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Best Don Julio Tequila

Discover the best Don Julio Tequila in this in-depth review of all its releases and how to make the best use of them.

Don Julio Blanco (Blue Bottle) – Best for Cocktails & Shots

  • Nose: Agave, alcohol, citrus, earth
  • Palate: Agave, black pepper, citrus, alcohol
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Partida Blanco, Siete Leguas Blanco
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

On the nose, Don Julio Blanco is boozy as it has a high ethanol note making you think that this is a warm tequila.

On the palate, you get a smooth and sweet Tequila, rich in citrus, along an earthy note, minerals, and just a dash of black pepper.

There is very little heat to it although lacks a bit in body.

The finish has a decent length, mostly sweet with just a bit of bite that reminds you that you are drinking tequila.

Overall, Don Julio Blanco is solid, approachable to those who are new to Tequila while offering a classic unaged tequila flavor profile that those who are familiar with this agave spirit will enjoy.

Personally, I consider Don Julio Blanco as the tequila to beat or the tequila every bottle is compared to.

No wonder why this one of the best-selling Tequilas in Mexico, one of the best Blanco Tequilas, Don Julio’s top-selling Tequila and one of the most popular Tequilas across the globe.

Drinks nicely neat or rocks and can be used as a mixer although I’d rather use something more affordable to make Margaritas, Ranch Water or Batanga.

This Tequila is often compared to Patron Silver and Casamigos Blanco. I find Don Julio to be better than the first, but I’m more fond of Casamigos.

Don Julio Reposado

  • Nose: Agave, caramel, oak, vanilla
  • Palate: Agave, vanilla, orange, caramel, oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Corralejo Repo, Siete Leguas Repo
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Don Julio Reposado is a smooth Tequila and an easy drinker.

It strikes a solid balance between sweet, spice and oaky notes making a nice sipping tequila especially for bourbon aficionados curious about agave spirits.

Don Julio Reposado is incredibly smooth with pleasing vanilla and citrus notes balanced by underlying sweetness and oak.

Fully flavored with low burn and a light caramelized finish making one of the best reposado Tequilas.

Don Julio Reposado is a good sipper that you can drink either straight or rocks but is not that good as a mixer to make margaritas due to its price.

There are several good affordable Reposados to make delicious cocktails while saving hard-earned money.

Don Julio Primavera

  • Nose: Orange, oak, caramel, vanilla
  • Palate: Orange, vanilla, caramel, agave
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Don Julio Primavera uses the regular Don Julio Reposado as its base but finishes its aging in casks which held wine infused with macerated orange peels.

The nose is light and pleasing as it brings orange at first, followed by oak caramel and vanilla.

On the palate, Primavera feels moderately oily providing a decent mouthfeel.

The first sip is smooth and sweet providing hints of orange, vanilla caramel and just a faint touch of agave coming behind.

The finish is short, with very little to no warmth to it, with a bit of black pepper and a touch of caramel.

Did I like it? Yes, as it makes a nice novelty as it provides unique flavors for a Reposado.

Would I buy it? No, as it sits at a price range in which I can buy better Tequilas including Don Julio 1942

It’s just too pricey for a Reposado Tequila with such an unremarkable finish and an overly sweet taste that is only good for a round or two before becoming cloying.

Don Julio Rosado – Worst Don Julio

  • Nose: Vanilla, honey, agave
  • Palate: Vanilla, caramel, ripe fruit, cake batter
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Patron El Alto
  • Rating: ⭐⭐

The nose hits hard with vanilla, followed by honey and a light agave note that is hardly noticeable.

First sip is smooth and sweet, a little too sweet, rich in vanilla, caramel, ripe fruit and a fake cake batter note.

The finish is short, with more sweetness to it and very little to no warmth.

Don Julio Rosado hits with chemical artificial sweetness that becomes cloying after a couple of sips.

I find hard to believe that this Tequila gained this tasting notes from a mere 4 month aging making me think that it was manipulated with additives.

Rosado seems to be Don Julio’s response to the overly popular and extremely sweet Clase Azul Reposado and has delivered a worse tasting Tequila.

On top of of that it’s massively overpriced making something I recommend avoiding.

Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Lagavulin Finish

don julio lagavulin finish
  • Nose: Roasted agave, caramel, oak, vanilla
  • Palate: Agave, vanilla, peat, caramel, oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Rating: ⭐⭐

This tequila is the product of finishing Don Julio Reposado in casks that were previously used to age Lagavulin Scotch whisky.

This is in Islay whisky famous for its strong peaty notes and some of that earthy flavor is present in Don Julio Reposado.

Just a touch of peat which is a taste that might be off-putting for some but if you like peaty whisky you are gonna like this one.

Lagavulin and Don Julio are owned by the same parent company.

Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Buchanan’s Finish

  • Nose: Roasted agave, caramel, oak, vanilla
  • Palate: Agave, vanilla, apple, caramel, oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Rating: ⭐⭐

This is the same Don Julio Reposado but finished in casks that were previously used to finish Buchanan’s whisky.

Not that good to be honest, as the additional aging just added a bitter flavor that does not sit well.

