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The Best Añejo Tequilas

An Añejo (ane-jo) is the type of Tequila that has been aged between one and three years in oak barrels before bottling.

This post presents a list of the 14 Best Añejo Tequilas + 1 affordable mixer to make Margaritas and tasty cocktails.

Fortaleza Añejo

  • Nose: Caramel, vanilla, oak, agave
  • Palate: Agave, butterscotch, citrus, hazelnuts
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: 1942, G4 Añejo


On the nose you get bourbon whiskey-like notes of caramel, vanilla and oak along roasted agave.

On the palate, Fortaleza Añejo feels buttery with an oily texture that coats your mouth in a very soothing way.

Flavor is rich in agave, along vanilla and butterscotch with just a tad of oak spice.

The finish lingers, with nice heat that warms your chest, with more blue agave, a touch of pineapple, caramel and oak.

Is it good?

Anejo doesn’t get much better than this making it one the best añejo tequilas in the market.

Pleasant heat but tremendously balanced with an awesome finish

Fortaleza Añejo is a Tequila for bourbon drinkers curious about agave spirits.

Rich in bourbon-like vanilla, butterscotch and oak flavors along blue agave sweetness making it incredibly good and another successful pour from Fortaleza!

Herradura Legend

  • Nose: Burnt caramel, vanilla, agave, toasted oak
  • Palate: Vanilla, caramel, bell pepper, mineral, oak char
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Don Julio 1942

This is an Añejo aged for 14 months in heavily charred and deeply grooved barrels exposing the spirit to more layers of toasted oak.

Rich in charred oak notes that are familiar to bourbon drinkers but uncommon to agave spirits making it interesting.


The nose hits hard with a pleasin note of burnt caramel, followed by vanilla, a touch of agave and a toasted oak note that reminds me of Woodford Reserve.

On the palate, Legend lacks a bit in body, is not thin but I would definitely like it to have a better texture.

The first sip brings vanilla and caramel sweetness at first, followed by a spicy hint of bell pepper, oak char and a soft mineral note.

The finish lingers with very little warmth to it, with a touch of oak char bitterness, cinnamon and caramel.

Is it good?

No burn or bad bite on the way down making a tasty yet smooth easy drinker and a must for Herradura Tequila aficionados.

Putting the beautiful packaging aside, Herradura Legend is a good Tequila with some unique tasting notes making a good addition to the cabinet of those who want a smooth yet flavorful experience.

Dulce Vida Añejo Lone Star Edition – Best High Proof Añejo

  • Nose: Ripe fruit, oak, agave, caramel
  • Palate: Pepper, vanilla, caramel, oak
  • Alcohol content: 100 proof (50% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Dulce Vida Blanco

This Dulce Vida Añejo Lone Star has two distinctive features that make it unique:

  • Aged in oak barrels once used to mature Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon.
  • Bottled at 100 proof, while the vast majority of Tequilas are offered at a mere 80 proof.


The nose hits with alcohol at first that gives way as you let it breathe to ripe fruit, followed by oak, agave and caramel.

On the palate, the Lone Star feels viscous and fully textured providing a great mouthfeel.

Flavor brings a bit of pepper at first, followed by vanilla, caramel, a bit of mint and a light touch of oak.

The finish is dry and lingers with very little heat given the high proof, with a bit of spice and caramel.

Is it good?

Surprisingly smooth for something bottled at 100 proof, rich in sweet caramel and vanilla notes and well balanced against spice and light on the oak providing a great sip.

It lacks a bit in agave flavor, but makes a perfect bourbon drinkers Tequila as it is rich in whiskey-like notes and is offered at a proof more akin to bourbon.

Riazul Añejo

  • Nose: Vanilla, caramel, cinnamon
  • Palate: Vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Don Julio Añejo

Riazul is aged for 24 months using French oak barrels made from wood sourced from the Citeaux forests of Burgundy, France that are given a medium toast.


Nose brings vanilla up-front, followed by caramel and cinnamon.

On the palate, Riazul feels remarkably smooth and viscous providing a great mouthfeel.

Flavor hits hard with cinnamon, followed by vanilla, caramel and a tad of toasty oak.

The finish lingers with very little heat, a bit of oak spice to it adding a bitter touch, along more spicy cinnamon.

Is it good?

Riazul Añejo is easy to like as it hits hard with a Christmas Cake flavor.

Smooth and sweet, full-bodied, with no burn or bad tasting notes making a crowd-pleaser.

It lacks the agave flavor as it’s completely absent but high in cinnamon, vanilla and caramel notes, along a satisfying toasted oak note making it quite enjoyable.

El Mayor Añejo – Best value Añejo

  • Nose: Caramel, oak, raisin, vanilla
  • Palate: Ripe fruit, vanilla, caramel, oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks, cocktails
  • Similar to: Espolon Añejo

El Mayor is the best value alternative to Don Julio 1942 and one of the best-deal Tequilas.


