Best Tequila for Whiskey Drinkers: Aged Expressions to Ease into Agave Spirits

02/17/23
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Around a month ago, @thatoneduderyan posted a video on TikTok where his wife went to the liquor store and surprised him with random spirits. If you’re unfamiliar with Ryan and his content, Ryan refers to himself as a “#whiskeyguy,” and he most certainly is. It’s safe to say that when his wife presented him with a blanco tequila, which was later revealed to be Casamigos, he was out of his element. 

When I watched this video, which I later stitched to, I was reminded that Casamigos is good for one thing: introducing people to the tequila category. At the same time, I’m hesitant to refer to Casamigos as a true tequila because, in reality, it’s more like an agave vodka that relies on additives to make it palatable enough to resemble a true tequila. 

All that aside, I’m here to help whiskey connoisseurs and drinkers alike, like Ryan, find tequilas that serve as a smooth transition from the whiskey world to the tequila world. Naturally,  I thought it would be best to start with some aged expressions. 

@thelucasassis_ #stitch with @thatoneduderyan welcome to the tequila world my friend, it ONLY gets better from here. Hope this list helps you come into the tequila space especially if you’re a whiskey drinker. #tequila #casamigos #celebrity #thelucasassis ♬ original sound – Lucas Assis

First on the list is Don Fulano Extra Anejo Imperial Tequila. This expression is aged in French oak barrels, which give it coffee and chocolate notes. There’s also a nutty and fruity incredibleness to it, that whiskey drinkers are sue to appreciate.

If you know whiskey, you’re definitely familiar with Widow Jane, which finds its roots in Brooklyn, New York. Although the distillery is most known for its straight bourbons and rye whiskeys, they also carry an Ocho Reposado Widow Jane Tequila. This delicious expression is aged in widow jane barrels, which makes it a familiar transition for whiskey drinkers. 

Next on the list is a single barrel from Fortaleza that is getting harder and harder to find. All of their expressions, with the exception of their winter blends, are aged in American oak. In fact, about 90% of tequila is aged in ex-American oak barrels because you can only use the barrels once when you’re making bourbon, so afterward, you either ship it to Mexico or Scotland. 

While making this list, I knew I had to include at least one extra añejo tequila. Extra añejos are not only aged at least three years, but they also have a lot of similarities to American whiskey. I’d recommend Cascahuin Extra Anejo Tequila, which, like other extra añejos, has notes and nuances of vanilla and caramel, but it’s still very much a tequila. I think the most special feature is that those notes are married by agave, so it’s still very much a tequila, despite its similarities to whiskey. 

Another one of my all time favorite extra añejos is from Cazcanes Tequila. Cazcanes is really interesting because they aren’t afraid to do fun things, like experiment with their expressions. One of the many ways they do this is by aging their products in different barrels. Long story short, if you see it, you have to get it. Not only is it experimental, but most importantly, it’s delicious!

Last but certainly not least is an Ultra Limited Añejo from Atlas and Mason. This single barrel journey was by Atlas and Mason bourbon picker George LaBoda. This expression is from the only Sonoma distillery barrel to ever house any tequila. That barrel’s whiskey was done with 13% malted barley smoked over a cherrywood fire. Later, the whiskey was bottled, the barrel was shipped to Mexico, and this tequila was aged in it. In one word, it is incredible. 

I hope this list helps at least a little bit as you enter your tequila journey. Trust me, it’s a fun one. 

Salucita!