1800 Tequila is a popular brand and it is perfect for a variety of cocktails. This is a tequila that you can find in almost any liquor store and it's reasonably priced. Best of all, it has a clean, smooth taste.
If you enjoy tequila and are looking for a good mid-range brand to keep in your bar on a regular basis, 1800 Tequila is an excellent choice. Many tequila drinkers compare it to Patron, but 1800 comes at a lower price. In fact, many drinkers happen to think that 1800 is just a little bit better.
Is 1800 Tequila the best? Probably not because there are some very fine tequilas that outshine it. However, when it comes to reliability, affordability, and mixability, it's a very nice option.
The Making of 1800 Tequila
The production process for 1800 Tequila is very standard in the tequila industry. It follows most of the traditional processes and techniques followed by other tequila brands, including the use of 100% Blue Weber agave.
What may surprise you is that it is produced by Jose Cuervo at the same distillery—Casa Cuervo—where the biggest name in tequila is made. Cuervo is located just outside the town of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico in the heart of tequila country.
The old distillery complex is the perfect, picturesque style that we think of when it comes to traditional Mexican architecture and the culture surrounding tequila. If you get a chance to tour it, you will not regret the experience (and Sauza is right across the road).
Casa Cuervo is also home to other tequila brands, including Gran Centenario, Maestro Dobel, and Tenampa. 1800 Tequila was first released in 1975 and is considered to be one of the first premium tequilas offered in the United States.
When making tequila, the agave plants are harvested until mature, which is around 8 to 12 years. They are then baked in the distillery's massive traditional clay brick ovens before the juice is extracted. 1800 Tequila is distilled twice in copper pot stills, then either aged or bottled.
Offerings from 1800 Tequila
1800 Tequila has a relatively standard portfolio of tequilas and it includes all of the main players we expect from the bigger tequila brands. The silver (or blanco) tequila is the benchmark and one of the better options for this style and price range. The aged tequilas are very nice as well and remain under that $40 mark where many of us draw the line for every day or even specialty liquor.
- 1800 Tequila Reserva Silver: The base of the tequila portfolio, this is a great tequila for mixed drinks and is reasonably priced at around $25. 40 proof.
- 1800 Tequila Reserva Reposado: Aged for at least six months in oak, you will find this to be a fantastic reposado and few can beat the quality for the price of around $30. 40 proof.
- 1800 Tequila Reserva Anejo: Spending at least 14 months in the barrel, this is a nice introduction to well-aged tequilas at around $40 a bottle. 40 proof.
- 1800 Reserva Coconut: The brand's only venture into flavored tequila, this is their silver tequila infused with 'natural coconut flavor.' 35 proof.
- 1800 Milenio Extra Anejo: Aged longer than the regular anejo, this tequila is finished in former cognac casks and has a price tag to reflect that of around $125. 40 proof.
- 1800 Coleccion Extra Anejo: Only released during the best years of the tequila's production, this well-aged tequila is extremely rare and can sell for upwards of $1600. 40 proof.
- 1800 Artist Series: 1800 Tequila regularly offers special limited edition bottles of their silver tequila and each features the artwork of some of the world's best contemporary artists.
- 1800 The Ultimate Margarita: Surprisingly, 1800 produces a ready-to-drink margarita that is actually enjoyable. If you're looking to take the easy route on your margaritas, this is one I can recommend.
At one point (around 2008), 1800 did play around with a higher-proof tequila called 1800 Select Silver. This was a flavorful 100-proof tequila, but it did not last long and the brand reverted back to the 80-proof standard for all of their main bottlings.
How to Enjoy 1800 Tequila
You really cannot go wrong when it comes to drinking 1800 Tequila. The Silver is perfect for almost every tequila cocktail you can think of, including our favorites like the Margarita, Tequila Sunrise, and Paloma. It also makes a decent tequila shot.
While I have tasted superior aged tequilas, the Reposado and Anejo from 1800 are good. They too can be mixed into your favorite tequila drinks or enjoyed on their own. If cost has prohibited you from mixing with aged tequilas, you can turn to these expressions without fear of wasting money. It will at least give you an idea of what to expect from other aged tequilas.