anejo tequilaMany years ago I sampled all three versions of Don Eduardo Tequila while on a whirlwind tour of the land of agave and distilleries that are within striking distance of Guadalajara. You can see that feature story in our archives here: Tequila Gets Ready for its Close-up in Jalisco.

There really is a town called Tequila and it’s the epicenter of the most storied distilleries. The parent company that makes Don Eduardo has been there since 1926 and they use blue agave plants grown right outside of town. As part of the Brown-Forman spirits group, they also have access to a reliable stream of used bourbon barrels, all of them having a similar taste profile. So when the añejo tequila is aged in bourbon barrels for two years, it’s a consistent aging.

There’s a difference between tequila made near Tequila and what’s made in the highlands. This one is a good example of a “classic” tequila profile, more austere and, some would say, serious than the more flowery, sweeter versions from Los Altos. Don Eduardo has won a slew of tasting awards over the years and this one stands out for its well-structured, balanced profile that has a good mix of agave fruit flavors and spice with the overtones of leather and sandalwood resulting from the longer-than-average aging time in oak.

It’s more pale than many aged this long and in most respects it’s rather subdued overall. For those who have found some añejo tequilas to be too much of a good thing, this one’s closer to a reposado, despite the long aging. “Smooth” is the best description, with a nice nose up front signaling the coming spice and pepper.

Like most añejo tequilas, this is meant to be sipped neat, not mixed into a cocktail. It’s smooth enough to sip like a fine Scotch or bourbon, over hours of conversation and maybe a cigar. It’s soft on the palate and the short finish is a far cry from the harsh burn you can get from lesser tequilas.

This is priced firmly in the premium range: you’ll typically pay $40-$50 a bottle for Don Eduardo Añejo in stores if it’s not on sale. If you do see it lower than that, like at Duty Free, then snag it knowing you got a premium tequila for a good price. Since this is a sipping tequila, it will last you a long time.

Plus it’s well-known among tequila enthusiasts that the bottle the brand comes in has as much impact on the price as what’s inside. This one comes in a heavy, beautiful bottle that looks impressive sitting on your home bar. Take it down and impress your friends with a tequila that might change their attitude about the spirit.

See more at the Don Eduardo website.