8 Reposado Tequilas Between $30-$60, Tasted ‘Double Blind’

For me, few tequila expressions hit that Goldilocks zone of flavor and character like a reposado. Generally, even your most basic reposado will have the bright, green, grassy, ​​or vegetal notes of a blanco tequila, all spikey and biting like un-aged tequila tends to be, but ever so slightly mellowed out, softened, and massaged, without tasting too vanilla-forward like an añejo. There is always something to pull out of the bouquet of flavors, which makes it a great candidate for the old blind taste test, where we’re able to put our biases about bottle shape, label design, and brand behind us in an effort to really zero in on the complex characters of our chosen expressions.

For this test, I had my girlfriend grab eight bottles in the $30-$60 range — which I feel is the sweet spot on price for a good-to-great reposado — and put them head to head in a blind taste test. The only rules for selection were price tier and expression, so I went into this tasting not even knowing what was on the menu, which made guessing a fool’s errand. I tried, but only guessed two of the eight correctly.

Which only proves I need to drink more tequila. Right?

Let’s drink.

Part 1: The Tasting

Taste 1

Dane River

Sweet and inviting on the nose with fragrant tones of vanilla, caramel, and honey. Strangely, on the palate almost none of those qualities are expressed. Instead, things shift into a much more earthy territory with a zesty cracked black pepper flavor that settles into a smooth oakiness. It’s lightly spicy on the after-taste.

Not bad but I do miss those sweeter flavors teased on the nose.

Taste 2

Repo Blind
Dane River

There is a sort of sour yogurt smell to this one, it’s very pungent. Not the most inviting, I get a hint of white pepper with a lingering cork-like burn. It really comes across as the type of tequila you should shoot not savor.

Taste 3

Repo Blind
Dane River

This reposado had a beautifully faint color, like light straw with an inviting chocolate scent. On the palate the flavors were mellow, traces of toasted agave danced around notes of vanilla and caramel before finishing with a sizzling burn.

Taste 4

Repo Blind
Dane River

A beautifully fragrant mix of butterscotch and oak on the nose with a silky mouthfeel and flavors of coconut, cherry, and roasted agave on the palate. This one had a shifting flavor that stayed interesting and begged for more sips. To which I obliged, because I mean come on, who wouldn’t?

Taste 5

Repo Blind
Dane River

Much sweeter and a little less focused than the last taste. It’s initially sweet with caramel and vanilla flavors dominating before settingtling into a blunt woody finish. I think if sipped in a different order, I might be less hard on this one, but it’s just coming on a little strong compared to the delicate flavors of the previous taste.

Taste 6

Repo Blind
Dane River

I guess the sweet reposados ​​are going to keep coming because this one is also heavily dominated by sweet dessert-like flavors. But it hits more like a sledgehammer than taste five. It’s heavily chocolate on the nose and palate, with a cool minty finish that fizzles out into a black peppercorn aftertaste. It’s an interesting journey of flavors, but it feels a little all over the place to me.

It’ll definitely color any cocktail you mix it in, so if you’re looking for a more neutral base to build off of, look elsewhere.

Taste 7

Repo Blind
Dane River

There is a very inviting quality about this one. It’s sweet without delving into dessert flavors, think less chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch, and more fruity flavors like white pear, apple, and apricot. There is a buttery sumptuousness here that finishes on woody oak notes.

Taste 8

Repo Blind
Dane River

In another class entirely. This is noticeably smoother, more complex, and balanced than the other bottles in this roundup. It’s similar to taste four in its subtle expression of flavors which include roasted agave, zesty citrus, vanilla, and a delicate spicy finish that lingers and tiptoes across the palate on the aftertaste.

It’s truly one of the best sips of tequila I’ve had in a nice long while.

Part 2: The Ranking

8. Los Sundays Reposado (Taste 3)

Repo Blind
Los Sundays

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $38.99

The Tequila:

Los Sundays, despite its boringly modern label and pandering marketing (they like to note their tequila is ‘gluten free’ — which, no shit?) the brand makes some solid tequila, with the slightly aged reposado being the best expression produced to date. For this reposado tequila, Los Sundays rests their blanco tequila in American Oak whiskey barrels from Tennesse for just under 12 months, giving this tequila a very mellow flavor that works as a solid cocktail base or simple sipper.

It just didn’t stand out in this blind taste test. It came across as blunt and a bit boring by comparison. There was a mass-produced quality to this bottle that the others didn’t have.

The Bottom Line:

It’s mellow and adds character to a good cocktail but for the money, you can pick up a more characterful bottle.

7. Dano’s Dangerous Tequila Reposado (Taste 6)

Repo Blind
Dano

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $49.99

The Tequila:

Dano’s has probably one of the worst names and bottle designs in all of the tequila world which is a real shame because, despite its garish exterior, this is some good nectar. Aged in virgin white oak barrels for 9 months and prepared in small batches at the Casa Reyes Barajas distillery (NOM 1507), Dano’s has a toastier quality to it, but the chocolate flavors that dominate it came across as too blunt into some of the more subtle expressions of the other bottles.

