Far from just a simple summertime margarita vehicle, a good tequila is a complex, warming spirit capable of warding off the freeze from the worst wintertime blizzard.

If you’re a fan of fine tequila or need a gift for someone who is, curl up in front of a fire, pour a dram of Mexico’s finest, and discover the hottest bottles on the shelf right now. Trust us, the agave lover in your life will thank you.

Tequila Ocho Reposado Barrel Select Widow Jane 2022

91 Proof (45.5 % ABV); $75

Pairing the earthy pepper of a beautifully made craft tequila with the delicious vanilla notes of Widow Jane Bourbon is a recipe for deliciousness, and this Tequila Ocho Reposado Barrel Select Widow Jane 2022 bottling indeed delivers. Tequila Ocho’s approach to its terroir tequila has always been hands-off, or what they call “minimally aged,” believing that the natural taste of the overripe agave should be the focus of each sip. But aging it for two months in Widow Jane’s casks creates a more profound flavor featuring baking spices while still keeping the tequila-forward flavor, making this a superbly sippable tequila. Only 1000 cases have been made, so find a bottle before they disappear!

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El Tesoro Tequila 85th Anniversary Extra Añejo

85 Proof (42.5% ABV); $500

Carlos Camarena, the 3rd generation master distiller at El Tesoro Tequila, wanted to do something exceptional to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Jalisco, Mexico’s acclaimed Destilería La Alteña. He came up with an inspired, limited release Extra Añejo, that would be the pride of any aficionado’s collection. What makes this release so notable are the barrels it’s aged in. Not just average bourbon barrels but the highly prized Booker’s Bourbon 30th Anniversary bottling barrels. Some of these barrels held whiskey for 16 years and combined, all of them helped produce this fully mature tequila with notes of vanilla, warm spices, and dark fruit.

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Tequila Fortaleza Winter Blend 2022

91.4 Proof (45.7% ABV); $115

In 1976, Don Francisco Javier Sauza sold his eponymous tequila brand, Sauza, drastically changing the trajectory of his family’s future, especially that of his grandson, Guillermo Erickson Sauza. Instead of taking part in his family’s legacy, he began creating his own brand, Tequila Fortaleza. But, in 2002, using his family’s old, outdated equipment and distillery, he distilled the first batch of Tequila Fortaleza, and his new trajectory was set. Now, this small distillery makes some of the most sought-after tequila on the market, and its annual “Winter Blend” Reposado release is anticipated year after year. This year’s additive-free, 2x copper pot distilled reposado rests in various barrels, including French Oak, American White Oak, Sherry, Bourbon, and Hungarian Oak, to create a smooth combination of vanilla, almond, and peaches, with smoke, pepper, and chile.

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G4 Reposado Tequila

80 Proof (40% ABV); $52

This year’s best value (read, really underpriced) has got to be G4’s Reposado Tequila release. Founded by acclaimed, 4th generation distiller Felipe Camerena in El Pandillo, Jalisco, G4 has been a leader in the artisanal, craft tequila movement, with innovative programs like using captured rainwater to distill and producing with a minimal carbon footprint. Twice distilled and rested for six months in French Oak and used whiskey barrels, this Gold-Medal winning spirit features earthy flavors and notes, like grass, straw, and peppers, reminiscent of the region that produced it, but mixed with the sweetness of citrus, like peaches and lime.

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Mijenta Añejo Gran Reserva

80 Proof (40% ABV); $200

Mijenta’s limited-bottle release of their Añejo Gran Reserva starts with a small amount of their three-time-distilled Blanco set aside for an extraordinary, very long journey through a wood maturation process unlike those by any other brand. The tequila spends 18 months in four barrel varieties: American Oak, French Okay, Acacia, and Cherry Wood. Each of these imparts a flavor profile. But since it doesn’t spend the entire aging cycle in any of them, it escapes without any noticeable woody taste. Instead, you will find complex and deep citrus flavors, spices, dark fruits, and caramelized agave.

