11 Best Añejo Tequilas for Sipping and Mixing

Tequila brands abound, with different sources of agave, varying production methods and, perhaps most importantly, different ages. There's unaged blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo tequila on offer. But we're focusing on añejo tequila here, the second-oldest category. It's not in the category of cheap tequila but rather sipping tequila.

Tequila añejo is a complex and versatile style that can be enjoyed on its own, sipped neat, or in a cocktail. We put together a list of the best añejo tequilas to drink across a variety of preferences and situations.

The bottle that earns our Best Overall distinction is Tapatio Añejo. It’s one of the most well-crafted tequilas you can find with a long family history behind it, plus it’s made using traditional production methods, according to experts. This añejo tequila might not be a budget buy, but the quality justifies the added cost.

Speaking of price, the following bottles are not in the price range of $20 to $30, and that's because añejo tequila is typically aged between one and three years. Some of the liquid is lost due to evaporation during the aging process, making it pricier for distilleries to produce and yielding a heftier price tag. Generally speaking, the older an añejo tequila is, the more expensive it'll be.

Our roundup includes bottles with prices that start around $50 to $60, like Don Julio Añejo, has a middle ground of $90 to $100, like Fortaleza Tequila Añejo, and caps off at $230 to $250 with El Tesoro Mundial Laphroaig Edition. This is not an exhaustive list. There are plenty of incredible añejo tequilas including Tres Generaciones Añejo Tequila, Cincoro Añejo Tequila, and the affordable 1800 Añejo Tequila.