The Bottom Line:

If you want a reposado that has a distinctively toasted flavor on the finish that isn’t present in other tequila in this price range, Dano’s is for you. It serves as a wonderful base for a complex spicy cocktail, but it goes a bit heavy on the sweet notes. Something to keep in mind if you’re making a bright margarita.

6. Siempre Tequila Reposado (Taste 7)

Repo Blind
Siempre

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $38.99

The Tequila:

Siempre jumps out with a different flavor than a lot of the other tequilas on here, it’s fruity but not dessert-like, and features a strong woody finish. This reposado is barrel-aged for six months in ex Jack Daniels barrels and produced using an open-air fermentation process from a blending of 50/50 highland and lowland tequilas.

The flavors, while unique and tasty, just come together a bit more muddled in comparison to everything ranked higher. So this will have to die in the middle of the list.

The Bottom Line:

Fruity, woody, and unique. I’d use this in a more experimental cocktail rather than a classic margarita or paloma.

Tres Generaciones Reposado (Taste 1)

Repo Blind
Total Wine

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $47

The Tequila:

Hailing from NOM 1102 Tequila Sauza distillery, Tres Generaciones is produced using 100% blue Weber agave and is triple distilled for an enhanced smoothness before being rested in American oak barrels for a minimum of four months. That smoothness is easily noticeable and always appreciated, but for this ranking that silky mouthfeel wasn’t enough to push it into the top spots.

Still a great bottle all around though.

The Bottom Line:

If you like your tequila smooth and supple, Tres Generaciones will get you there.

Severo Tequila Reposado (Taste 3)

Repo Blind
Severo

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $52.99

The Tequila:

A bit closer to the $60 range, Severo really tastes like a premium product. The reposado is rested for 10 months in American oak barrels and that extra time in the barrel really helps to smoothen out the flavors and mellow out the texture. It’s one of those tequilas that is dangerously easy to drink.

The Bottom Line:

Super smooth, mellow, and expressive. This is the sort of bottle you’re going to want to keep on your shelf for those days you’re looking to impress. Company or yourself!

818 Tequila Reposado (Taste 5)

Repo Blind
Total Wine

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $52.99

The Tequila

Every time I have a small party or gathering of friends, I know one of two things are going to happen when I break out of the 818. Either people are going to get excited when I tell them it’s Kendall Jenner’s tequila or, if I’m Dealing with a group of tequila snobs, I purposely won’t tell them, pour them a shot blind, and watch as they gush and praise what they’re tasting, only to backstep once I say “it’s Kendall Jenner’s tequila.”

I’m sorry if this is hard for you to hear but, 818 is good, actually, great tequila, so stop being a weird asshole and just accept it and you’ll always have a sweet-forward people-pleasing tequila. Having said that, I won’t say 818 is for everyone, if you prefer earthy, peppery, or more generally biting notes, 818 is going to come across as too sweet and soft to your palate. And unfortunately for 818, it was tasted alongside the more subtle El Tesoro, which gets our number two spot.

The Bottom Line:

A real people pleaser, 818 is a pleasure to drink, it’s naturally sweet, balanced, and super smooth working as both a great sipping and mixing tequila.

El Tesoro Reposado( Taste 4)

Repo Blind
Total Wine

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $37.99

The Tequila:

I’m never surprised to find El Tesoro near the top spot of any blind taste test or ranking, the label just knows how to craft a great tequila, regardless of expression. A Double Gold International Spirits Challenge winner and Ultimate Spirits Challenge finalist, El Tesoro’s Reposado are aged for nine to eleven months in oak ex-bourbon barrels, imparting a balanced blending of smokey oaky flavors and natural sweetness.

The Bottom Line:

Complex without being muddled, transparent without being boring, El Tesoro’s Reposado is the perfect base to build a three to four-ingredient cocktail over and never disappoints. For under $40, you won’t find a finer tequila.

Fortaleza Reposado (Taste 8)

Repo Blind
Fortalezza

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $59.98

The Tequila:

It pains me to see the number one spot taken by the most expensive bottle in this roundup. Coming in at just under $60, Fortaleza’s Reposado is on the pricey end, one of the advantages of doing a blind taste test is that we get to ignore the bias that a high price tag imparts, but that price is earned here, this tequila is excellent by all measures. Produced at NOM 1493 Tequila Los Abuelos, Fortaleza’s reposado is made using natural spring water from the Tequila valley, and is stone crushed, double distilled, and fermented in open-air wood tanks.

Each lot is individually aged in American oak for increased quality control. It’s worth it.

The Bottom Line:

Our blind taste test winner, Fortalezza is in another class entirely. It’ll change the way you taste other tequila, it’s subtle, smooth, and complex with shifting flavors that tease your taste buds in a way that pulls you in for more. The level of craft here is noticeable and notable.

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