The annual World Tequila Awards has unveiled its top accolades. In the top spot, with the title of The World’s Best Tequila, Jalisco-based Cierto Tequila’s Reserve Collection Extra Añejo.
The Reserve Collection Extra Añejo from Cierto Tequila also snagged the title of Best Extra Añejo this year. Judges describe the spirit as having “hints of cognac blend with agave on the nose.
A great balance of wood and spirit on the tongue, while maintaining a soft, smooth texture. Classy and restrained, with a soft, gentle finish." Following this, Corazón Tequila Extra Añejo—winning gold in the Extra Añejo category.
In the Best Añejo category, top nods went to Corazón Tequila Sazerac Rye Añejo. The bottle is one of five offerings from the Jalisco-based distillery’s Expresiones collections. At 90 proof, the amber-hued spirit is aged in barrels from Buffalo Trace’s Sazerac Rye for 24 months.
At the gold level in the Best Añejo category, Lunazul’s Anejo and Primero expressions both ranked.
Corazón Tequila Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Anejo and Cierto Tequila Private Collection Añejo ranked silver.
In the bronze spot in the Best Añejo category, 818 Añejo, Mi Rancho 100% Agave Premium and Volcan De Mi Tierra Cristalino. The latter is a cristalino, an emerging category of aged tequila filtered through activated charcoal until it is crystalline, with expressive floral notes on the palate.
In the Best Blanco category, Playa Real Silver earned top spot. Following behind in the gold spot is Prospero Tequila’s Blanco. Silver winners include Satryna Blanco, Tequila Ocho Plata, and Volcan De Mi Terra Blanco. At the bronze level; Lunazul El Humoso and Cierto Tequila Private Collection Blanco.
Cierto Tequila had a good showing at this year’s awards. In addition to earning top nods in the annual competition, Cierto Tequila walked away with seven additional awards: Best Extra Anejo, along with one Gold medal, two Silver medals, and two Bronze medals.
The Best Reposado is 818 Reposado. In the gold category, Corazón Tequila Reposado (Mexico) and Cierto Tequila (United States). Playa Real Reposado, Prospero Tequila Reposado and Lunazul Reposado placed silver.
Cierto Tequila also cleaned up well at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition—the brand took home a total of nine medals at the prestigious awards, including Best in Class. Cierto Tequila produces 100% natural tequilas in the highland region of Jalisco. Cierto is owned by the Elevated Spirits Company.
How is tequila as a category faring in the time of Covid-19? The country’s beer industry has faltered—Mexico shut down all non-essential industries in March.
Beer production slowed, but tequila industry authorities were able to get the spirit categorized as an agricultural product (agave would be lost if it wasn’t harvested, further crippling the industry).
Tequila producers have seen exports grow 42% higher in Q1, in comparison to the same period of 2019. There was a 43% surge in March alone, says Panjiva, a global trade data company under S&P.
The IWSR noted that US sales of tequila grew 36% by volume between 2015 and 2019.
This year’s World Tequila Awards was held virtually, a switch-up from the normal London competition. The competition is held by The World Drinks Awards, a global awards spotlighting internationally recognized spirits categories.