Buchanan’s is another whisky brand from the Diageo stable so it’s a good way to cross market its products.

Don Julio Reposado Claro

  • Nose: Vanilla, agave
  • Palate: Agave, vanilla, citrus
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Reposado Claro is the product of filtering through activated charcoal Don Julio Reposado.

As a result the Tequila lost the amber hue along some of its warmth becoming quite smooth, easier to sip although a bit less tastier.

Don Julio Añejo – Best for Bourbon drinkers

  • Nose: Oak, vanilla, caramel, orange
  • Palate: Nutty flavor, cinnamon, oak, vanilla, smoke
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Avion Añejo, Tres Generaciones Añejo
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Don Julio Añejo is the same Tequila as Don Julio Blanco but aged for 18 months in ex-bourbon barrels.

This provides a deep amber hue, along a stronger wood note, along more caramel notes than in Reposado.

Don Julio Añejo has a bourbon-like nose with vanilla, oak, caramel and a touch of orange.

On the palate is a bit warm up-front, with a rich cinnamon note noticeable from start to finish.

Don Julio Añejo has bourbon-like vanilla and oak flavors, with sweet butterscotch and oaky and smoky notes.

The finish is long, pleasantly warm, with more cinnamon making it the backbone of this tequila and oak.

Don Julio Añejo is a nice sipper, not overly sweet, nicely balanced, with a smoky character, pleasantly warm and still rich in agave flavor.

Overall, Don Julio Añejo is great as long as you like a rich cinnamon flavor, a light hint of smoke and can enjoy pleasant warmth on the way down.

Remember that Don Julio Añejo was Don Julio’s top tequila until the arrival of the much revered 1942.

So we are genuinely talking about a good Añejo Tequila.

Don Julio 70 (Black Bottle) – Great Sipper

  • Nose: Vanilla, oak
  • Palate: Vanilla, agave, caramel, oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Maestro Dobel, 1800 Cristalino
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Beautiful nose of bright flowers, honey, blue agave, vanilla.

On the palate, Don Julio 70 is incredibly smooth, rich in vanilla, oak and caramel and a tad of agave.

Finish remains smooth, with vanilla, oak and a bit of black pepper, with very little warmth.

This tequila smells and tastes like an Añejo Tequila but looks like a Blanco Tequila.

DJ70 is the product of filtering Don Julio Añejo through charcoal before bottling.

This process removes hard edges from the spirit making it easier to drink.

This type of tequila is known as Cristalino Tequila, and makes a perfect choice for those who want an overly easy yet tasty dram.

Don Julio 70 is dangerously smooth as it gets drained quite fast and is quite yet flavorful with literally no burn or bad bite.

It has most of the tasting notes of an añejo tequila such as vanilla, oak and fine spices although it lost most of the agave flavor in the filtration process.

Don Julio 70th Anniversary makes a great sipper even for those new to tequila and can easily be drunk straight or rocks.

I would not use a mixer due to its price, as a general rule I stick to more affordable options when making cocktails.

Don Julio 1942 – Best Don Julio

  • 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 Repo, 1800 Milenio
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.

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 drinkers as there are tasting notes that will be familiar.

Don Julio 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.

This is Don Julio’s best tequila, the best añejo tequila and one of the best Tequilas in existence; so I hope you get an idea of how good 1942 is!

Don Julio Ultima Reserva

  • Nose: Oak, agave, caramel
  • Palate: Fruity, orange, peach
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat, rocks
  • Similar to: Cuervo Reserva de la Familia
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Don Julio Ultima Reserva is an overly smooth Tequila yet quite flavorful.

Nose has a strong oaky note that does not show on the palate.

The body is not as thick as I was expecting after tasting its 1942 sibling but flavor is rich and fruity with rich notes of oranges and peaches making it bittersweet and unique; there is a little smoky note on the tail that sits well.

Ultima Reserva is incredibly easy to sip as it has no harshness, alcohol burn, or bad bite; it goes down nicely.

Discover the best Tequilas in this category by reading my post: Discover the Best Extra Añejo Tequila!

Which is the best Don Julio?

1942 is the best Don Julio


It offers a creamy texture with delicious chocolate notes, while preserving rich agave flavor with the right amount of warmth that provides the kick you expect from tequila but is not burny…. absolutely rewarding making an entirely satisfying dram.

This is a flavorful yet smooth tequila that you have to try at least once.

Ultima Reserva is quite good but not worth the price tag as it lacks the body you would expect from a tequila at such price.

Don Julio 70 is the best option for the price conscious buyer and for those who want an overly smooth dram.

Which is the smoothest Don Julio?

Ultima Reserva is the smoothest Don Julio

Just be aware that have to be willing to pony up $500 USD to enjoy it.

If you are not willing to go that high Don Julio 1942 is the second best and a better and more tasty tequila, in my opinion, although it has a bit of a bite at the end.

If you want to drink a smooth Don Julio on a budget then Reposado is the best choice. It’s good, tasty, it does not burn and provides a rich vanilla and oaky note.

Which is the Best Don Julio for the money?