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Siete Leguas Single Barrel Extra Añejo

80 Proof (40% ABV); $519

All you need to know about Siete Leguas Tequila is that when Patron was founded, it was Siete making it (in fact, it was one of Siete Leguas’ tequilas that gave the Patron founders the idea for a premium tequila in the first place). The bottom line is that they know their stuff when it comes to tequila. That is why their Single Barrel offering is so enticing. This fantastic, two-time copper pot distilled tequila is aged for a minimum of eight years in American White Oak used Bourbon barrels. Sitting that long really manipulates the flavor of this spirit into something more akin to a smoky, peaty Scotch rather than a tequila. This is a fine-sipping tequila with sweet notes of vanilla, raisins, molasses, and dried fruit, combined with caramelized agave and oak.

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Fuenteseca Cosecha 2018 Huerta Singular Blanco Tequila

89.6 Proof (44.8% ABV); $160

Harvesting overripe agave grown in some of the most mineral-rich earth in Jalisco, Mexico, Fuenteseca Cosecha is one of those brands nobody in the bar has heard of but the bartender, and that should tell you something. The agave used in this bottling is from a single field (Huerta Singular), ensuring they were all affected by the same soil in the same ways, creating a consistent taste. After distillation, Fuenteseca Cosecha rests their Blanco for two years in stainless steel. The result is one of the smoothest tequilas you will ever try, featuring distinct agave flavors meshing harmoniously with earthy notes, spicy peppercorn, and citrus.

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Casa Dragones Reposado Mizunara

80 Proof (40% ABV); $170

New for 2022 is Casa Dragones’ reposado expression. Named after the horse-mounted soldiers who helped Mexico gain independence from Spain in the 19th century, Casa Dragones uses only 100% Blue Weber Agave harvested from the Tequila Valley in Jalisco, Mexico. The natural richness of the soil creates a delicious earthy flavor that forms the backbone of their spirits. The reposado is no different. Rested up to a year exclusively in Japanese Mizunara oak barrels, the tequila is truly a decadent expression (Mizunara oak barrels are not easy to make, as the wood must be at least 200 years old before it can be used). The result is an exceptionally smooth tequila with slight notes of apricot and butterscotch.

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Maestro Dobel 50 Silver Oak Extra Añejo Anniversary edition

80 Proof (40% ABV); $1,000

Maestro Dobel created this gorgeous luxury tequila to celebrate founder Juan Dobel’s 50th birthday. Aged first in American oak whiskey barrels and then finished in Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, this Extra Añejo Anniversary edition is beyond complex, layered with beautifully balanced notes of dark fruit and spices, and capped by a slight pepper at the finish. Sure, this tequila is expensive, but it’s also a rare and unique liquid serious collectors will cherish.

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Nosotros Tequila Cider Añejo

80 Proof (40% ABV); $325

Aging (or at least finishing) tequila in different barrels is a trend that’s become mainstream. Hell, even the most pedestrian brands pour their juice into used whiskey barrels to impart complex new flavors. Nosotros Tequila, though they use whiskey barrels, are the first to use wet apple cider barrels (which themselves were used whiskey barrels from Woodford Reserve, yeah, it gets convoluted). The barrels, originating from Corvallis, Oregon’s 2 Towns Ciderhouse, impart the 20-month aged tequila with notes of (guess what?) apple, plus agave, dark spices, and almonds. The result is a tequila begging to be sipped on Christmas Eve as the kids open their presents (or maybe after, you want to enjoy it, after all).

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Clint Lanier is a professor in the English Department of New Mexico State University. He is also the co-author of Drunken History, Bucket List Bars: Historic Saloons, Pubs, and Dives of America, and Craptails: the World’s Worst, Weirdest, and Most Disturbing Drinks. He has also written about spirits and travel for The Huffington Post, Fodors, Eater, and Liquor.com.