The nose brings bourbon-style notes of light caramel at first, followed by oak, vanilla and a touch of raisins.

On the palate, you get a fruity note up-front followed, by vanilla, caramel and a tad of toasted oak.

The finish has a decent length, brings a nice peppery hit, with no alcohol flavor or bad burn making it an enjoyable easy drinker at a price hard to beat.

Is it good?

El Mayor Añejo doesn’t have the recognition of the top brands (Don Julio, Casamigos, Patron, Tesoro or Fortaleza) flying under the radar but makes a great sipper.

For the price you can use it to make Añejo Margaritas or Tequila Old Fashioned with no remorse!

Don Julio 1942 – Smoothest Añejo

  • Nose: Vanilla, caramel, agave, oak
  • Palate: Agave, vanilla, citrus, chocolate
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Clase Azul Reposado, Don Julio 70


Don Julio 1942 starts with a blast of vanilla on the nose, followed by caramel, roasted agave and a bit of oak.

On the palate, this tequila provides a velvety creamy body, with a very smooth taste.

Flavor is rich in caramel notes up-front followed by chocolate, agave flavor and oak.

Is it good?

This is what I call a “trophy Tequila” similar to the Johnnie Walker Blue Label that might not be the best whisky but provides bragging rights and is something well worth tasting at least once.

Nicely balanced, with no burn in a slight smoky flavor that yet provides the kick of Tequila.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, rich in agave, oak and cinnamon.

This is a great dram good for drinkers of all levels and especially for those bourbon aficionados as there are tasting notes that will be familiar.

1942 makes an incredible sipper with no alcohol burn or bad bite. It goes down nicely hence I recommend drinking it neat.

If you want to chill it a bit use large ice cubes avoiding dilution or use a set of whisky stones. Do not use it as a mixer.

Still one of the best and the Don Julio Best Tequila; so I hope you get an idea of how good 1942 is!

Siete Leguas Añejo

  • Nose: Vanilla, caramel, oak
  • Palate: Agave, maple syrup, chocolate, vanilla oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Don Julio Añejo, Casamigos Añejo

Siete Leguas is one of my favorite Tequila brands and it’s currently celebrating 70 years in business.


The nose reminds of a sweet bourbon, full of butterscotch and vanilla but with a whiff of roasted agave.

On the palate, it feels buttery and smooth, with blue agave flavor, vanilla, caramel, a rich baking spice note and wood.

The finish is long, sweet and pleasantly warm, with a bit of oak spice, vanilla and butterscotch.

Is it good?

Siete Leguas Añejo is just as good as its Siete Leguas Reposado sibling which is my favorite Reposado Tequila, but with more oak, caramel and vanilla.

It’s a very agave forward and full bodied añejo that lets the agave shine but with flavors that will resound among bourbon lovers.

If you are a bourbon drinker curious about agave spirits Siete Leguas Añejo is a great option as it offers some whiskey-like flavors along precious blue agave which is a better source of alcohol than corn.

G4 Añejo

  • Nose: Vanilla, caramel, citrus
  • Palate: Agave, oak, vanilla, black pepper
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: G4 Reposado


The nose brings a light vanilla hint, followed by caramel and a touch of orange peel.

On the palate, G4 feels buttery and a bit warm on the first sip, but mellows out into rich agave flavor, along vanilla and a drizzle of black pepper.

Oak is present in the taste but just as a complementary note as it’s not as rich as in other Añejo Tequilas letting agave shine.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, leaving an aftertaste of cinnamon and agave.

Is it good?

G4 Añejo is not nearly as famous as Don Julio or Casamigos but is crafted by Carlos Camarena who might well be Mexico’s top Tequila distiller.

An important feature to mention is that this an Añejo free of additives which is an issue among those Tequila aficionados that frown-upon the idea of foreign chemicals in their drinks.

ArteNom 1146 – The Insider Pick

  • Nose: Roasted nuts, spiced apple
  • Palate: Oak, dried fruit, chocolate, roasted nuts
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Tears of Llorona


This Tequila is unique as it was aged in ex-Cabernet Franc barrels famous for its rich and delicious dried fruit notes.

60% of the batch is first aged in these barrels for 2 years and the remaining 40% for 3 years. They finally get married in ex-bourbon barrels for one year.

Is it good?

ArteNom’s process sounds too complex but the result is a solid sipping Tequila with a deep complexity that only well-traveled aficionados will appreciate.

Palate is not too sweet but has some of the tasting notes of Don Julio 1942 but under $100!

We could safely say that ArteNom 1146 is the “insider’s pick”.

