If you’re a fan of aged spirits, there’s a good chance your drink of choice is some form of whisk(e)y: bourbon, rye, single malt Scotch whisky, Canadian whisky, Irish whiskey, and beyond. There’s enough to choose from that even if you never ventured out into other spirits there’d always be something new to try.
But why would you want to limit yourself when there are so many other aged spirits that might appeal to your palate as well? Case in point: añejo and extra añejo tequilas.
Añejos are aged between one and three years, while extra añejos spend a little, well, extra time. While still maintaining some of the vegetal, agave sweetness, the tequilas also typically have vanilla, caramel, oak, and other whiskey-like aromas and flavors that are picked up from time in the barrel.
There are a ton of añejo and extra añejo tequilas on the market that fit the whiskey-centric criterion. These are some of the best tequilas for whiskey drinkers.
El Tesoro Extra Añejo
This is a true bourbon-lover’s tequila, and spends between four and five years in ex-bourbon barrels. The result is a nuanced, complex sipping tequila that begins with a nose of caramel candy, cinnamon, and rich oak. The palate only adds to the excitement with notes of dried fruits, candied almonds, coffee beans, toffee, pepper, and charred oak. It’s a great sipping tequila for any whiskey drinker.
Dulce Vida Extra Añejo
This bold, 100-proof tequila from Dulce Vida comes from the fames Los Altos Highlands of Jalisco. Made from 100 percent blue Weber agave, it’s matured for five years in American oak barrels from Napa Valley that once held merlot and cabernet wines. The result is a tequila that begins with a nose of cinnamon spice and vanilla beans before working into a complex palate of sticky toffee pudding, dried fruits, oak, and agave sweetness. Sip it slowly and enjoy all of the flavors.
Patrón Sherry Cask Aged Añejo
If you’re a fan of single malt whisky, especially from the likes of The Macallan and Aberlour, you know all about maturing whisky in former sherry casks. But what about tequila aged in sherry barrels? Patrón matured this expression in oloroso sherry casks for a minimum of two years. This results in a tequila bursting with aromas of baked agave, vanilla, and dried fruits. Sipping it only adds to the appeal with flavors like toffee, candied nuts, dried fruits, vanilla, and baked agave.
El Tequileno Gran Reserva Añejo
Made with 100 percent blue Weber agave from the Jalisco Highlands, El Tequileno Gran Reserva Añejo is distilled in copper pot stills before maturing in American as well as French oak barrels. The result is a rich, nuanced tequila that starts off with a nose of cooked agave, dried fruits, vanilla, and oak. The sippable, memorable palate is filled with flavors like cooked, vegetal sweet agave, vanilla beans, candied orange peels, dried fruits, oak, and gentle spices. Spicy, sweet, oaky, what’s not to love when it comes to whiskey-adjacent tequilas?
Tres Agaves Añejo
This award-winning tequila from the folks at Tres Agaves is a great choice for whiskey drinkers. Made from organic agave that’s grown in the Tequila Valley in Jalisco, it rests for 18 months in a mix of ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky as well as Tennessee whiskey barrels. This creates a complex, balanced sipper that begins with notes of toffee and gentle vegetal agave aromas. The palate is filled with vanilla beans, cinnamon, candied orange peels, oak, and dried cherries. Sweet, fruity, and rich. This is a tequila for big whiskey drinkers looking to branch out into other spirits.
Casa Noble Añejo
If you’ve never tried any of Casa Noble’s tequilas, what are you waiting for? It’s the kind of distillery that seems to release nothing but high-quality expressions. One of its best (and the best for whiskey drinkers) is its Casa Noble Añejo. Matured for a minimum of two years in new French oak barrels, it begins with aromas of raisins, cinnamon, oak, and vanilla and moves into a palate of cooked agave, vanilla beans, caramel, and gentle spices. It’s a smooth, slow-sipping tequila that deserves to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
Tapatio Excelencia Extra Añejo
Distilled at the La Alteña Distillery, it’s made from 100 percent Jalisco highland-grown blue Weber Agave. It’s matured for a full five years in deep-charred American oak barrels. On the nose, you’ll be treated to scents of cooked agave, maple candy, oak, and caramel. The palate is a symphony of cooked agave, butterscotch, vanilla beans, chocolate, oak, and light spices. It’s a highly complex, mellow tequila that ticks all of the whiskey boxes.
Don Fulano Imperial
To say that Don Fulano Imperial is a complex tequila is a massive understatement. It’s matured for at least five years in a combination of dark European oak and oloroso sherry casks. This creates a memorable tequila that starts with a nose of dried cherries, clove, sweet sherry, cooked agave, vanilla, and spice. The nose continues this trend with flavors of fresh leather, gentle spices, dried fruits, toffee, and rich chocolate sweetness. It’s kind of tequila you’ll want to sip slowly on an unseasonably cool evening.
Siete Leguas Añejo
Siete Leguas Añejo begins with agave cooked in small stone ovens. It’s crushed using a traditional donkey-drawn mechanical mill. It’s then distilled in copper pot stills before being matured for a minimum of two years in American white oak barrels. This results in a nose of cooked agave, vanilla, and oak and a palate of maple candy, vanilla beans, cooked agave, dried cherries, and light spices. It’s a warming, sweet, complex tequila that works well for even the most ardent whiskey drinker. Sip it slowly neat or on the rocks. You’ll be glad you did.
If you only pick up one or two of these tequilas for whiskey drinkers, make sure Fortalezo Añejo is one of them. This traditional tequila is made with 100% Blue Weber agave that’s baked in stone ovens, stone crushed, and double distilled in copper pot stills. It gets its iconic flavor profile from being aged for a minimum of eighteen months in American oak barrels. On the nose, you’ll find hints of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla beans, orange peels, and baked agave. The palate is candied orange peels, butterscotch, vanilla, vegetal agave, and a lingering nutty sweetness that appeals to whiskey drinkers.