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The Best Tequila Under $50 To Try in 2021
The growth and depth of quality tequila make it the most interesting spirit of 2021. Cool brands, famous faces investing, and strong Mexican regulations in production and distillation have helped fuel the spirit’s popularity.
There are three main types of tequila; Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo, although you’ll find Joven (in between Blanco and Reposado), Cristalino (filtered clear), and extra Anejo tequila (matured longer) online as well. Blanco tequila is unaged tequila that tastes more of the agave plant, while Reposado (rested tequila) and Anejo (aged) tequila are recommended for those looking for more intense flavor, depth, and complexity.
The following 10 best tequilas under $50 to try this year represent the growing range of options for quality, affordable tequila. They can be used for sipping, shots, or kick-ass cocktails, representing brilliant value for the tequila aficionado looking for cool brands and great tastes to add to their collection.
1. Tequila Partida Blanco
Tequila Partido Blanco is top drawer. It’s one of the smoothest tequila options at the perfect price point for the novice tequila drinker or the regular connoisseur.
The Partida tequila brand is known for taking their agave flavor seriously throughout the distillation process and it really shines through in this crisp and flavorful Blanco (the Partida Tequila Reposado is also a great expression). The Partida distillery cooks its agave within 24 hours of harvest, giving the agave spirit a freshness and earthy tone other unaged tequila varieties struggle to match.
The nuanced Weber agave and citrus combine on the nose, while the palate offers tropical fruit, vanilla, grapefruit, and white pepper spice. It’s a favorite tequila for complete novices or veterans and will be on the shortlist as a favorite tequila for many cocktail makers and mixologists.
2. Tequila Fortaleza Blanco
Tequila Fortaleza is a small-batch, handcrafted tequila made with the same production methods used in the family operation from nearly 150 years ago.
Each agave is selected for ripeness before it’s harvested and steam-cooked in a small brick oven. From there, a two-ton tahona stone wheel slowly squeezes the juices from the agave. When fermentation is complete, the distinctive tequila taste is achieved by being distilled twice in two very small, copper-pot stills.
Fortaleza Blanco is a classic unaged tequila with a creamy texture and a tasty finish. The Blanco’s flavor includes cooked agave, vanilla, butter, citrus, black pepper, along with herbs.
3. El Jimador Anejo Tequila
El Jimador Anejo is crafted from the finest hand-selected blue agave and then double distilled and aged in American Oak. The dark amber-aged tequila blends the classical taste of agave with smooth, buttery notes of caramel and walnut from the 12 month cask maturation, plus a hint of cinnamon and spices at the finish.
While one of the cheaper tequilas on this list, the El Jimador Anejo is a bottle you can buy with confidence to enjoy. It’s a rare aged and affordable tequila that’s perfect for slow sipping or as a simple mixed drink with lime and soda.
4. Casamigos Reposado Tequila
Casamigos Reposado Tequila is distilled from blue agave plants from the Jalisco Highlands, the heartland of Mexican tequila. Each agave is hand-selected for flavor, then slow-cooked.
This Casamigos Tequila expression is aged for seven months in white oak barrels, which gives the Reposado a chocolate woody taste, which makes it a great option for sipping or drinking neat. The Casamigos Reposado offers an aroma of vanilla, maple, spices, and peanut shells, with the customary tequila heat balanced by sweet tropical fruit and oak.
5. Espolon Blanco Tequila
Espolon Blanco tequila honors Mexico’s art and history, and the story of Espolon – the spur of a rooster – is great for starting conversations.
A nice, simple tequila is useful to pour liberally than a more expensive Blanco tequila with a similar clean agave taste. Crafted in Jalisco from 100% blue agave plant, Espolon Blanco is a good tequila at a bargain price.
Buying a tequila with versatility like Espolon Blanco can sometimes be the way to go – a party may break out after a quality tequila shot, mixed drink, or when a cocktail loosens things up!
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6. Herradura Reposado Tequila
Herradura Reposado is rich amber with copper color highlights, the result of resting eleven months in American white oak barrels. While many cocktail makers endorse the use of silver tequila only, a good Reposado tequila like this Herradura can kick your margarita or classic tequila cocktail flavor up to a new taste level.
The aroma carries light lashings of anise, fruit, and spices around cooked agave, with a surprisingly smooth vanilla and butter flavor that extends to a smooth, sweet finish with a hint of spice and heat. The Herradura Reposado comes at a nice price point for a good quality 750ml bottle, and the brand also markets a nifty agave nectar (aka agave syrup) that you can add as a non-sugar sweetener to your cocktail mix.
7. Patron Silver Tequila
Patron Silver is a premium tequila that every tequila lover makes a beeline for when traveling through duty-free on their way through a new country, or on the way home. Patron tequila is a no-nonsense, top-quality drop that you can mix into your classic margarita for warmth and the crispest taste of citrus, and when downed as a tequila shot, it’s almost second to none, lacking the fierce aftertaste of some other, less smooth expressions.
It’s a premium tequila that your home bar can rely on when entertaining, but if the silver is not your thing you can stretch out and try the other varieties, which range from the standard Reposado and Anejo bottles through to the ultra-premium Patron Tequila Platinum.
8. Corralejo Anejo
Described by the brand as a “tequila to be passed around the dinner table, to share at a party, or to order a round at the bar.” Featuring hand-harvested estate-grown 100% blue weber agave, Corralejo Anejo is double distilled and aged for 12 months in charred American oak barrels.
Corralejo Anejo tequila is a great expression to introduce to tequila drinkers looking for a more complex flavor, or for passing around between a group of friends during a night of Mexican food.
9. Cazadores Anejo Cristalino
Another 750ml bottle right on the upper limit of our price threshold, Cazadores Anejo Cristalino owes its sheen and transparency to the time-consuming thorough filtration process. Its foundation is first achieved through the slow and harmonious processes of fermentation and distillation in wooden open-air tanks, then sent to mature for 24 months in American white oak barrels, making it one of the longest aged tequilas on our list.
The tequila is then filtered to remove the color while conserving the sensory qualities of a top-quality Anejo tequila, including the wood notes absorbed into the spirit during aging. An affordable tequila, especially compared to other Cristalino expressions, Cazadores is a great option for the experienced tequila drinker looking to sample a different but still extremely smooth drinking experience.
10. Hornito’s Black Barrel Tequila
Black Barrel starts as a premium Anejo tequila, then spends four months in deep charred ex-bourbon barrels to give it a rich, smoky flavor and golden amber color. Before bottling, Black Barrel spends an additional two months in specially toasted oak barrels for more depth and distinct complexity of woody oak and smoke notes.
Hornitos Black Barrel is likely to become a favorite tequila for the whiskey drinker moving into sipping tequila, as it offers bourbon and rye notes but still tastes as a tequila should. Mellow and well balanced yet full of intense flavor, it also makes a good tequila for a premium margarita or mixed drink.
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