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 2023

Words by IWSC Judges

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

Tequila has become the darling of the drink world. Once the go-to for a round of shots at the bar, these days Tequila is earmarked 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. And following George Clooney’s lead, celebrities are practically falling over themselves to have a Tequila 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. Three Tequilas came out on top, each awarded 98/100 points by the judges. Avion Reposado Tequila was praised for its ‘lifted’ and ‘peppery’ nose; judges enjoyed the ‘bold agave character’ of El Tesoro’s Extra Añejo; and Hacienda de Oro Mayaciel Reposado Tequila stood out for ‘a hint of sweet vanilla pods on the palate, plus agave, wood, pepper and oak spice’. Read on the see even more of the best Tequilas from the IWSC 2023.

agave plant pinas at a Tequila distillery


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.


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.


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