You Have to Try These Tequilas Finished in Bourbon Barrels This Summer

tequila in bourbon barrels
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We know it can be hard to take a break from whiskey, but Corazón tequila has made it easy to take a break without venturing too far from your favorites with this year’s Expresiones del Corazón collection.

Corazón Tequila, which shares parent company Sazerac with Buffalo Trace, annually releases the limited edition Expresiones del Corazón line of rare tequilas. Most of these are reposado or añejo tequilas aged in ex-whiskey barrels that once held bourbons like Buffalo Trace, Pappy van Winkle, George T. Stagg, and others.

This year’s releases included tequilas aged in Sazerac Rye barrels, Buffalo Trace barrels, and George T. Stagg barrels. For those of us who can’t even get a reliable stream of some of those whiskeys, a tequila finished in them can be a real treat when done right.

A well-aged añejo tequila will strike a nice balance between the flavors of the barrels it has rested in and the flavors of the agaves themselves. That means a nice balance of lighter, fresher flavors like citrus, sweet potato, green apple, and cooked agave, and deeper flavors like vanilla, caramel, toasted oak, and nuts.

We loved two bourbon-finished bottles in particular, both of which are on sale this month and, depending on the state where you’re making your purchase, will likely be between $80 and $100 a bottle. Make sure to safeguard your supply as best as you can—they rarely recreate the same releases year to year, so once it’s gone it’s gone. Here are the bottles you need to try.

Expresiones Corazón_BTD Old 22_Añejo_Bottle
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Corazón Buffalo Trace Distillery Old 22 ($80)

Aged for 22 months in Buffalo Trace barrels that held whiskey for 22 years, Old 22 is a deliciously well-balanced tequila. It starts grassy with notes of lemon and asparagus, before getting brighter and fruiter with notes of tequila and a meyer lemon note on the finish. The agave is the main player here, although notes of vanilla and caramel balance the otherwise lively agave flavors really well. We recommend to try it neat, or over ice.

Expresiones Corazón_GT Stagg_Anejo Bottle
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Corazón George T. Stagg Añejo ($80)

The George T. Stagg edition is also aged for 22 months in ex-bourbon barrels, but the wood takes a lot more control with this release. We got tons of butterscotch on the nose alongside yammy notes of cooked agave. On the palate, it’s a slightly different story: more creme brulee and vanilla, with a tiny hint of chocolate and green apple. This one is a lot more syrupy and darker, and of the two, it’s our favorite. We’d say drink it neat, but if you become curious about how it would perform in and old fashioned, well, we won’t stop you.