añejo is a really memorable experience. This is because this popular tequila is matured in American white oak for a full year before being finished in heavily-charred Wild Turkey bourbon casks. This creates a unique, delicious palate of cooked agave, caramel, vanilla beans, and gentle spices.Learn More