“This is your tequila bucket list.”
~ Rick Levy of Tequila Aficionado
If you’ve seen Mike Morales’ article on the Top 20 Craft Tequilas you’ve overlooked then you’ll understand that picking one (or even 10) from this list is like picking your favorite child. It’s too difficult to do, so your best bet is to vote twice a day for your favorites and spend the rest of your time sipping all of them.
Congratulations to all the nominees. If Mike could pick a top 50 list, it still wouldn’t be enough. Thank you to all the wonderful brands out there who are constantly striving to produce the finest tequilas they can. We love you all!
In order to be called tequila, this spirit distilled from the juices blue agave must be made in specific regions of Mexico, most prominently Jalisco and the town of tequila. While no tequilas are produced in the United States, we want to find the best craft tequila brands available in the country, and to do so, we asked a pair of tequila experts to nominate their favorites. Unlike other spirits, tequila brands often share distilleries – there are about 70 of them producing more than 500 brands – so it’s often the brand rather than the distillery that indicates quality. Many of these 20 nominees for best craft tequila brand use traditional methods. Many of the brand owners grow their own agave and personally oversee the entire tequila-making process. All produce high-quality, distinctive tequilas available in the U.S. market. Vote for your favorite once per day until voting ends on Monday, September 12 at noon ET. Read the official Readers’ Choice rules here.
No More Last Tequila Standing
- 24 Criteria for Participants
- 25 Alma Tequila
- 26 Alma Tequila Amazon Margarita
- 27 Judging Procedures
- 28 Adan y Eva Tequila
- 29 Adan y Eva Sinful Margarita
- 30 Nature’s Agave
- 31 Don Pilar Tequila
- 1 Don Pilar Agave Nectar Margarita
- 2 Don Pilar Tequila Tasting
- 3 Azunia Tequila
- 4 Azunia Spanish Sparkler
- 5 Sal del Mar
- 6 Riazul Tequila
- 7 Senor Rio Tequila
- 10 Tequila 101, Terroir, and Aging
- 11 Silvercoin Tequila
- 12 Silvercoin Tequila Sunset
- 13 Silvercoin Tequila Margarita
- 14 Silvercoin Tequila Neat
- 15 Quinta de Gomez Tequila
- 16 Why Judge Blancos
- 17 Pavoneo Green & White
- 18 Pavoneo Tequila Tasting
- 19 Cuestion Tequila
- 20 Cuestion Tequila Diablo Rose
- 21 Cuestion Tequila Cantown
- 22 Cuestion Tequila Uptown
- 23 Crotalo Tequila
- 24 Crotalo Tequila Shake & Snake Margarita
- 25 Ekeco Tequila
- 27 Casa ZG Sangrita
- 28 Alquimia Natural Margarita
- 29 Tasting a Vertical Flight with Alquimia
- 30 Tributo Tequila
- 31 Vida Tequila
First ever Tequila Reality Show kicks off on National Tequila Day!
For Immediate Release!
In 2011, eighteen tequila start ups had vied to be crowned the top Brand Of Promise(TM) in the world’s first broadcasted Tequila Reality Show.
Tequila Aficionado Media Presents Last Tequila Standing
July, 2015, San Antonio, TX: Starting July 24, 2015, National Tequila Day, 45 exclusive episodes of Last Tequila Standing will be streamed daily over Tequila Aficionado Media’s website and on-demand over its own YouTube playlist, as well as featured throughout all of its powerful social networks.
“Through the expansion of opportunities on the Web, and Tequila Aficionado
Media’s own explosive growth, we are proud to present for your enjoyment, Last Tequila Standing,” declared Tequila Aficionado’s CEO, M.A. “Mike” Morales.
Never-before-seen raw footage of some of the tequila industry’s most promising labels will be aired. Each will relate their start up stories and demonstrate their tasty signature cocktails, too.
Colorful brand owners, master distillers, and top flight brand ambassadors took the stage with their enduring tequilas, many of which are still thriving even in 2015’s more competitive tequila market.
To appear on the first ever televised tequila reality show to share with the world their personal stories and to participate in a judged tasting competition to be named the Last Tequila Standing.
As with most TV pilots and shows that are ahead of their time, Last Tequila Standing struggled to find a permanent network home.
“After a series of fits-and-starts, several failed business deals and cable company mergers that never happened, Last Tequila Standing was all but lost,” recounts Morales, a producer and one of the hosts of the show.
From the moment Season 1’s taping had wrapped, Morales worked tirelessly for months with the Executive Producers to try to fulfill the show’s original mission–
To educate and inform tequila aficionados worldwide in an entertaining fashion on the finer points of Mexico’s national spirit, as well as to help promote organic, artisanal, small batch, and boutique tequila Brands Of Promise(TM).
“But just a few years later, with the advent of streaming video made popular by services like Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix, the playing field has changed dramatically,” adds Lisa Pietsch, Tequila Aficionado Media’s COO in charge of social media marketing. “Last Tequila Standing lends itself perfectly to our binge watching audience.”
Participating tequila brands include…
Along with Tequila Aficionado Media’s CEO and Tequila Journalist, M.A. “Mike” Morales, Clayton J. Czczech guest judges on Last Tequila Standing.
A Global Event
“Since the taping of Season 1 of Last Tequila Standing, the Tequila Industry has aggressively pursued global expansion into countries like China, Russia, India, and Brazil,” explains Morales.
