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These Smooth Añejo Tequilas Are Perfect For Vanilla Lovers

The idea of drinking tequila straight is a touchy subject for some American drinkers. They have… whatever college-aged stigmas they have about shooting the cheaper incarnations of this agave-based spirit. Frankly, we’re not going to dignify those haters with a response. There are myriad high-quality, deeply-memorable tequilas perfect for slow sipping on the market. Any alcohol aficionado could tell you that.

If you actually take the time to taste good tequila, you’ll notice a number of common flavor profiles, including agave-driven sweetness, a muted sense of vegetal grassiness, charred wood, rich caramel, and toasted vanilla. The last flavor note is where we’re turning our attention today. Like all aged spirits, tequila gains most of its rich flavor — besides the initial agave flavors — from the maturation process. The longer it spends in a barrel (and the more the cell walls of the wood break down), the more pronounced the flavors of oak, caramel, and vanilla become.

Below you’ll find eight añejo (literally “vintage”) tequilas that are absolute vanilla bombs. Click their prices if you want to pick one up for yourself.

Casa Noble Añejo

Casa Noble

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $56.99

The Story:

This triple distilled, sustainably created, 100% Blue Weber agave tequila is well-known for the little bit extra work that goes into it. Instead of simply spending a year maturing in new French oak barrels, this añejo spends a full two years aging. The result is a complex, flavorful tequila just as well suited for sipping neat as it is in your favorite cocktail.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll be greeted with aromas of sweet, smoky agave, caramel, and vanilla beans. Taking a sip opens up the flavors of toffee candy, vegetal sweetness, brown sugar, and sweet cream. The finish is long, warming, and ends with a nice balance of wood char and raisins.

Bottom Line:

The extra year aging really adds to the overall vanilla flavor of this exceptional tequila. While it works well in cocktails, we prefer to drink it neat or on the rocks.

El Tesoro Añejo

El Tesoro

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $56.99

The Story:

This award-winning, 100% Blue Weber agave añejo tequila is a little different than many of the others on the market. That’s because, not only does El Tesoro age this expression for two to three years, it’s matured in ex-bourbon casks. The result is a rich, bold, truly unique flavor experience.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the aromas of wildflowers, sweet agave, charred oak, and caramel. The palate swirls with subtle cracked black pepper, toasted vanilla beans, dried fruits, and more ripe agave. It all ends with a final flourish of sweet vanilla and toffee.

Bottom Line:

This is a perfect añejo tequila for bourbon fans who want an easy entrance into the world of tequila. Wade into the añejo with a glass of this vanilla and caramel bomb. You’ll be happy you did.

Herradura Añejo

Herradura

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $51

The Story:

According to legend (and verifiable historical documentation), Herradura was the first distillery to ever make reposado and extra añejo tequila. This was in 1962 and in the years since, they’ve perfected it. Aged in White American Oak casks for a full 25 months, this expression is mellow, nuanced, and filled with ripe fruit and vanilla flavors.

Tasting Notes:

Before sipping, take a moment to fill your nostrils with the scents of cooked agave, charred wood, butterscotch, and subtle pepper. Take a sip and be transported to a world of raisins, cinnamon, wood char, sweet agave, and vanilla beans. The finish is warming, sweet, and incredibly memorable.

Bottom Line:

If you’re new to añejo tequila, you have to grab a bottle of Herradura. Why not start at the beginning, right?

Casamigos Añejo

Casamigos

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $60

The Story:

When Casamigos first hit the market, it seemed like yet another celebrity-driven brand. But it’s so much more than just “George Clooney’s tequila.” Made from 100% Blue Weber agave its añejo is distilled using purified water from the onsite well before being aged for 14 months in American White Oak casks.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of charred wood, caramel candy, pepper, and a nice floral backbone. Take a sip and find yourself immersed in flavors like buttery vanilla, spicy cracked black pepper, vegetal sweetness, and toffee. It all ends with a combination of buttercream frosting, herbs, and subtle spices.

Bottom Line:

This tequila might be younger than some of the other añejos. But what it lacks in age, it makes up for with a full, rich flavor profile.

Gran Centenario Añejo

Gran Centenario

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $35

The Story:

Gran Centenario was created in 1857 by a former tavern owner named Lázaro Gallardo. Many believe that he’s the first tequila master distiller in history. Carrying on his tradition, Gran Centenario’s contemporary Añejo is made from 100% Blue Weber agave before being aged in new American oak barrels.

Tasting Notes:

Give this tequila a patient nosing and you’ll find scents of cocoa powder, vanilla, charred oak, and a pleasant nutty sweetness. On the palate, you’ll find cooked agave, subtle cracked black pepper, brown sugar, and vanilla beans. The finish is mellow, soft, and ends with a nice kick of buttery caramel.

Bottom Line:

This historical brand is surprisingly cheap. It actually might be the best tequila on this list if what you value most is flavor to price ratio.

Cincoro Añejo

Cincoro

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $131

The Story:

Cincoro is another celebrity brand and that might turn off some people. But this brand, founded by Michael Jordan and various other celebrities in the sports world, is much more than just glamour. This 100% Blue Weber agave is a great example. This double-distilled tequila was aged between 24 and 28 months in barrels that formerly held American whisky.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find milk chocolate, baked agave, subtle pepper, and vanilla beans. Drinking this tequila opens up flavors of fresh-cut grass, dried orange peels, buttercream, and subtle wood char. The ending is sweet, warming, and finishes with a final flourish of toffee candy.

Bottom Line:

Don’t be wary of the celebrities behind this brand. It’s a great tequila for fans of vanilla, regardless of whether or not his Royal Airness is behind it.

Código 1530 Añejo

Código

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $119

The Story:

Produced in the town of Amatitán in the tequila-producing state of Jalisco, Código 1530 Añejo is made from 100% Blue Weber agaves that were allowed to grow for seven years. While other brands aged their tequilas in White American Oak and even ex-bourbon barrels, Código 1530 Añejo gets its flavor from maturing in cabernet sauvignon French white oak barrels from Napa, California for 18 months.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of spicy pepper, dried fruits, and clover honey. The palate is filled with notes of sour cherries, buttery toffee, caramel apples, subtle pepper, and vanilla beans. The finish is long, mellow, and easy to drink with notes of vanilla and caramel.

Bottom Line:

While this tequila carries a similar flavor profile to many of the other tequilas on this list, the addition of French oak gives it a fruitier, more vanilla-filled flavor than most añejos.

Patrón Añejo

Patrón

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $60

The Story:

When it comes to big names in the tequila world, it’s hard to beat Patrón. But don’t shy away from this Goliath brand. You’ll be missing out on a great expression. Made using the traditional Tahona method — where the agaves are crushed using a massive stone — this expression is aged in smaller than normal white oak casks for 12-15 months.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the scents of dried fruits, orange peels, charred wood, and vanilla beans. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of raisins, vegetal sweetness, manuka honey, and creamy vanilla. It all ends with a nice combination of toffee candy and subtle spice.

Bottom Line:

Don’t be turned off by the big name. This tequila has everything a vanilla fan could want. It’s mellow, bursting with flavor, and easy to sip.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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