Every Cazadores Tequila, Ranked

One of Mexico's most widely recognized tequila brands, Cazadores, was born almost a century ago: in 1922, to be exact. It was tequila-maker Don José María Bañuelos who started it all with an incomparable tequila recipe. Legend has it that he safeguarded it in the walls of his house until his grandson Félix found it. It was Félix who built a distillery in 1973, ready to share the secret of Cazadores with the world.

What makes Cazadores so special? Based in Arandas, in the Jalisco Highlands, the brand uses 100% Weber agave — the holy grail of tequila — to produce its spirits and does not add any sugar or additives. The original recipe from 1922 still rules at Cazadores, as does a process that begins with agaves grown for six to eight years. Instead of cooking the plants, their juices are extracted through a 24-step diffusion process, after which comes something even more peculiar: fermentation to the sound of Mozart. The result: five types of tequila — a blanco, reposado, añejo, añejo cristalino, and extra añejo — plus a coffee liquor, represented by a stag, an animal that roams the agave fields. 

Given a passion for tequila, I was thrilled to receive samples of these five tequilas, plus a bottle of the brand's coffee liquor, Cazadores Café, from the Cazadores team to sip, review, and rank. While doing so, I considered each bottle's qualities, as well as their performance against similar products on the market. 

Where to buy Cazadores tequila

Whether you're a Cazadores fan or are curious to try your first sip, there is good news: Cazadores tequila is quite easy to find across the United States. From restaurants, hotels, and bars to liquor stores, supermarkets, and even smaller convenience stores, it's highly likely that there is a bottle of Cazadores near you. The easiest way to spot the stag-marked label is to check out the brand's website, enter your zip code, and find the outlet or shop closest to you.

You can also purchase a bottle of Cazadores — or all six of them — through online retailers. The brand's website is also a great way to find out which retailer has the item you're looking for, including other products like Cazadores ready-to-drink canned cocktails like Cazadores RTD Margarita Spicy and Cazadores RTD Paloma. As far as the tequila line goes, Cazadores bottles range in price, beginning around $22 and rising to approximately $70 for the extra añejo. That price point makes this a relatively affordable tequila for connoisseurs and new appreciators alike.

6. Cazadores Café

Cazadores Café is the brand's latest release, a coffee liquor made with Cazadores Blanco tequila, agave nectar, and roasted coffee. On the first encounter with Cazadores Café, a rich, chocolate-colored liquid and the scent of coffee were found. As taking the first sip, everything was confirmed: the liquor is sweet, boasting notes of coffee and chocolate, as well as that note of agave, courtesy of the blanco tequila. Cazadores Café is ideal as an after-dinner drink, celebrating two of Mexico's star products — tequila and coffee — as well as the art of lingering around the table, enjoying drinks and conversation. Its lower ABV (33%) also makes it a great option for those who might want to forgo the more potent digestifs.

The most prominent drawback of this liqueur is that it might be a tad too sweet for some; however, serving it on the rocks is a perfect way to lighten it up. The crew at Cazadores also suggests using it in an espresso martini, which sounds like an excellent use for a tequila that does have a bit going for it. As for other uses, here is a million-dollar idea: how about drizzling it on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream?

5. Cazadores Blanco

Blanco tequila is tequila at its purest. It is the best way to explore any brand or distillery's work, as it is not aged and allows you to get a true sense of the quality of the agave, the production process, and the talent of the master distillers. Cazadores Blanco boasts the clear color of blanco tequila and a bright, citrusy aroma that immediately awakens the nose.

My first sip of the Cazadores blanco expression had the same effect: I found grassy, vegetal notes, including rosemary and thyme, as well as the same notes of citrus that beckoned earlier. The citrus prevails through the finish, and so I suggest sipping it neat or on the rocks with a twist of lime. As for its place on this list, I can attribute that to a taste that might be a bit alcohol-toward for some palates. Cazadores Blanco is ideal for mixing in classic tequila-based cocktails, especially lighter ones with citrusy elements, like a margarita or a Paloma. At around $20 for a 750-milliliter bottle, think of it as the perfect party ally, and have it on hand to prepare crowd-pleasing cocktails without worrying about spending a ton of money on a mixing tequila.

4. Cazadores Añejo Cristalino

Cazadores Añejo Cristalino begins as tequila that spends a year in new American oak barrels, becoming añejo tequila. After the aging process, the liquid is slowly filtered, removing the color usually found in añejos while maintaining aroma and flavor. Cristalinos have become quite trendy over the past few years, so I was excited to try what Cazadores had to offer when it joined the party in 2020.