11 Best Bottles of Añejo Tequila to Drink Now

<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time</strong>: 18 months</p><p>“Don’t let the look of the bottle fool you,” says Sean Zawadzki, director of national beverage operations for Punch Bowl Social’s <a href="https://www.theagaveroom.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Agave Room;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">The Agave Room</a> in L.A., which houses one of the country’s best collections of tequila and mezcal, with over 100 agave-based spirits. </p><p>While it eschews the drama and shelf appeal of some other bottles, <a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fdrizly.sjv.io%2Fc%2F3422340%2F567662%2F9425%3FsubId1%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26u%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fdrizly.com%2Fliquor%2Ftequila%2Fanejo-tequila%2Ftapatio-anejo-tequila%2Fp34943&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tapatio Añejo;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Tapatio Añejo</a> is exceptionally well-crafted. It's produced at the Camarena family distillery, La Altena (NOM 1139), which also produces El Tesoro. Quick aside, you'll see this nomenclature quite a bit: "NOM" stands for Official Mexican Standards (aka Norma Oficial Mexicana) and it authenticates that the bottle is produced in Mexico. The number indicates which tequila producer it comes from. </p><p>"Carlos Camarena is a third-generation master tequila distiller and agave farmer, and considered one of the best in Mexico," Zawadzki says. "This brand has been produced since 1940 and is one of the few tequila añejos made with traditional methods, such as tahona milling, wood tank fermentation with fibers, and a copper pot still. It's worth every penny.”</p><p>The añejo has a beautiful duality, striking a cord between sweet and heat. Cooked agave holds its own with black pepper and oak. Sip on the rocks or in an old fashioned.</p>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time:</strong> 18 months</p><p>Fortaleza is another brand that's made using traditional methods, including cooking the agave piñas in brick ovens, crushing them with stone, and utilizing open-air fermentation. As far as superlatives go, Fortaleza's distillery, Tequila Los Abuelos (NOM 1493), is highly regarded. It's currently <a href="https://tastetequila.com/2018/the-worlds-highest-rated-tequila-distilleries/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ranked No. 1;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">ranked No. 1</a> of the top 118 distilleries in Mexico as of May 2023, based on 257,671 ratings (including 11,462 blind ratings) from 246,993 users.</p><p><a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.reservebar.com%2Fproducts%2Ffortaleza-anejo%2FGROUPING-132402.html&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fortaleza Añejo;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Fortaleza Añejo</a> is aged for 18 months in American oak barrels, giving the tequila notes of butterscotch, vanilla, stone fruit, and even some tropical fruit on the palate. As such, it works wonderfully in a Sazerac.</p><p>As far as <a href="https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/best-alcohol-gifts-for-the-spirits-lover-in-your-life" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:alcohol gifts;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">alcohol gifts</a> go, this is a great bottle to give to introduce someone to a high-quality añejo tequila. The stopper, shaped like an agave piña, is a charming touch. </p>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time: </strong>18 months</p><p>Solento tequilas are made at NOM 1480, the same distillery as other organic brands like 123 and El Sativo. The USDA-certified organic agave is harvested from a single estate in small batches, which ensures quality. The agave hearts are then cooked for two days in stone ovens and pressed to extricate their juices before being fermented and distilled naturally. </p><p><a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.caskers.com%2Fsolento-a-ejo-organic-tequila%2F&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Solento Organic Añejo;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Solento Organic Añejo</a> is aged for 18 months in American oak barrels. That gives this additive-free tequila notes of maple, toasted nuts, and oak. If you’re looking for a high-quality organic añejo tequila, give this bottle a try.</p><p>The añejo earned Silver at the San Francisco Spirits Competition. The exterior is just as masterful as what's inside. Solento collaborated with New York-based Javas Lehn Studio. The diagonal ribs etched into the glass evoke sun rays, and the "S" logo on the bottle's top is meant to represent a sundial. This is one of the most <a href="https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/beautiful-spirits-bottles" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:beautiful liquor bottles;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">beautiful liquor bottles</a> to place on a bar cart.</p>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time: </strong>18 months</p><p>This brand is relatively new to the scene, and has made a mark with its additive-free lineup of tequilas. </p><p><a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fdrizly.com%2Fliquor%2Ftequila%2Fanejo-tequila%2Fcantera-negra-anejo%2Fp86928&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cantera Negra Añejo;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Cantera Negra Añejo</a> is aged for 18 months in cognac and bourbon barrels, giving it flavors of cinnamon, vanilla cream, oak, and molasses. That makes it the perfect añejo tequila to sub for whiskey in an old fashioned, the OG cocktail made from just three simple ingredients: sugar, bitters and, in this case, añejo tequila.</p><p>Sticklers for quality control, every batch goes through a taste test by Cantera Negra's family panel before being bottled.</p>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time: </strong>18 months</p><p>Don Julio is one of the best-known tequila brands, and <a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%2F%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.wine.com%2Fproduct%2Fdon-julio-anejo-tequila%2F526187&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Don Julio Añejo;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Don Julio Añejo</a> is worth considering if you’re looking for something to use for cocktails. </p><p>It’s aged for 18 months in white oak barrels, and has a nice balance of citrus, spice, honey, and vanilla notes, making it ideal to use in a margarita if you want to swap out blanco, a tequila Negroni, or a Manhattan.</p>Añejo Manhattan<p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p><ul><li>1.5 oz Don julio Anejo Tequila</li><li>1 oz sweet vermouth </li><li>2 dashes angostura bitters </li><li>Orange twist for garnish</li></ul><p><strong>Instructions</strong></p><ol><li>Add all ingredients into a mixing glass.</li><li>Stir for about 15 to 20 seconds.</li><li>Strain over a coupe glass filled with ice and garnish.</li></ol>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time:</strong> 18 months</p><p>Priced at around $200, <a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fdrizly.com%2Fliquor%2Ftequila%2Fanejo-tequila%2Fmijenta-tequila-anejo-gran-reserva%2Fp242589&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mijenta Añejo Gran Reserva;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Mijenta Añejo Gran Reserva</a> is certainly a splurge, but it’s worth the money if you’re looking to treat yourself. </p><p>Like many other añejo tequilas, this is aged for 18 months in casks, but the makeup is entirely different. Mijenta Anejo Gran Reserva is aged individually in four different types of barrels before being blended together: American white oak, French oak, acacia, and cherry. The result is an añejo tequila with notes of fruit, spice, and toffee.</p><p>Enjoy this velvety sipper neat or on the rocks. It earned a 99 point score from The Tasting Panel Magazine.