2011 K&L Awards – Best Tequila of the Year

Published on December 13, 2011

This was a tough category for us to pick just one.  Both of us had to declare a tie for our final decision and so we ended up with four different top tequila choices.  All four are entirely deserving of the title.

David Driscoll picks: ArteNOM 1079 Blanco Tequila – Jacob Lustig’s project of bottling tequilas by their distillery (rather than by brand) would have been fun to watch even if the tequilas weren’t good. However, he knows his stuff and he wasn’t choosing his producers at random. He knew right where he wanted to go and this blanco from Rancho Buenavista distillery is probably the best blanco tequila I’ve ever had. So clean, pure, and vibrant. It’s the kind of bottle where people taste it and say, “Wow, I never knew I liked tequila so much.” It’s not you, honey. It’s the tequila.”

David Driscoll also picks: ArteNOM 1414 Reposado Tequila – One of the most important things I learned about tequila production from Jacob Lustig is that tequila producers chapitalize their must.  Legally, they can add agave nectar to the washback, increase the sugar, and get more alcohol from their base.  This also results in a sweeter, heavier spirit and when you taste the 1414 you realize what unchapitalized tequila tastes like.  You would never have know their was a difference until tasting this reposado.  It has all the flavor, the spice, the nuance, and the beauty, just without that fat texture on the mouthfeel.  It makes a HUGE difference and, now that I know there is one, I’ll be taking my tequila without extra glucose.

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