The crystal-clear spirit welcomed me with a sweet aroma that granted us notes of cooked agave, chocolate, pear, and honeysuckle. On the palate, I also found notes of wood, vanilla, and cinnamon. According to the Cazadores website, this tequila also boasts notes of mellow wood, almonds, and green apples, which were not so prominent. The tequila felt warm and creamy, and my suggestion would be to store the bottle in the freezer for a few hours before uncorking it. A nicely chilled cristalino offers a contrast between cozy flavors and cool sipping temperatures. 

This bottle's ranking has less to do with how it compares to others in the Cazadores lineup and is more related to the cristalino positioning among competitor brands. Simply put, the Cazadores Añejo Cristalino is not as premium as competing spirits in its category. Still, it does hold an edge, budget-wise: a bottle of Cazadores Añejo Cristalino stands at around $45, while you'll shell out about $66 for a bottle of 1800 cristalino, or up to $85 for Don Julio 70.

3. Cazadores Reposado

I officially entered favorites territory when tasting the Cazadores Reposado. This aged tequila gets its lovely traits — color, scent, and flavors — from the 100% Weber agave it's born from and an aging period in new American oak barrels, which can last between two months and a year. After admiring the liquid's light-amber color, I took a whiff and caught aromas of honey, vanilla, oak, and white pepper, which were found again upon sipping. The Cazadores website also mentions notes of tropical fruits, yet these traits were not quite as clear. For that reason, it remains firmly in the middle of the pack of Cazadores lineup. 

Still, this bottle succeeds at being versatile. I found this reposado to be great for sipping, perhaps before a meal or on a slow afternoon. Those who are only getting acquainted with the world of sipping tequilas should find a great friend in this reposado — and a wallet-friendly one, too, at around $38 a bottle. After using it to prepare a pickle margarita, it's clear that this bottle is also fantastic for cocktails —  the way the sweetness plays with brine is true love.

2. Cazadores Añejo

Cazadores Añejo ranks high on the list thanks to its sweet and smoky profile. This spirit spends between one and three years in new American barrels, which grants it rich, complex notes. With its beautiful amber hue, Cazadores Añejo welcomed me with warm, sweet aromas of chocolate, caramel, and almond syrup. On the palate, I found notes of cinnamon, oak, almond, caramel, and a hint of burnt tobacco.

The Cazadores website also mentions notes of dried fruits and recommends sipping this tequila neat, which I agree with strongly. It was interesting to read some user reviews online and find that some drinkers found notes of whiskey, which confirms my theory that añejos are a good gateway for whiskey lovers to discover the world of agave. It's no surprise that añejos are popular as digestifs, thanks to their sweet, smooth profiles. That's why I decided to pair this añejo with a slice of chocolate cake and found that the combo worked beautifully. Priced at around $43 dollars — up to $20 less than some competitors — it's an excellent choice when it comes to a sipping reposado that won't break the bank. With that in mind, it's a bit higher in cost than other bottles from the Cazadores lineup; the price point may be restrictive for those looking to experience this brand for the first time.  

1. Cazadores Extra Añejo

With more than three years spent resting in new American oak barrels, this extra-aged tequila showcases the wonders that time and wood can work on a spirit. Cazadores Extra Añejo reigns supreme on the list thanks to its deep golden hue and its rich, welcoming profile — not to mention the beautiful packaging. I'm not the only fan — in 2014, it was named best extra-aged añejo tequila at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

As I smelled and sipped this tequila, I found sweet notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and peach, which brought to mind a fresh-from-the-oven cobbler. I felt validated when I checked the notes on the Cazadores website: vanilla, cinnamon, roasted apple, and nutmeg. This smooth, creamy spirit is a delight when sipped neat, yet it can also be the star of cocktails like the Cazadores High Roller Margarita or perhaps something like a tequila old fashioned that calls for a deep, powerful spirit. With a price tag between $60 and $70 (depending on the retailer), this might be the most expensive bottle in the collection, but I think it's a fair price to pay for a sweet, extra-aged liquid that deserves to be enjoyed slowly.

How each Cazadores tequila bottle was ranked

I went into this review with open eyes, noses, and mouths, ready to delve into the Cazadores universe. To test, I sipped each tequila neat, writing down the notes I found, and later comparing the findings with the brand's own website, as well as online user reviews. I also tried a few experiments, such as pairings and cocktails, to explore each tequila's range and versatility. 

To rank each bottle, I took several things into consideration. First and foremost was how each tequila expression by Cazadores compares to other brand competitors in a specific category. I also compared how well Cazadores' own tasting notes match the expressions that are prominent from each bottle. I also considered the cost of each bottle. While a higher priced option — like the añejo cristalino — wasn't implicitly a negative factor, it does make it a less likely first stop for newer tasters of Cazadores tequilas.