“Given that our audience is not only viewing Tequila Aficionado from these locations,” asserts Pietsch, “but all across Canada, the United States, Germany and Mexico, we can truly say that the airing of Last Tequila Standing will be a global event of epic proportions!”
Watch for new episodes of Last Tequila Standing premiering every day–for 45 days–beginning on National Tequila Day, July 24, 2015 at 11AM CDT.
[*Editor’s note: As a courtesy and at the request of Clayton J. Czczech, Tequila Aficionado has attempted to remove all videos and photographs in which he was featured without degrading the balance of the Last Tequila Standing content provided to us.]
Tequila Aficionado Media covers North America’s premier agave spirits tasting event – Spirits of Mexico
Since a picture says a thousand words, Rick Thibault Levy, Tequila Aficionado’s correspondent to the 2013 Spirits of Mexico show, took plenty – along with some great video (video coming soon). For your viewing enjoyment, we present the 2013 Spirits of Mexico in San Diego, through Rick Levy’s lens. Enjoy!
SPIRITS OF MEXICO FESTIVAL Crowns the 2013 WINNING SPIRITS
– For the First Time in the Festival’s History, Two Tequilas Tie for the Coveted ‘Best in Show’ Award –
The 10th-anniversary Spirits of Mexico Festival, North America’s premier agave spirits tasting event, returned to San Diego Sept. 17 to 21 and named the top agave spirits in the world. The week-long celebration attracted more than 2,000 tequila enthusiasts, featured more than 70 brands of tequila and presented more than 200 signature styles of spirits produced in Mexico including tequilas, mezcals and hand-crafted artisanal beers.
For the first time in the history of the festival there was a tie for the competition’s highest award, ‘Best in Show’, in which Herradura Anejo Tequila and Desaire Joven Edicion Especial Espadin Mezcal shared the win. The ‘Best in Show’ award for packaging went to Number Juan Tequila.
The Best Western Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego was the venue for the IWSC Group’s annual Spirits of Mexico Festival Tasting Competition that took place on Sept. 15 and 16.
Entries were judged on five key elements including appearance, aromatics, flavor, mouthfeel and finish, with a rating system totaling a maximum possible score of 100 points. The intensive blind-tasting schedule included more than 100 entries.
Winners of the Tasting Competition’s ‘Best in Class’ awards are as follows:
Tequila Blanco: Excellia
Blanco Overproof: Tapatio 110 proof
Tequila Reposado: Herradura
Tequila Anejo: Herradura
Mezcal: Desaire Joven Edicion Especial Espadin (86 proof)
A total of 27 entries received gold medals, 28 received silver medals, and 30 received bronze medals.
In the Overproof category, Tarantula 100 proof took home a gold.
Desaire Joven Tobala took gold in the Mezcal category and Ocho Cientos Reposado took gold honors in the Sotol category.
The Tasting Competition was co-hosted by Robert Plotkin of BarMedia and Jack Robertiello of Drinks Ink.
Judges included Alfredo Gama of Wine Warehouse; Founder and Director of Creativa Sensorial Ana Maria Romero Mena; Grover Sanschagrin of Taste Tequila and Tequila Matchmaker; Mixologist and Tequila Expert Jen Queen; Certified Mezcalier Julie Harrington-Giffin of Agave Love; Master Mixologist Junior Merino “The Liquid Chef”; Levi Walker of Young’s Market; Thomas ‘Mac’ McFarland Gregory III of Starwood Hotels, and Zack Romaya of Old Town Liquor.
On Friday, Sept. 20, Spirits of Mexico Festival Founder and Director Dori Bryant and Marketing Director Anna Grant hosted the Awards Ceremony and revealed the winners from this year’s competition.
“The unprecedented tie for Best in Show, the competition’s highest honor, stunned all,” said Bryant. “This is the first time that a tequila anejo as well as a mezcal took top marks.
“This highest honor recognizes the enduring artistry and craftsmanship of Tequila Herradura, as well as the sophistication and elegance of Mezcal Desaire,” continued Bryant. “We are pleased to congratulate both of these formidable brands.”
Comedian Jason Lawhead hosted the live auction benefitting the Sky Ranch Foundation, which featured rare spirits and other items from the private collections of many of the distillers.
The night was also honored by the city and county of San Diego, which provided proclamations naming Sept. 17 through 21, Spirits of Mexico Week in the county and city of San Diego.
Mayor Todd Gloria spoke about the importance of the festival to the region.
“San Diego is a unique cross-border and cross-cultural region – there is just no other place where two economies and two cultures come together into one critical entity like they do here,” said Mayor Gloria.
“This festival breaks through and tears down cultural walls, fences, barriers in appreciation of one thing: the joy, passion and pride of truly exceptional agave-based spirits.”
On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Main Tasting Event presented more than 200 styles of agave-based spirits. Guests also sampled traditional Mexican cuisine from Casa de Reyes, met with master distillers, mixologists, historians and other agave aficionados, attended educational seminars by Milagro Tequila and Olmeca Altos, and bid on hundreds of bottles at a silent auction.
The Spirits of Mexico Festival, North America’s largest event dedicated to agave spirits, is presented by the IWSC Group, a leader in organizing wine and spirit competitions around the globe.
Look for videos from the 2013 Spirits of Mexico coming to Tequila Aficionado soon!