12 Must-Try Tequila Brands That You May Not Have Heard of (Yet)


If you are steeped in the tequila aficionado world, then you might have heard of the legendary distilleries and brands that have defined the market for generations like Cascahuin, Siete Leguas, and Arette. There are a number of new tequilas that have come on the market ready to compete.

Some of these brands come from those credible distilleries and some are breaking new ground entirely. Either way, these are tasty additions that are going to increase your clout and understanding of tequila.

Juan Lobo

NOM 1414
Expressions: Blanco, Reposado, Anejo (Buy on Great American Craft Spirits)
Juan Lobo Website | @juanlobotequila Instagram | @juanlobotequila Twitter

A fantastic bang for your buck that impresses any kind of tequila drinker. You wouldn’t think that country singer, John Wolf, would be behind an impressive tequila, but he is. Partnering with the Vivanco distillery in the highlands of Jalisco, Juan Lobo has all the taste and credibility master distillers Sergio Cruz and Jose Manuel bring to the table. This tequila has a bit more floral and fresh herbal qualities. The anejo is one of my favorite anejos on the market.

El Gran Legado de Vida

NOM 1123
Expressions: Blanco (Buy on Old Town Tequila)
Confirmed Additive-Free Brand by TequilaMatchmaker
El Gran Legado de Vida Website | @elgranlegadodevida Instagram

When you open this bottle of blanco tequila, it feels like you have just walked into the Cascahuin distillery. The volcanic soil comes alive in this tequila with its wet earthy, green bell pepper, minerally, and spicy notes. Though this has some of the signature flavors of Cascahuin, it has a unique spin that makes you want to go back for more. The blue agave is sourced from Michoacan introducing more citrus and vegetal notes. It’s absolutely one to add to your shelf, especially if you’re already a fan of the distillery.


NOM 1474
Expressions: Blue Agave Blanco, Cupreata Blanco, Espadin Blanco
Curado Website | @TequilaCurado Instagram

A surprising but simple twist on tequila by blending the flavor profile of mezcal and tequila into one. Curado has three different tequila varieties on the market: blue agave, cupreata, and espadin. The distillers steep the different cooked agaves for 5 days in cotton bags infusing the tequila with the smoky earthen pit cooked agaves. The yellow color of the tequila comes from this infusion. Each of the expressions give slightly different notes, but it is the perfect crossover for tequila lovers moving into mezcal or vice versa. 


NOM 1123
Expressions: Blanco ‘Heritage’ (Shop on their website)
Confirmed Additive-Free Brand by TequilaMatchmaker
Montagave Website | @montagave instagram

You get the best of both worlds, an earthy agave-forward tequila with the fruity and jammy notes of fancy French wine. Montagave is rested in French Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels for 30 days for lot 1 and just under 60 days for lot 2 making this yellowish/pink tinted tequila still a blanco. Many of the wine barrel-aged tequilas leave you with the taste of tannins, but Montagave changes that perspective entirely. This tequila is filled with notes of red fruit, hay, wet earth, citrus, and black pepper. It’s so good that I hesitated to even put it on this list so that I can continue to buy it all for myself.


NOM 1614
Expressions: No.9 Blanco, No. 7 Reposado, No.7 Anejo (Shop on their website)
Confirmed Additive-Free Brand by TequilaMatchmaker
Cazcanes Websites | @drinkcazcanes Instagram | @DrinkCazcanes Twitter

A beautiful tribute to the blue agave. The brand team and master distiller are incredibly detail oriented and make sure that every part of the process from personally sourcing of the agaves to checking and tasting the barrels daily. They also truck in their own water source from the peaks of the San Pedro de los Landeros mountains which runs through natural mineral deposits in the mountains. This brand loves to experiment with funky malolactic fermentation producing cheesy notes and several high proof ABV tequilas. Their aged spirits have lots of baking spice notes but the sweet flavor of roasted agave shines the brightest in Cazcanes.


