We remember the days when a big tequila splurge meant ordering the $13 Cadillac margarita. The stakes have gone up just a tiny bit since then, and in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we give you a glimpse of the 8 most expensive tequilas on the market. Note: These are listed from cheapest to priciest, so read on for the big reveal.
8. 1800 Milenio
Average retail price for a bottle: $225
Why it's so expensive: This tequila launched in 2000 in celebration of the new millennium. It's made with Blue Weber Agave and "avant-garde aging and distillation techniques," and the extra-aged tequila matures for a short period in French oak Cognac barrels to create its soft, balanced, unique flavor. The slim, pyramidal glass bottle is meant to showcase its dark amber color. Photo courtesy of 1800 Milenio.
7. Tequila Don Julio Real 100% Blue Agave
Average retail price for a bottle: $350
Why it's so expensive:The highest-end tequila in Don Julio's portfolio, this one is designated an Extra Añejo, a new classification reserved for tequilas aged for three or more years. It's made from fully matured and ripened estate-grown blue agave and aged in American white oak barrels. Photo courtesy of Don Julio Real.
6. Clase Azul Ultra
Average Retail Price for a Bottle: $2000
Why it's so expensive: The company produces limited quantities of its Ultra in the town of Jesús María Ayotlán, one of the highest altitude points in Mexico's Los Altos highlands region. The hearts of mature agave plants, known as "piñas," are slow-cooked in a brick oven for up to 72 hours. The tequila is eventually aged for five years in sherry wood casks from Spain. As for the bottles, they take two weeks to create and each one is individually painted by artisans in the village of Santa María Canchesdá and then adorned with pure platinum, a .925 sterling silver agave medallion, and a 24-carat gold label. Photo courtesy of Clase Azul.
5. Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario
Average Retail Price: $2,500
Why it's so expensive:To mark its 250th birthday, Cuervo created this "ultra-aged" tequila by harvesting blue agave from a single crop field it had planted 250 years prior, aging the agave in French and American oak barrels, blending it with a special stash of reserve tequilas in its cellars, and aging it another year in Spanish sherry barrels. Photo courtesy of Cuervo.com.
4. Dos Lunas Tequila Grand Reserve Extra Anejo
Average Retail Price: $3000
Why It's So Expensive:This tequila is aged 10 years in Spanish sherry oak casks; according to the company, the extreme aging process produces a tequila that "rivals cognac in sophistication and refinement." Oh, and it comes in a hand-blown, hand-numbered Baccarat crystal decanter, of which only 1,000 were produced. Photo courtesy of DosLunas.com.
3. AsomBroso Black Pearl
Average retail price for a bottle: $6,800
Why It's So Expensive: This brand-new offering was created by Ricardo Gamarra, a Detroit native who started the company and is also behind AsomBroso's ultra-premium Del Porto, which retails for around $2,000. The Black Pearl is barrel-rested at a secret winery location—in barrels that were once used to hold a mix of French wine varietals, Portuguese port, and even Tennessee whiskey—in order to create a “vintage” 11-Year Extra Añejo. It's bottled in a hand-blown Murano crystal decanter made by Italian artist Luciano Gambaro, and the tequila itself is actually ruby-red in color, thanks, in part, to those wine barrels. Photo courtesy of AsomBroso Black Pearl.
2. Patron En Lalique
Average retail price for a bottle: $7,500
Why It's So Expensive: Only 500 bottles exist of this tequila, a blend of the "oldest and rarest" Patron tequilas. And part of the high price tag is thanks to the fact that it's bottled in a crystal decanter handmade by French crystal makers Lalique. The tequila—which has the essence of sweet caramel, honey, and dried fruit and nuts—also comes in a handmade leather display case with gemstone details, along with a leatherbound book and video explaining how it's made. Photo courtesy of Patrontequila.com.
1. Tequila Ley .925 Diamond Sterling
Average retail price for a bottle: $3.5 million
Why It's So Expensive: Mostly because of its platinum bottle, which includes 4,000 hand-set diamonds totaling a ridiculous 328 carats. The bottle took 10 years to develop and four years to complete, according to the company, but the tequila's no slouch either. It's made with a blend of 100% agave tequilas aged for three years, six years, and nine years. The bottle has been sent off on a world tour, hoping to attract bidders. The last version created by the company (that was only made of platinum and white gold) sold for $225,000 in 2006, setting a Guinness world record.
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