Whisky\u00a0reigns supreme among spirit aficionados, but tequila isn't too far behind. Accordingly, the best tequilas deliver a broad spectrum of colours, textures, aromas, and flavours, which isn't to mention all those nifty bottle designs. Meanwhile, some labels aren't afraid to get experimental nowadays, resorting to non-traditional maturation methods, among other things. Do such unorthodox approaches necessarily amount to the best tequilas? Of course not. But it's still nice to see producers\u00a0thinking outside the box. Speaking of the best tequilas, we're listing them off below. But first, a little background on this wonderful spirit.\r\n\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll also like:\r\nIt\u2019s Hard to Get Your Hands on a Bottle of Tears of Llorona No. 3 Tequila\r\nSpirit of the Month May \u201918 \u2013 Los Arango Tequila Reposado\r\nSpirit of the Month December \u201917 \u2013 Fortaleza Reposado Tequila\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nhttps:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/BlpVvDrHVnp\/\r\nWhat Makes Tequila?\r\nTequila is a form of mezcal that's derived from either lowland or highland blue agave plants and produced in specific regions of Mexico, namely Jalisco. Highland agave plants tend to yield a sweeter or fruitier spirit, while lowland agave plants tend to yield earthier flavours.\r\n\r\nTo make tequila, farmers trim away the leaves of the agave plant to get to the heart, also known as the pi\u00f1a. When ready, the\u00a0pi\u00f1as are harvested, thrown to ovens, and slowly baked. Next, they're shredded or mashed, creating agave juice (aka wort), which is poured into wooden or stainless steel vats. There, it mixes with yeast and water and ferments over the course of several days. The resulting composite is distilled a minimum of two times to produce Blanco (or silver) tequila. That tequila can either go straight into the bottle, or straight into white oak barrels for aging.\r\n\r\nTequila tends to break down into five categories: Blanco, Oro\u00a0(gold),\u00a0Reposado (rested), A\u00f1ejo (aged), and Extra A\u00f1ejo (extra aged). Blanco isn't aged at all, Oro is more or less the same as Blanco but with colour added to it, Reposado\u00a0is aged for 2 months to just under 12 months, A\u00f1ejo is aged for 1-3 years, and Extra A\u00f1ejo is aged for a minimum of 3 years. Along with that extra aging there comes a natural, golden hue, which can range from light gold to deep amber.\r\n\r\nTraditionally, extra aging also leads to a richer, more complex flavour, though it won't automatically improve the spirit's overall taste. In other words, any given tequila's qualitative mileage will vary depending on a host of conditions. Nevertheless, few drinkers out there would ever turn down a premium A\u00f1ejo or Extra\u00a0A\u00f1ejo.\r\n\r\n\r\nHow to Taste Tequila\r\nIf you're drinking low-quality tequila, you can either mix it in an applicable cocktail like a margarita or drink it as a shot. Should you do the latter, you'll want to pour some salt on the back of your palm, lick the salt, shoot back the tequila, and then immediately suck on a wedge of lime.\r\n\r\nIf you're drinking the good stuff, don't waste your time with mixers. Instead, sip the tequila as you would any quality spirit. That is, pour it into a proper glass (like a brandy snifter), swirl it in the glass, smell it, and taste it in small doses, exploring the flavour in your mouth. You're welcome to pair it with a lime wedge or some cubes of ice. As for us--we sip the best tequilas neat.\r\n\r\n \r\nThe Best Tequilas\r\n\r\nClase Azul Reposado\r\nSome statements render an impression so immediate and profound that they can change your entire perspective on tequila as a whole. Clase Azul Reposado is one of those statements. Fermented using a proprietary yeast, this exquisite tequila is aged for 8 months in hand-selected oak barrels. Look for the iconic ceramic bottle and prepare to sip on warm, silky notes of honey, caramel, and vanilla. Are Clase Azul's A\u00f1ejo and Ultra statements even better? We'll let you know as soon as we have enough cash to try them.\u00a0Until\u00a0then, this is basically as good as mainstream tequila gets.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nLa Serpiente Emplumada Tequila Extra Anejo\r\nWinner of Best Extra\u00a0A\u00f1ejo at the World Tequila Awards in 2017,\u00a0La Serpiente Emplumada Tequila Extra\u00a0A\u00f1ejo is wonderfully rich in colour and taste alike. From every sip, expect notes of deep caramel and toasted oak, along with delicate bursts of citrus. Plus, who would argue with that killer snake on the bottle?\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nLos Arango Tequila Reposado\r\nNamed for famous military general Pancho Villa (whose real name was Doroteo Arango), this exceptional tequila blends notes of cinnamon, pepper, agave, honey and milk chocolate to perfection. It all comes inside a dense, silky body. Delicious.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nLokita Silver\r\nIf you prefer margaritas or shots of a higher quality, then Lokita Silver has your name written all over it. Of course, it also goes down beautifully on its own. More than just a worthy sipper, this is one of the best Blanco tequilas money can buy, with the awards to show for it.