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Nov 13, 201211:40 AMThe Telegraph

The Premier Blog of the West

Editor's Choice: Tequila Triplet

Nov 13, 2012 - 11:40 AM
Editor's Choice: Tequila Triplet

When it comes to tequila, we once got some very sound advice: Don't waste your time on the cheap stuff unless you just enjoy being hungover. And much like any other spirit, there is a world of complexity, tradition and terminology to tequila that can be off-putting if you don’t know what to look for. Silver tequila (often called Plata) is the best for multi-purpose drinking — whether you’re having shots or mixed drinks it has a bright character punctuated by that distinct nose of the agave plant. But as you move farther down the color chart from Silver to Joven to Reposado to Añejo to Reserva, tequilas usually gain additional complexity from the level of aging and processing — these are for sipping straight, much like a good scotch. Bourbon and beer may be more stylish as of this writing, but there is something about tequila that is always just a little bit sexier. Here are three of our favorites:

Man in Black — Extra Añejo, $160

Kinky Friedman can now add tequilero to his ever-expanding resume of humorist, author, musican and erstwhile candidate for Texas governor. Man in Black tequila comes in silver, añejo or reposado (and all three are delightfully drinkable), but the real treat is Man in Black Extra Añejo. Good enough to rival the best from Herradura or any of the other top-flight Reservas on the market, it has a fiendishly dark amber color and smoky nose. But don’t look for your fancy-dan package or hand-scripted lettering on the bottle, because Kinky doesn’t go in for that girly stuff. Friedman calls it “The best damn tequila made,” and while we can’t attest to that, we will say its difficult to find tequila this tastes this good at this price point. www.maninblacktequila.com

Casa Dragones— Joven, $275.00

Casa Dragones, like many small-batch distillers, prides itself on its story and does its best to emphasize the handmade nature of its tequila. With many distillers it’s no more than a marketing gimmick, but one taste of Casa Dragones and you’ll believe every word. Full-nosed surprising floral flavors and mineral notes are surprising and clear in this joven tequila that has few rivals on the market. With celebrities like Oprah and Bobby Flay taking note of this distiller, you’d better get yours before inventories run out. www.casadragones.com

Leóna — Reserva, $825.00

If you’re looking for the last drink you’ll ever drink, perhaps this is it. Billing itself as "luxury with an edge" DeLeon has established a reputation with the elite Hollywood crowd, going as far as to open a decadent showroom and party spot on Melrose Avenue. It still makes great tequila, but what would Hollywood be without a few theatrics? Witness the debut of DeLeon Leóna, presented in a limited edition case complete with python-trimmed flask. Leona is available beginning December 21, 2012, the last day of civilization according to the Mayan calendar. www.deleontequila.com

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