Tequila El Tequileño bills itself as "Mexico's Best Kept Secret" but that may soon be a thing of the past. A series of awards, accolades and increased availability have raised its profile in a rapidly expanding agave-spirits marketplace.
El Tequileño was founded in 1959 by Don Jorge Salles Cuervo, a member of tequila's first family. Its name honors Santiago de Tequila, the town in Jalisco, Mexico, where the spirit was first made. The company remains family-run to this day, under the stewardship of Don Jorge's son Juan Antonio Salles, a Gran Tequilero in his own right, and his son, Master Distiller Jorge Antonio "Tony" Salles, pictured above.
In 2017, El Tequileño was acquired by Paradise Spirits who helped expand their International reach. In recent years, the company has increased the size of their La Guarreña Distillery and opened the Casa Salles Hotel Boutique, which is within walking distance of Tequila's town square.
As their reputation spread beyond Jalisco, El Tequileño began amassing an impressive collection of awards. They've won top honors at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Wine Enthusiast's Top Spirits awards and were named Agave Producer of the Year at the 2023 International Spirits Challenge.
Also at this year's ISC, El Tequileño's 'Gran Reserva' Reposado won the grand trophy in the Key Tasting Award for tequila. El Tequileño Tequila Platino, meanwhile, won Double Gold. Both bottles are currently available in our Tequila & Mezcal Shop. The company has also recently expanded its line with several limited-edition offerings, including an Extra Anejo which was aged in Jack Daniel's whiskey barrels.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF EL TEQUILENO