</p>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time: </strong>18 months</p><p>There are so many celebrity tequilas today, from <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/dwayne-johnson-karaoke-song-celebratory-121639937.html" data-ylk="slk:Teremana;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link  yahoo-link">Teremana</a> to <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/casamigos-celebrates-10th-anniversary-release-130000082.html" data-ylk="slk:Casamigos;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link  yahoo-link">Casamigos</a> to the new Pantalones Tequila from <a href="https://www.mensjournal.com/style/matthew-mcconaugheys-hair-how-to-get-his-signature-wavy-style" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Matthew McConaughey;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Matthew McConaughey</a>. Flecha Azul wasn’t founded by a celebrity, but counts <a href="https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/see-mark-wahlbergs-insane-daily-workout-and-training-schedule" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mark Wahlberg;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Mark Wahlberg</a> as an investor. </p><p><a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%2F%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.wine.com%2Fproduct%2Fflecha-azul-anejo-tequila%2F1193760&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Flecha Azul Añejo;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Flecha Azul Añejo</a> is aged for 18 months in ex-bourbon barrels, giving this a depth of flavor and complexity beyond many other <a href="https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/celebrity-liquor-brands-whiskey-tequila-vodka-gin" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:celebrity liquor brands;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">celebrity liquor brands</a>. The time in ex-bourbon barrels lends notes of oak and caramel that play well with the agave flavor.</p><p>True to tradition, Flecha Azul uses blue weber agave grown in Jalisco, Mexico, and avoids additives. Instead, its premium tequilas hone in on quality ingredients like volcanic-filtered water.</p>
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<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time:</strong> 15 months</p><p><a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.reservebar.com%2Fproducts%2F1953-tequila-anejo%2FGROUPING-2211219.html&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:1953;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">1953</a> is a new tequila brand. The name references the year women in Mexico secured the right to vote. To honor the bravery and persistence of those who pushed for equality, 1953 Tequila is founded, farmed, distilled, and led by women. </p><p>Founders include Shivam Mallick Shah, Lindsey Davis Stover, and Alison Kiehl Friedman. Rocio Rodriguez is the brand's master distiller. With a degree in chemical engineering, she leverages science and tradition to craft a covetable tequila. And Adriana Lopez owns the unionized distillery that produces 1953 Tequila.</p><p>This is a purchase to feel good about. The brand consciously makes its tequila with traditional methods and focuses on creating opportunities for women in the male-dominated tequila industry.</p><p>There's just one expression available to kick off the launch, an additive-free añejo tequila that's aged for 15 months in American oak ex-bourbon barrels. It has an elevated palate with notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and earthy agave. Sip this one neat to really get a sense of what it’s like.</p>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time: </strong>12 months</p><p>Smoky flavors are normally associated with <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/best-mezcals-drink-neat-cocktails-171114684.html" data-ylk="slk:mezcal;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link  yahoo-link">mezcal</a>, not tequila, but this añejo expression from esteemed brand El Tesoro is imbued with smoke based on the type of barrels it's aged in. </p><p><a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fcaskcartel.com%2Fproducts%2Fel-tesoro-mundial-collection-laphroaig-edition-anejo-tequila&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Laphroaig Edition;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Laphroaig Edition</a> is aged for 12 months in barrels previously used to age 10-year-old single-malt Scotch whisky from Laphroaig, the Islay distillery known for its heavily peated <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/best-scotch-whisky-experts-share-153203235.html" data-ylk="slk:Scotch;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link  yahoo-link">Scotch</a>. </p><p>The smoke is subtle but present here, making this an interesting alternative in the añejo tequila category. For those who don't think tequila is a winter spirit, El Tesoro Mundial Laphroaig Edition begs to differ. Sip it by the fire.</p>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time: </strong>18 to 24 months</p><p>“A newer product on the market, <a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.caskers.com%2Finsolito-anejo-tequila%2F&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Insólito Añejo;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Insólito Añejo</a> is a well-made añejo aged 18 to 24 months in new American oak barrels, similar to the bourbon aging process, just a shorter time frame,” says Zawadzki. </p><p>It's pulled a few awards already, like Gold at the 2021 <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/42-best-rums-gins-vodkas-183811328.html" data-ylk="slk:San Francisco World Spirits Competition;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link  yahoo-link">San Francisco World Spirits Competition</a> and 2021 Sip Awards.</p><p>While not too complex, it has notes that are friendly to bourbon drinkers, like oak and dried fruit. That said, it still has enough agave and spice notes to be interesting. Sip this añejo or enjoy in a one-of-a-kind cocktail.</p>Electric Rodeo<p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p><ul><li>2oz. Insólito Añejo⁠</li><li>3/4oz. vanilla liqueur⁠</li><li>3oz. cold brew coffee⁠⁠</li></ul><p><strong>Instructions</strong></p><ol><li>Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker.</li><li>Shake and strain into an ice-filled <a href="https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/the-11-best-whiskey-glasses-a-buyers-guide" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:cocktail glass;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">cocktail glass</a>.</li><li>Garnish with a brandied cherry and a cinnamon stick.</li></ol>
<p>Courtesy Image</p><p><strong>Age time: </strong>18 months</p><p><a href="https://clicks.trx-hub.com/xid/arena_0b263_mensjournal?q=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.skimresources.com%2F%3Fid%3D106246X1712071%26xs%3D1%26xcust%3Dmj-anejo-tequila-jflicker-1123%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.wine.com%2Fproduct%2Fpartida-anejo-tequila%2F530463&event_type=click&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mensjournal.com%2Ffood-drink%2Fbest-anejo-tequila%3Fpartner%3Dyahoo&author=Jonah%20Flicker&item_id=ci02b8d14940022605&page_type=Article%20Page&partner=yahoo&section=spirits&site_id=cs02b334a3f0002583" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Partida Añejo;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Partida Añejo</a> is a really nice introductory bottle. It's a “good price for a product aged 18 months,” says Zawadzki. </p><p>There's not much complexity, but has sweeter notes of vanilla, caramel, and orange that appeal to a lot of people, all while being additive-free.”</p><p>Of course this is great on its own, but for the colder months it's an amazing addition to a Mexican hot chocolate.</p>Mexican Hot Chocolate<p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p><ul><li>6 oz hot chocolate</li><li>1/2 tsp ancho chili powder</li><li>2 oz Partida Añejo</li><li>Pinch of ground cinnamon</li><li>Cinnamon stick for garnish</li></ul><p><strong>Instructions</strong></p><ol><li>Heat hot chocolate in a pot. </li><li>When heated, add ancho chili and ground cinnamon. Stir until mixed. </li><li>Pre-heat a mug with hot water. Pour out water, add spiced hot chocolate, Partida Añejo, and stir. </li><li>Garnish with ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick.</li></ol>

