Tequila has exploded in popularity over the past decade – some sources say that tequila’s sale volume has grown more than 130% since 2002, with over 17 million cases sold in 2017 alone! And while great, high-quality tequila is delicious in margaritas, Palomas, and other cocktails, it isn’t until you sit down and slowly sip some neat in a glass that the real flavor comes out. Smoky, smooth, and hints of agave are what make quality tequila so delicious – and so sippable! Not to mention the best ones come in beautiful, handmade ceramic bottles; they are essentially like works of art themselves. Here are three of our favorite ceramic-bottled tequilas to try in 2019.
Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
Clase Azul is taking their premium tequila to the next level by putting it in handmade, beautifully designed ceramic and clay bottles. Each bottle is hand-sculpted and hand painted by native artisans who live in Santa Maria Canchesda, a village renowned for their master pottery skills. No two bottles are exactly identical, and each bottle takes at least two weeks to make. The Reposado is a particular favorite, at a lower price point than some of the others and housed in a beautiful white and blue ceramic bottle.
Some of the limited edition bottles were created to honor Mexico’s history or certain cultural traditions. They’re not cheap (you’ll pay up to $1700 for a bottle of limited run Clase Azul) but they’ve become collector’s items, with owners upcycling the bottles into lamps and vases.
Dos Artes Reserva Especial Extra Anejo
Dos Artes Extra Anejo Tequila is crafted with 100% Blue Weber Agave and aged 48-60 months in a blend of white oak and French oak barrels. The tequila is housed in a bright, hand-painted ceramic bottle that takes days for an individual artist to complete. These ceramic bottles have since become a true collector’s item, and for good reason – no two bottles are alike, and each one is colored slightly differently according to the artist’s preferences.
This is definitely a sipping tequila: layered with rich agave, notes of caramel, vanilla, honey, and a soft touch of oak, its overall flavor is rich, sweet, and just slightly smoky. Overall, it’s a great intro to fine sipping tequila and a good baseline for some of the higher quality tequilas out there.
Kah Reposado is a splashy new tequila packaged in hand-painted ceramic Day of the Dead-inspired skulls. Designed to pay reverence and honor to Mexico and its people, Kah’s bottles are reflective of the Day of the Dead, the 3,000-year-old Meso-American ritual honoring deceased loved ones. But it's what's under the cork that’s truly unique: 100% Blue Agave aged for 10 months in French Limousin Oak casks, it boasts subtle hints of vanilla and caramel that complement the intense agave flavor. And while most tequila is bottled at 80 proof, this one clocks in at deceptive 110. So sip carefully!
The Reposado bottle is one of the more colorful of the Kah lineup, and takes its cues from the Peruvian celebrations of “Dia de Muertos.” The bottle depicts a dance performed wearing long, dangling, upturned crucifixes and led by Satan himself. It’s done to honor the Devil, and tequila is poured on the ground as an offering to appease him and keep people safe.