Best Sipping Tequilas Around the World
Tequila has a reputation as a sort of rough-and-tumble beverage, from the beverage of blue collar workers, to harsh shots taken in sticky-floored bars in a college town somewhere. However, there are now plenty of brands that have endeavored to bring tequila to the ranks of cognacs and scotches, making it a refined sipping beverage around the world, specifically the tequilas categorized as añejo. Here is just a sampling of some of the best sipping tequilas around the world to get you started.
Many tequila companies nowadays try to keep with tradition, right down to some of the more primitive aspects of production. Bertha González Nieves does not abide by this however. The first female “maestra tequilera” uses a complicated distillation to get rid of harshness and impurities, making this tequila rich in flavor, with none of the unwanted bite.
Gran Patron Piedra
A familiar name in the tequila industry, Patron offers several types of tequila that have been recognized for their sipping quality. Gran Patron Piedra brings this to the next level with their aged extra añejo tequila. They use a stone to crush the agave, then ferment the juice with crushed agave fiber, followed by a three year aging process in oak barrels. However, this tequila comes at a price, being one of the most expensive on the market.
Baston Del Rey’s Extra Añejo
For something more along the lines of an after dinner aperitif, Baston Del Rey offers their extra añejo tequila. Much like the piedra, it’s aged 3.5 years in French oak barrels, and it is double distilled beforehand. Reminiscent of a cognac, this tequila will offer up all kinds of flavors to hang on the palate, including caramel, pear, cherry, and vanilla. Be sure to smell beforehand to get a real sense of the complexity of the bouquet.
Separating itself from the rest, Qui is the first platinum (clear) extra añejo. Using a filtration system after aging the tequila in American whiskey and French Bordeaux barrels for 3.5 years, they take away the dark coloring, additionally taking away some of the harshness and heaviness that would traditionally be associated with this form of aging. What is left is a pleasantly light and floral tequila, with some tones of butterscotch and honey.
While some of the above tequilas can get somewhat pricey, the Tapatio Añejo can be found for a reasonable price. Recently available in the U.S., the agave is fermented with the original pulp, then placed in steel tanks for six months. This creates a full bodied and spicy blanco to enjoy at your leisure.
Sipping tequila, much like sipping wine, scotches, or cognacs, has a distinctive order to it. In order to fully enjoy any of the tequilas mentioned above, or any of the other amazing tequilas now available, be sure to educate yourself on the process to become fully immersed in the experience. You won’t be disappointed!
How To Drink Sipping Tequila
Now that you know a bit about the top shelf tequilas of the world, knowing how to drink them is also important. To get make the most of your tequila sipping experience, its important to follow protocol, including swishing your glass, taking in the aroma, and taking small sips. Most importantly, skip the lime for sipping tequilas! Here’s how to taste tequila according to Pablo Avalos, the patriarch of Baston Del Rey.