Why You Should Trust Me

I've written about spirits for numerous publications for nearly a decade. Throughout that time, I've sampled thousands of bottles in every category of spirits, visited distilleries across the world to see how the juice is made, and honed my palate and nose. I also judge two spirits competitions, John Barleycorn Awards and the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, for which I blind taste hundreds of spirits to determine what stands out based on flavor, mouthfeel, color, and aroma.

To make this list of the best añejo tequila, I sampled most of these products and talked to industry experts, who have long track records in the drinks industry, and unique interests and experiences with tequila. Some widely available tequila brands did not make our list, like Kirkland Tequila Añejo, which you can find at Costco. Kirkland has been made at several different distilleries over the years. This is an affordable añejo tequila, but many people find the flavor to be too sweet and a bit additive-heavy, so consider any of the other options on this list instead. If you're new to this variety, scroll down to our primer on añejo tequilas to learn a bit more.

What Is Añejo Tequila?

Tequila is divided into different age categories as recognized by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT), the governing body that oversees tequila production in Mexico. Blanco is unaged, although it can be aged for up to two months; reposado is aged between two months and a year; añejo is aged between one and three years; and anything older than that is called extra añejo. That time in barrels gives añejo tequila its color and flavor, although it should be noted that tequila brands can legally use up to one percent additives they don’t have to disclose.

How to Drink Añejo Tequila

Añejo tequila is a great sipping option because it picks up notes from the barrel as it ages—like vanilla, oak, caramel, and brown sugar—that complement the earthy character of the agave. Of course añejo tequila is also a great option to use in cocktails, particularly if you’re looking to swap out whiskey and make a tequila old fashioned, Manhattan, or Boulevardier. Try it neat first to discover the flavor, then consider adding some ice or mixing up a drink.

How Long Is Añejo Tequila Aged?

As mentioned, añejo tequila is aged between one and three years, although most brands stay below two years.