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nCasa Noble Joven\r\n"Joven" might mean "young", but don't take that to mean this remarkable statement doesn't deliver layers of mature\u00a0flavour. Measuring it at 102 proof, Casa Noble Joven packs a smooth and delicious punch, indeed. Aged for six weeks, the spirit delivers notes of vanilla, agave,\u00a0and citrus against an earthy backdrop. This is another spirit that simply dominates on "best tequila" lists and at awards ceremonies, and with good reason. It's superb.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nCasa Noble Reposado\r\nJust how good a label is Casa Noble? So good that we put them on our list twice (and trust us, we're not the only ones to do so). Needless to say, their Reposado statement is aged to perfection, spending no less than 364 days in French white oak barrels. Balancing floral notes with vanilla, oak, honey and lemongrass, this award-winning tequila must be sipped to be believed.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nEl Tesoro Anejo\r\nMade using 100% estate-grown highland agave, El Tesoro\u00a0A\u00f1ejo\u00a0is aged for 2-3 years in American oak ex-bourbon barrels before bottling. It's soft and sweet on the palate, like a creamy liquid dessert. We're getting thirsty just thinking about it.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nEl Tesoro de Don Felipe Reposado\r\nItching for some El Tesoro, but a little too short on money to afford the A\u00f1ejo? By all means, grab a bottle of the Reposado instead. It's mellow, clean, a little oaky, a little sweet, and downright delectable.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nFortaleza Reposado\r\nMedium-bodied and supremely refreshing, Fortaleza Reposado is about as close to all-natural, spiked lemonade as a top tequila can get. In addition to the citrus element, the lovely spirit offers notes of fruit, pear, and vanilla, laced with a slightly floral edge.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n123 Organic Reposado (Dos)\r\nThis certified organic tequila is zesty and sweet, pairing notes of lemon-peel with layers of vanilla, salted caramel, and agave. Adding even more dimension is a spicy kick, along with a slightly minty finish.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nPueblo Viejo Blanco\r\nBacked by 130 years of expert craftsmanship, Pueblo Viejo Blanco\u00a0continues to represent the utmost tier of passion and precision. Sip it neat or with a mixer to see what tradition tastes like.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nChinaco Reposado\r\nInside every rotund bottle of Chicano Reposado, you'll find a golden spirit of exceptional quality. Aged for 11 months in white oak barrels (some of which were used to age Scotch whisky), this spirit balances fruit, oak, and spice within a resoundingly crisp body.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n7 Siete Leguas Blanco\r\n7 Siete Leguas Blanco is more expensive than your average silver tequila, and worth every penny. The distillery behind this bold and elegant sipper is among the few that still uses a Tahona (stone wheel) to crush its agave. That--and so much more--duly distinguishes it from the standard fare.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nAlquimia Reserva de Don Adolfo Extra A\u00f1ejo Tequila\r\nSustainably made on a small family ranch in Jalisco,\u00a0\u00a0Alquimia Reserva de Don Adolfo Extra A\u00f1ejo\u00a0is renowned for its "cognac-like" taste. Indeed, detween its deep amber colour, complex\u00a0flavour, and certified organic status, this sensational tequila will have you feeling good in all kinds of ways.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nAsomBroso 5 Gran Reserva A\u00f1ejo Tequila\r\nAsomBroso took their 100% blue agave Blanco tequila, aged it 5 years in new French oak barrels, and then put it inside a sleek, albeit somewhat phallic-looking bottle. The result was this award-winning, full-bodied statement, which demands to be sipped neat. It is, after all, one of the best tequilas you'll ever try.\r\nCheck it out\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nX.Q. A\u00f1ejo Tequila\r\nTequila brands often go to extremes when crafting eye-catching bottles, yet this one from X.Q. still manages to stand out from the pack. Meanwhile, inside the nifty X is\u00a0one of the best tequilas that can cross your lips. Aged in a combination of\u00a0American ex-bourbon, French Limousin,\u00a0and Mexican Encino wood casks, this premium\u00a0A\u00f1ejo serves up a brilliant bouquet of pepper, caramel, spice, and even licorice.\r\nCheck it out\r\n\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll also like:\r\nIt\u2019s Hard to Get Your Hands on a Bottle of Tears of Llorona No. 3 Tequila\r\nSpirit of the Month May \u201918 \u2013 Los Arango Tequila Reposado\r\nSpirit of the Month December \u201917 \u2013 Fortaleza Reposado Tequila\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHave you subscribed to Man of Many? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.