Don Julio Añejo offers the best value

This is an incredibly tasty and yet smooth aged tequila that will resound nicely among bourbon aficionado as many of its tasting notes will “sound familiar”.

Añejo was the best Don Julio tequila until the arrival of 1942.

Which is the best Don Julio for Margaritas and cocktails?

Don Julio Blanco is the best for Margaritas, cocktails and shots.

Its neutral flavor profile sits better in Margaritas and any cocktails. Price is also a factor as there is no reason to go over the board with a tequila for mixing.

Is Don Julio a good Tequila?

Ranks high

Don Julio is one of the most consistent distillers as every release ranks high within is category with no bad apples in the family.

DJ has a release in every category (silver, reposado, añejo, cristalino and extra añejo) and they are all solid; I’m yet to have a bad one.

Hence feel confident that if you come across a bottle of Don Julio you’ll be drinking good tequila as opposed to other brands like Jose Cuervo that is inconsistent in terms of quality; Cuervo has some good stuff but also offers awful releases.

Is Don Julio top-shelf?

1942 and Ultima Reserva are two of the best tequilas in the world.

The rest of the lineup is quite good and among the best in their respective categories; that puts Don Julio on top of all top-shelf tequila distillers.

Types of Don Julio

Don Julio has releases in every category, starting from Blanco which is the most expression all the way up to the extra añejo (extra aged) Don Julio Real.

Don Julio Cheat Sheet: Rating Prices & Rating

Don Julio offers a wide range of tequilas with a bottle in every category. Tequila prices vary according to maturity length of every release. The prices shown below are approximate and stated in USD:

Don Julio Blanco or Blue Bottle$53None80
Don Julio Reposado Reposado$60880
Don Julio Reposado Lagavulin$68985
Don Julio Reposado Double Cask$68978
Don Julio Añejo$661885
Don Julio 70 or Black Bottle$761885
Don Julio 1942$1873090
Ultima Reserva$4903689
Don Julio Primavera$160882
Don Julio Rosado$137465

Don Julio Drinking Guide

These tequilas are not a good choice when looking for shots, this is quality stuff that deserves to be enjoyed and tasted.

If you are looking for a tequila to shoot down your throat I strongly suggest you to get yourself a bottle of Espolon Blanco, this is a quality tequila perfectly suited for shots at the right price and in a badass looking bottle.

TequilaBest way of drinking
Silver (Blanco)Cocktails (margarita) or Rocks
ReposadoRocks or cocktails (margarita)
AñejoNeat or rocks
Don Julio 70rocks or neat
Don Julio 1942Neat
Ultima ReservaNeat

Can Don Julio freeze?

The high alcohol content of Tequila bottles won’t allow it to freeze.

Feel free to store blanco, silver, reposado, añejo and Don Julio 70 in the freezer. Don’t do so with Don Julio 1942 and Real Extra Añejo, those two are aromatic and the cold will tune down the aroma.

If you want them chilled use large ice cubes or a set of whisky stones; don’t water down your precious dram.

Gluten-free, Keto-friendly & Low in Sugar

Another biggie about 100% agave spirits is being gluten-free and keto-friendly. 100% agave tequilas have no gluten and are keto-friendly as they have no-carbs.

This advantage no only applies to tequila but to all agave spirits. Therefore feel free to enjoy a glass of tequila if you are looking for a gluten-free and/or keto-friendly spirit.

When it comes to sugars tequila has a mere 97 calories per shot.

Don Julio is Kosher

Good news for our Jewish friends: Don Julio is a Kosher tequila. SIlver (Blanco), Reposado and Añejo are labeled with a K.

Is Don Julio Tequila Mexican-owned?

In 2014 Don Julio was sold to Diageo following a trend of big Mexican alcohol producers getting sold to foreign corporations.

Herradura was acquired by Jack Daniel’s, Corona to AB InBev and Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma (XX Beers) to Heineken.

Diageo is a British gigantic corporation in the spirits business. Johnnie Walker is the flagship brand followed by a dozen of other well recognizable brands such as Buchanan’s, J&B, Guinness, Baileys, Ciroc, Smirnoff and so forth.

Don Julio Tequila

The history of Don Julio tequila begins in 1942 when a 17-year-old boy had a vision to craft top-notch tequilas.

Don Julio González received a loan from a local businessman and immediately got into business. In 1957 La Primavera Distillery was built in Los Altos de Jalisco.

Always choosing quality over quantity, Don Julio paid attention to every single detail: he personally made sure each agave was planted with enough room to grow and then chose only the most succulent parts of the plant.

A pioneer in all areas, even when it comes to the size of tequila bottles, Don Julio designed a short, square-shaped tequila bottle as opposed to the classic tall bottles that made it hard to see guests across the table.

Handcrafted and distilled at La Primavera Distillery still today, Don Julio tequilas are made from 100% blue agave, which are harvested after 7-10 years by expert jimadores.

In 2014 the company was acquired by Diageo. That is a name that says nothing but surely you are familiar with the Johnnie Walker brand. Diageo owns tons of brands in a wide variety of spirits.