123 Organic Añejo Number 3

  • Nose: Vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, peaches
  • Palate: Agave, oak, caramel, citrus peel
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Herradura Añejo


Bad añejos have something common, that taste too much as oak losing the agave flavors.

123 Organic Añejo strikes a nice balance between agave and oak letting you appreciate both flavors.

It’s quite smooth and sweet with citrus back-end flavor finishing with a pleasing bite.

Is it good?

123 is a brand created by David Ravandi who in 1998 launched Casa Noble Tequila and cashed-out in 2014 when he and his partners including musician Carlos Santana sold to Constellation Brands.

We can safely say that Ravandi knows one or two things about creating not only successful but quality Tequilas.

This Tequila is a great choice for those keen of organic foods as it only uses USDA certified 100% organic agave.

T1 Estellar Añejo

  • Nose: Scotch, agave, oak, vanilla
  • Palate: Agave, Scotch, oak, chocolate
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: ArteNOM 1146

T1 Estellar Añejo is the best Añejo Tequila under $50 you can buy!


This is a super smooth Tequila aged in Scotch barrels providing some unique aromas and flavors. It must be noted that this is an Añejo free of additives ticking a box that is becoming increasingly important.

Nose hits with a Scotch-like aroma, followed by agave, vanilla and light oak.

On the palate, T1 Estellar has more of that Scotch whisky note, along agave, oak and a light chocolate note.

The finish has a decent length with agave, oak and a dash of pepper.

Is it good?

Add a big Cuban cigar to it and enjoy this bargain that goes toe to toe with the Best Añejo Tequilas.

Casa Noble Añejo

  • Nose: Vanilla, agave, mint, caramel, oak
  • Palate: Vanilla, oak, nutmeg, alcohol
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Casa Noble Reposado


Nose is sweet, high in vanilla and caramel, along a touch of mint and just a tad of oak.

On the palate, Casa Noble Añejo has a Honey Graham Crackers taste, with a drizzle of nutmeg, a touch of wood and a bit of ethanol flavor but nothing off-putting.

The finish has a medium length, with a bitter note and a vanilla and coffee flavor with very little warmth to it.

Is it good?

This is triple-distilled Tequila when the norm is to only distill twice.

This is the secret behind Irish whiskey signature smoothness and you can notice the difference as Casa Noble is overly smooth yet tasty.

At some point Carlos Santana partnered with Casa Noble but he cashed-out when Constellation Brands acquired the brand.

Don Fulano Añejo

  • Nose: Agave, oak, caramel, cinnamon
  • Palate: Agave sweetness, vanilla, oak, cinnamon
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: 1800 Añejo

Don Fulano could barely translate into John Doe.

A barely known brand producing Tequilas free of additives or foreign substances.


This Tequila is rich in roasted agave flavors with a long and pleasing warm finish with tiny little smoky note; it also makes a great sipper.

Don Fulano is a blend of tequilas aged for 30 months in French limousin casks.

Is it good?

These precious and expensive casks are used to age a wide variety of spirits including red wine, brandy, cognac, Scotch, among many others.

This type of oak provides a golden yellow color and a barrel-aged character making them quite special.

Ocho Añejo

  • Nose: Oak, orange, agave, earth
  • Palate: Ripe fruit, agave, brown sugar
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Patron Añejo, Ocho Plata

Ocho Tequila releases are good and Añejo is not the exception.


The nose hits with gentle oak, followed by orange, lime, subtle oak and a bit of wet soil aroma.

On the palate, it feels viscous providing a great mouthfeel.

Flavor brings ripe fruit notes, along agave, a hit of brown sugar, oak, more orange and a dash of black pepper.

Finish lingers with oak and a touch of coffee and chocolate and just a touch of heat to remind you that you are drinking Tequila.

Is it good?

This is naturally sweet Tequila as it’s free of additives with some of the best finishes in any Añejo providing a great experience.

Espolon Añejo – Best Añejo to make cocktails

  • Nose: Oak, agave, butterscotch
  • Palate: Sweet agave, oak, caramel, spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks, Cocktails
  • Similar to: Espolon Reposado


The nose this displays a light and pleasing aroma with hints of oak, agave, butterscotch and vanilla.

On the palate, Espolon Añejo has sweet agave and is grassy upfront and has a nice oakiness from that bourbon barrels that is subtle and not too overwhelming.

I can’t detect any artificial flavors or sweeteners making it completely legit. Works all right in any cocktail, but is easy enough to have it neat. Goes down without any burn or unpleasant note.

Is it good?

The aforementioned Tequilas are incredibly smooth and easy to drink making great sipper to enjoy neat or rocks.

Espolon is not that good as it hits you with strong oak, spicy and a warm finish but I have included it for three reasons: it is way affordable and its harsh tasting notes make a good mixer for your next Margarita, and lastly, but not less important is its availability; it’s quite easy to find

Its cool-looking makes a nice decoration piece at home giving additional points to Espolon Añejo.

