What’s a luxurious tequila? It’s actually not an official tequila class. However “luxurious” is a phrase that will get thrown out loads within the agave spirits world, together with “premium” or “super-premium.” However what makes it luxurious? Is it merely value, availability, packaging, uncommon barrel maturation or a advertising and marketing gimmick?
The Distilled Spirits Council of america (DISCUS) defines luxurious within the drinks world as merely “spirits manufacturers which have a 750ml retail value of $50 or extra.” That is pretty nebulous as a result of there are many nice tequilas that value lower than that quantity, however a two-figure price ticket in all probability isn’t what most individuals take into account luxurious.
That stated, DISCUS created a Luxurious Model Index a number of years in the past to research gross sales of manufacturers at its outlined high finish of the spirits market. As of final yr, luxurious spirits grew simply 4% after an even bigger surge post-Covid in 2021. The commerce group blamed inflation and better rates of interest for the modest 2022 improve, however a few classes bucked the belt-tightening pattern — most notably tequila, which noticed a 21% annual development price within the over-$50 luxurious class.
“The tequila market continues to develop at a remarkably quick tempo, offering rising ranges of style and high quality, and rising visibility and desirability within the trendiest bars, eating places and golf equipment worldwide,” Julien Morel, the President and CEO of Volcán de Mi Tierra, instructed us final yr proper after the launch of that model’s Volcan X.A. bottle (which is about $180 and primarily accessible in golf equipment). “With the return of nightlife, occasions and social gatherings, shoppers are excitedly in search of out ultra-premium, unique choices and experiences. This perception, coupled with the present client pattern of ‘buying and selling up,’ will contribute to the variety of limited-edition, ultra-luxury tequila choices in the marketplace.”
Extremely-premium. Extremely-luxury. Even the tequila manufacturers themselves are taking part in round with the wording. At Patrón, they use one other phrase solely for his or her latest launch. “Patrón El Cielo is a ‘status’ tequila, and it’s the first time, four-times distilled silver status tequila in the marketplace,” says D-J Hageman, Vice President of Model Advertising and marketing at Patrón, who defines the status phase as tequila that prices greater than $100. “It’s a phase that we’re very centered on, as it’s forecasted to double in dimension by 2025.”
We first sampled El Cielo throughout late summer time within the Hamptons, the place Patrón had been conserving an lively presence. The model additionally threw seven events across the globe and a collection of ongoing occasions in locations like Mykonos, London and St. Tropez to have fun the tequila’s launch. As with Volcan and different latest luxurious spirits releases, you’re extra prone to discover these tequilas in golf equipment or high-end eating places and bars. So it’s not nearly style or rarity; it’s additionally about life-style.
“We recognized a whitespace within the class since there actually isn’t a status silver tequila in the marketplace proper now that’s good for the high-energy day in addition to nightclub events,” says Hageman. “That is precisely the viewers for Patrón El Cielo. We had been additionally discovering that customers are gravitating in the direction of status tequilas as premiumization continues to be a pattern. Customers are consuming much less, however they’re consuming higher, premium merchandise.”
To Hageman’s earlier level, El Cielo is without doubt one of the few high-priced silver/blanco tequilas in the marketplace. A lot of the manufacturers that make the most of the phrase “luxurious” focus fairly a bit on maturation, mixing and barrel ageing (together with the particular art work and packaging design, which is commonly used to justify these greater costs). Apparently, Patrón additionally just lately debuted an aged luxurious bottle, El Alto, which options additional añejo tequila aged for 4 years and blended with añejo and reposado tequilas.
Are luxurious tequilas higher? Some are, certain. Many function one thing distinctive within the mixing or maturation course of, whereas the bottles themselves are often fairly eye-catching. Under, we provide up a few of our favorites on this vaguely outlined luxurious tequila class. We’re going above the $50 benchmark set by DISCUS and making our luxurious picks on a mix of value ($100+), distinctiveness and, clearly, taste. Be aware that costs listed might fluctuate by area or availability.
If you happen to don’t take care of the sticker shock, there are many cheaper alternate options. But when the class piques your curiosity, listed below are our picks for the ten finest luxurious tequilas.
