Quote Originally Posted by timd View Post
It's very inexpensive here in Texas. I can get a handle for under $30, usually - and that's the Repasado.

I really, really like El Jimador - and I also like the Milagro you mention.

I've done some interesting home-aging with El Jimador that has turned out very nicely... and it seasons the barrel for some nice experiments with whiskey later.

I give the entire El Jimador line thumbs-up, but the Repasodo is my favorite.

Another super cheap one is Camarena... The reposado is quite nice. I actually sip it (not just for mixing). It's... different. Many folks frown on it because it's fairly inexpensive (under $20 for a 750), but I really enjoy it (not so much the Silver, however).
Tequila is such a tough product to buy because the distribution for the smaller brands is so varied. Here's what I would say about the major brands.

Cuervo - JCE = Garbage, JC Tradicional = Decent value for the money, JC RdF PLatino = Good, but many better values can be had for the $50-60 price rance, JC RdF Extra Anejo = Great Drink all around, but at $100-125, there's better in the price range as well. Cuervo makes some decent things, but it's rarely the best in the price range.

Sauza - Everything from the Sauza like is either a mediciney tasting mixto or a 100% agave spirit that has distinct burn when consumed straight, but makes a decent mixer. It's one of my least favorite brands. The high alcohol burn is why the guy says everything else is "for women."

Patron - The entire line is very clean and smooth, but it lacks any real depth or character. It's a great introduction for people who are used to drinking swill tequila, but for those who regularly drink tequila, it just lacks flavor when compared to other lines. With that said, it's very good quality stuff.

Brown-Forman (Herradura & El Jimador) - I've never loved to flavor profile of Herradura. The anejo is BY FAR the best of the bunch. El Jimador is aged in bourbon barrels and the anejo takes on quite a bit of the flavor. The blanco is a mixer and the reposado is a nice balanced all around juice.

With the pleasure of having sampled all sorts of tequilas, I can tell you that there's plenty of great ones to be had under $40 and for some, even under $25.

One of the best and most easily found ones out there is Muchote. Don Julio is what Mexicans consider to be the go to premium tequila and is usually in the $35-50 range. Corrido is my current favorite overall line, but is really only seen in California (but you can always buy online).

If you like tequila and know the tastes you like, I'd be happy to recommend a few and help find a place where you can get them. For Bourbon drinkers, Don Pilar Anejo and Don Abraham Anejo have similar properties and are extremely smooth.

Here are some other great bottles that I've purchased for under $25 - Viva Mexico Reposado, El Charro Anejo or Reposado, Dos Lunas, Tres Agaves, El Ultimo.

Here are my favorites right now: Azunia Anejo, Fina Estampa Blanco, Clase Azul, Corrido (all ages), Fortaleza, Muchote, Marquez de Valencia, Riazul Anejo, Penca Azul Anejo, Don Julio 1942 (or really any age), Tonala.

I could go on forever and I'm always glad to help any tequila lovers or those looking to get into drinking the agave juice.