Which is the Best Añejo Tequila?

Don Julio 1942 is the best Añejo

  • Don Julio 1942 is the best añejo Tequila that you can buy today. It offers delicious tasting notes that both newbies and tequila aficionados will appreciate alike.
  • This is not something I recommend drinking everyday but it makes an incredible gift an something to drink on a special occasion.
  • As we are accustomed to, Fortaleza presents an excellent release that demands a higher degree of experience to fully enjoy, while Patron offers a beautiful tequila in a horrible price as it is painfully expensive; but if you can afford go for it.
  • ArteNom 1146 makes what I call the “insider pick” as it offers some of Don Julio’s tasting notes but at more affordable price making it a great choice for the price conscious buyer.
  • And lastly, you have the Espolon Añejo which is dirty cheap making a great choice to make cocktails.

Best Añejo Tequila Buying Guide

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Don Julio 1942$180
Fortaleza Añejo$93
Riazul Añejo$90
Dulce Vida Añejo Lone Star$72
Herradura Legend$130
El Mayor Añejo$36
Siete Leguas Añejo$65
ArteNom 1146 Añejo$88
Casa Noble Añejo$58
123 Organic Añejo # 3$65
Don Fulano Añejo$84
Ocho Añejo$73
T1 Estellar Añejo$45
Espolon Añejo$35
G4 Añejo$75

El Mayor Añejo is the clear winner in terms of price making the best affordable añejo!

What does Añejo mean?

Añejo stands for “aged”

Añejo tequilas mature in oak barrels between 1 and 3 years before bottling. When they age for more than 3 years they become extra-añejos.

What is añejo tequila best for?

Añejo makes a great sipper

This is a tequila meant to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, although it can be used for mixing.

The lengthy period spent in contact with the wooden barrel provides añejo a distinctive deep amber hue along with a smoky, spicy and sweet flavor with marked vanilla and caramel notes making it a pleasing pour.

If you enjoy drinking bourbon whiskey you will make an easy transition to tequila, but I can assure you that agave spirits are superior to corn-based spirits; more on that later.

How is añejo made?

By aging tequila in oak barrel for up to 3 years

All tequilas are transparent after distillation, when they get bottled right away their are labeled as blanco or silver. When the tequila is stored between 2 months and 364 days in an oak barrel they become reposado; after 365 days in the barrel reposado becomes añejo.

Is añejo tequila 100% agave?

Most añejos are 100% agave

Always shop for tequilas labeled as 100% agave. When not 100% agave assume distillers are mixing 51% agave with 49% sugar cane. All the major brands such as Don Julio, Casamigos, Patron, Siete Leguas always offer 100% agave so you can feel confident when buying from these brands.

What’s the difference between añejo and reposado?

The differences lies in the aging length

The difference lies in the time they spent aging in the barrel. Reposados ​​age between 60 and 364 days while añejos between 1 and 3 years.

Which is better: añejo or reposado?

It’s a matter of personal taste

This is a tough question and a hard one to answer as it is absolutely dependent of personal preferences.

Añejos are more smoky, oaky, spicy and sweet than reposados. If you have never tried tequila I would suggest you to start with silver to later go for a reposado.

Unless you are a bourbon aficionado that would allow you to make a quick transition to añejo.

Is añejo tequila good?

Añejo Tequila is a fine sipping spirit

Añejo is not only good, añejo is a very good choice for an experienced drinker looking for a quality dram. At a personal level I prefer añejos over most Scotch whiskies and bourbons as agave spirits offer deep and interesting flavors hard to find in whiskey.

Not to mention the little fact that agave spirits don’t give you a hangover😉

Is Añejo a sipping tequila?


Absolutely, añejos are great sippers as they are sweet and smooth. They are a perfect match for whiskey drinkers curious about agave spirits.

Añejo in shots?

Not the best choice, better use Blanco

A good sipping tequila is to be enjoyed and not shot down, it is also expensive so I suggest you use a cheap tequila for such affairs.

How to drink it?

Neat or rocks

I enjoy añejo tequila neat or straight. On warm days I add large ice cubes as I don’t like water to dilute my precious drink. Scots splash a bit of water to whisky to make it more floral but that trick doesn’t work with tequila; agave doesn’t like water.

Of course you can mix añejo tequila in cocktails but I find reposados better suited for those affairs.

Is añejo Tequila good for margaritas?

Yes, but Blanco is better

Yes, you can pour añejo in your margarita making it smoky, spicy and sweeter. Consider the fact that añejo will give your cocktail an amber hue making it look different than a traditional margarita.

I would rather choose a reposado for my next margarita. Reposados are cheaper and mix better with most cocktails.