Greatest Luxurious Tequilas
It’s uncommon for a tequila to be distilled 4 occasions. Fortunately, the method right here doesn’t strip out the agave taste, although now there’s a slight word of melon and a bit extra sweetness (and sure, smoothness) than Patrón’s Silver bottle. Talking of bottles, this glass vessel is outfitted with gold designs impressed by the volcanic tahona stone used to provide Patrón’s tequila, with different components impressed by the agave fields.
Given the strikingly glossy and tall bottle (co-created by a Nike guru and Michael Jordan, one of many model’s co-owners), it’s no shock that just about any launch by this movie star model would represent luxurious. If it’s important to decide one, you possibly can skip the four-figure additional añejo and go along with the three-figure añejo, which affords a cinnamon-y, darkish chocolate profile with a creamy mouthfeel. We haven’t tried it, however the more moderen Cincoro Gold is definitely a mix of all 4 of the model’s tequilas in a gold-hued bottle.
A mix of reposado, añejo and further añejo tequilas which have undergone a gentler, cellar-aged maturation, you’ll discover this one in golf equipment in an extended and heavy decanter. X.A. was a slightly shocking launch from a model finest recognized for its modestly priced, zero-additive tequila. Right here, you’ll nonetheless discover these cooked agave notes, but additionally vanilla, caramel and dried fruits.
Whereas the distillery has actually launched costlier and uncommon choices, Casa Noble’s Marqués is the latest luxurious providing (and barely simpler to search out). Natural, estate-grown and aged in toasted French Oak barrels, this one — a mix of 21 añejos and further añejos — is wealthy, balanced and but nonetheless just a little earthy, with notes of cooked agave, vanilla, white chocolate, pepper, baking spices, ripe fruits, inexperienced pepper and extra. It will get extra advanced and fascinating with every sip. The bottle itself resembles an agave spear.
A tall and decidedly tactile (and spike-topped) black bottle that’s considerably evocative of the Chrysler Constructing, Laneta is extra in regards to the design than different manufacturers listed right here. In any other case, you’re consuming an additional añejo, double-distilled tequila that’s aged three years in ex-bourbon barrels. Nothing too uncommon there, however this one has a whole lot of butterscotch, date and cocoa notes that don’t drown out the extra vegetal and earthy agave flavors.
Tequila Komos affords a winemaker’s strategy to tequila — and because of the bottle design, value and taste, any of their core releases could possibly be justified as luxurious. However let’s speak XO. It’s produced in a single batch as a limited-edition bottle with tequila that’s aged three to 11 years in a mix of American oak bourbon barrels and each French oak pink and white wine barrels. Komos Xo is then completed in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and has notes of dried fruit, vanilla, chocolate and oak spice. It’s housed in an etched clear crystal decanter.
A 100% natural joven rosa tequila, this single-estate distillery from the Jalisco highlands rests its tequila in pink wine barrels from Napa Valley. Past the pinkish hue, these wine barrels add a beautiful pink berry word to the earthy, peppery, citrusy agave flavors (it additionally has a lush, creamy mouthfeel). Every bottle contains a handcrafted marble high with a novel marbling sample, and the underside “push-up” within the bottle resembles an agave coronary heart.
Don Julio was began in 1942, which explains the identify of the distillery’s iconic sipping tequila that you just see on the highest shelf of most bars. Produced in small batches and aged for at least two and a half years, this one has notes of roasted agave, chocolate, vanilla and oak. (One other cool luxurious launch of theirs? The brand new Don Julio Rosado, a reposado rested in ruby Port wine casks, additionally in a distinctively spiky bottle.)
That is how one in all our writers described the Clase Azul tasting room in Los Cabos: “The signature blue and white hand-painted bottles with shiny silver tops adorn the cabinets like delicate masterpieces, standing tall alongside restricted version bottles with value tags ranging anyplace from $158 to greater than $6,000. It’s a sweet retailer for tequila aficionados.” You could wish to hunt down Extremely, which spends 5 years ageing, first in American whiskey casks, then in Spanish casks that beforehand contained sherry.
The least ostentatious bottles of the most effective luxurious tequilas, Paradiso — from this additive-free tequila model — is an additional añejo aged for 5 years in French oak ex-Cognac barrels. It’s natural but additionally filled with butterscotch and fruit notes.
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