NOM 1414
Expressions: Blanco, Limited Edition Reposado (Buy on Sip Tequila)
Confirmed Additive-Free Brand by TequilaMatchmaker
Yeyo Website | @yeyotequila Instagram

The Vivanco distillery is known to have their fermenting roasted agave juice dance to classical music over a couple of days. After tasting this tequila, you will be dancing right along those complex flavors and aromas. Yeyo is produced in the highlands of Jalisco. The iron rich soil means that this is an earthy, roasted agave, citrus, and orange peel-forward tequila. Their limited edition reposado is aged in rum casks for 6 months. Beautiful! 


NOM 1414
Expressions: Plata, Reposado, Anejo, Supremo, Rebel Cask, Exclusivo Vivo (Shop on their Website)
Siempre Website | @siempretequila Instagram | @siempre_tequila Twitter

Specifically, their Exclusive Edition Especial Vivo is funky and interesting. It surprised me with its complexity and kept me going back for more to see the different notes that popped up. The Siempre vivo had grassy, earthy, smokey, and floral tasting notes that reminded me of sotol. Sotol is a distilled spirit from Northern Mexico and West Texas that uses a desert shrub, not agave, but is often associated with the agave world. 


NOM 1614
Expressions: Luna Blanco, Rosa Reposado (Buy on Sip Tequila)
Confirmed Additive-Free Brand by TequilaMatchmaker
Inspiro Tequila Website | @inspirotequila Instagram

An all female-led piece of art. Master distiller Ana Maria Mena Romero and owner Mara Smith were involved in the vision, production process, and flavor profile of the tequila. Inspiro has an agave forward blanco with hints of mint aged in barrels for a lunar quarter and a rosa reposado aged in rose and pinot noir wine barrels. They also invested in the Inspiro Purple bicycle project, which supports and invests in female entrepreneurs.

Acre Largo

NOM 1580
Expressions: Blanco
Acre Largo Website | @acrelargo Instagram

It’s a tequila that is a sipper or right for mixing into drinks with an approachable cost and flavor profile for any tequila lover. There is currently only a blanco with lots of citrus, agave, black pepper, and floral notes. Acre Largo is made in the highlands of Jalisco. The agaves are cooked in brick ovens, crushed those sweet agaves with a roller mill, fermented in stainless steel tanks, and then double distilled. 


NOM 1549
Expressions: Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo
Xolo Website | @Xolo_Tequila Instagram

Even among tequila aficionados and newbies, Xolo is slept on. Xolo is a higher-proof tequila at 46% ABV for the blanco with notes like roasted agave, citrus/grapefruit rind, and black pepper. The flavor of this one is similar to Tapatio blanco. The brand has a blanco, reposado aged 3 months in American oak pipon barrels, anejo aged for 18 months in American oak barrels, and extra anejo aged 5 years also in American Oak. The Xoloitzcuintli is the hairless Mexican dog that is a cultural staple of Mexico and featured in movies like Disney’s Coco. The company also gives back to animal shelters across California. Who doesn’t love a brand that gives back?


NOM 1137
Expressions: Blanco, Reposado, Anejo (Buy on their website)
Hiatus Tequila Website | @hiatustequila Instagram

When life feels overwhelming, Hiatus tequila is a great one to pull out and take a break from it all. Though this is a good sipping tequila, it really opens up in a cocktail. I’d highly suggest a Tepetan margarita with it. The distillery is in the lowlands of Jalisco not too far from the town center of Tequila. The reposado has lots of roasted agave but is also briney on the palate and fruity on the nose. 


NOM 1480
Expressions: Blanco, Reposado, Anejo
Aldez Website | @AldezTequila Instagram

Owned by a husband and wife duo, Aldez tequila has three expressions – a blanco, reposado and anejo. It’s also an organic tequila, so every part of the process including the agaves are grown to meet the USDA standard. They are also single estate meaning that all the agaves come from one field. Jen and Manuel did a lot of due diligence and made sure they understood everything about tequila and the profile they were looking for before jumping – a rarity in many brand owners! Their bottles are also made from recycled coca-cola bottles. The notes from the blanco are buttery sweet roasted agave, pepper, fresh herbs, and citrus.  

With the recent attention and consumer interest in tequila, the market is booming with new tequilas.  Some are producing mediocre or medicinal tequila and some are celebrating the sweetness from a roasted blue agave. There are also brands that are setting the bar with new, brighter, or experimental flavors with traditional methods. The tequilas on this list are sure to surprise and delight almost any palate. Salud!