SpiritsHandpicked by IWSC

Award-winning Tequila to try

From blanco through to extra añejo, seek out these top Tequilas - all award-winners at the IWSC 2022

Words by IWSC Judges

A field full of agave plants used to make Tequila
Handpicked by IWSC

Tequila has seen a drastic improvement in public image over the last decade or so. Once the go-to for a round of shots at the bar, these days, those in the know are seeking out quality Tequilas for slow, considered sipping or for mixing into a cocktail with a real depth of flavour. It’s now more common to hear people talk about terroir when it comes to the Mexican spirit, as they would with a fine wine. And following George Clooney’s lead, celebrities are practically falling over themselves to have a Tequila brand to put their name to.

Tequila being poured from the bottle

Tequila is made from the agave plant and is part of the wider mezcal family. While mezcal can be made from a variety of plants, Tequila is made specifically from blue weber agave. The clear style is known as blanco or silver Tequila, and is best enjoyed at 100% agave when selecting for sipping.

Meanwhile, some have a deeper colour thanks to ageing in oak barrels – this ranges from resposado (rested) that’s been aged for two months to a year in cask, up to añejo (aged) that’s spent up to three years in the barrel and finally, extra añejo (extra-aged) that’s been aged for over three years before bottling.

At this year’s IWSC, all styles were on show – and top scores went to blancos as well as extra añejos. One of the best Tequilas, according to judges, was Proximo Spirits’ 1800 Milenio Extra Añejo, which was praised for its ‘exquisite varietal typicity with apple sweetness underpinned by toffee, humidor and leather on the nose.’ And Don Fulano’s Añejo Tequila showed off warm spice notes with almonds on the finish. Both scored an impressive 98/100 points with the 1800 Milenio Extra Añejo winning the IWSC’s Tequila Trophy. Read on the see even more of the best Tequilas from the IWSC 2022.

agave plant pinas at a Tequila distillery

HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE SPIRITS?

We run a tightly structured, rigorous spirits tasting process. That means that each spirit sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC spirit judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the drinks industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.

HOW DO WE SCORE THESE SPIRITS?

Only the best spirits sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, spirits have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.

MORE FROM CLUB OENOLOGIQUE

Club O is an exclusive community and the go-to platform for wine and spirit lovers. Our flagship Club Oenologique magazine offers even more insights for enthusiasts and collectors. Based in London, our editorial team tells informative, inspirational stories from the world of wine and spirits, gastronomy and travel, as well as covering recommendations and the latest trends in drink. You can take a look at our Explained series, for instance, where we’re tackling grape varieties, regions and styles of wine and spirits. Alternatively, visit our Ask the Sommelier section, where experts answer your wine-related questions.