Artisanal tequila tastings in Puerto Vallarta

The Best Tequila Tastings In Puerto Vallarta For Enthusiasts

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Puerto Vallarta is a phenomenal place to get into tequila if you choose the right tastings. There are a lot of options and some really bad tequila full of additives and artificial flavorings. The best tequila tastings in Puerto Vallarta focus on the agave, the geography, and the culture of tequila.

Considering that Puerto Vallarta is located in the state of Jalisco, the core of tequila’s ‘Denominación de Origen’ restricted geographical production region, you can find a lot of quality tequila here. There are more tequila brands available in Jalisco than in any other part of the world.

While there are some local tequila distilleries in Puerto Vallarta, there isn’t anything that competes with the famed distilleries of the Tequila Valles Region or Los Altos de Jalisco.

In Puerto Vallarta, I recommend finding a tasting that looks at several different tequila distilleries rather than the different types of tequila made at one distillery.  Spend a little bit of time reading reviews on Tequila Matchmaker about hidden gems and looking up the top ten highest-rated distilleries in Mexico. It will give you an idea of where to start. 

I see people looking for the best tequila tasting in Puerto Vallarta all the time. The question comes up at least once a week in the large Puerto Vallarta Facebook groups. I have answered the question twice already which means that I should take the time to put it on the blog so that I may just cut and paste it in the future. 

A guided beginner tasting is a great way to learn about the different categories of Mexican spirits and find what you like the best.

Choose your tequila tastings in Puerto Vallarta carefully. There are some amazing experiences but there are also some duds. 

Travel To The Tequila Valley

The first thing to consider is the possibility of traveling to the town of Tequila from Puerto Vallarta. You are already in Jalisco and the center of the tequila world is less than a four-hour drive away.

The agave landscape and ancient industrial facilities of Tequila are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and touring the Tequila Valley is one of the best experiences in Mexico.

Make sure to have at least two days to travel to Tequila and three days if you plan on taking the bus. There are a ton of things to do in the Tequila Valley so the more time the better. 

If you don’t have the time to travel to Tequila, Puerto Vallarta has a staggering number of places to learn about agave spirits from tequila to mezcal and raicilla. 

The Best Tequila Tastings In Puerto Vallarta

A good tequila tasting is going to show you the difference between artisanal tequilas and commodity tequilas. When you line them up back to back it is easy to identify the tequila that uses artificial flavoring and the tequila that only uses natural ingredients.

Tequila is supposed to taste like Weber blue agave and not a vanilla birthday cake.

There is a wide variety of tequila in Puerto Vallarta, both good and bad. Because of the proximity to the source, Puerto Vallarta has access to many tequilas that are hard to find in the United States.

Great tequilas don’t have social media influencers bankrolling their brands. Others don’t have international distribution. Jalisco is the best place in the world to find small, artisanal tequila brands and get access to their special edition tequilas. 

1. El Tasting Room

El Tasting Room needs to be your first stop when looking for an authentic, artisanal tequila tasting in Puerto Vallarta. They stock some of the most delicious and highly rated bottles that are on the market today. The experience is a joint venture by one of Puerto Vallarta’s top tour companies and one of Puerto Vallarta’s top cocktail bars. They have a tasting room and a bar but they also have a liquor store if you want to bring a bottle of something special home. 

They crafted an agave spirits tasting that both the absolute beginner and the tequila connoisseur will love. Geographically, they cover the agave and dasylirion-based (sotol) spirits from many different parts of Mexico. These spirits are an important part of the regional culture and history of Mexico.

It doesn’t matter if somebody in your party is more into mixed drinks than sipping liquor neat, El Tasting Room has a forward-thinking alcohol-free menu that will accommodate everyone. 

Raicailla is a traditional agave spirit that is native to the areas near Puerto Vallarta like El Tuito and Mascota. The agaves used to make raicilla are different from the agave used to make tequila. They are often wild and much bigger than a Weber blue agave plant. The agaves used to make raicilla sometimes take up to 20 years to mature and build up the correct sugar content. Agaves are truly magnificent plants. 

El Tasting Room not only does tastings but they run tours as well. There is no better tour operator to take you up to the traditional raicilla makers. They know how to organize a good tour and are acquainted with the most authentic distilleries in the protected appellation of origin.  

Tastings include a welcome cocktail, expert guide, activity sheet, and five pours of selected spirits. This could be different expressions of tequila, different mezcals, or a variety of different agave spirits. 

Whether you are looking for a legit tequila tasting, a hip cocktail bar, or a hard-to-find bottle as a souvenir, El Tasting Room has you covered. They are located in the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood just minutes from Downtown Vallarta. 

  • El Tasting Room Address: Calle Panamá 134, 5 de Diciembre, Puerto Vallarta
  • Tequila Tasting: Tuesday, Friday & Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Cost: US$54 dollars

2. The Agave Room at Joe Jack’s Fish Shack

Joe Jack’s Fish Shack is one of my favorite restaurants in Puerto Vallarta because of their food, drinks, and decor. They have a special space where they give luxury guided tastings for tequila and other agave spirits. Over the course of 8 different expressions, your tour guides will discuss geography, agaves, culture, manufacturing techniques, and what makes artisanal varieties different.

While the tasting menus are always changing, you are guaranteed to sample some of the finest small-batch, additive-free tequilas made in different parts of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The terroir of Los Altos de Jalisco is different from the red volcanic soils of the Tequila Valles Region. 

The tequila guides at Joe Jack’s have a sensorial game for beginner tasters to identify the distinctive tastes of tequilas using different ingredients, grinding, and fermentation process. Once you learn the vocabulary of tequila it makes ordering what you like much easier. 

One of the things that I like about Joe Jack’s is the cocktail scene and the bar. In a much more casual environment, they serve one of the best selections of amazing liquor that you will find in Puerto Vallarta. 

Joe Jack’s Fish Shack is located in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta just two blocks from the beach. The second-story patio has a great view of the action on Basilio Badillo Street. 

  • The Agave Room Address: Basilio Badillo 212, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
  • Tequila 101: Wednesday & Friday at 1:30 p.m.
  • Agave 101: Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
  • Cost: MEX$1,300 pesos

3. Savia Agave Niche

Savia Agave Niche is one of the newest players in the Puerto Vallarta artisanal agave spirits area. It is the daytime companion of the popular craft cocktail bar, Elixir Mixology Bar. Elixir still operates in the evening while Savia offers sensorial tastings by an absolute expert.

The owner of Savia Agave Niche is originally from the Tequila Valley Region but spent 10 years living near the San Francisco Bay Area. Upon returning to Mexico, she lived in Tequila working at some legendary establishments.

The tastings at Savia are called sensorial journies and the spirits are hand-picked to explore a general style.

Because the owner has so much knowledge, this would be a great place to visit while planning a trip to Tequila from Puerto Vallarta. Visiting the distilleries of your favorite artisanal agave spirits is way cooler than a theme park serving commodity Tequila.

At Savia Agave Niche, you will learn about the culture of tequila in addition to the flavor profiles.

4. Vallarta Tequila Tastings

One of the highest-rated tequila tastings across all the different review platforms, Vallarta Tequila Tastings is a crowd-pleaser.

One of the cool things about this tequila tasting is that they have a tasting patio in the Versalles neighborhood but they also do house calls. If you rent a villa with 10 or 20 of your closest friends, they are more than happy to bring the tasting to you.

Just scrolling through their photos you will see them giving tastings at some of the most beautiful locations in Puerto Vallarta.

Final Thoughts: Best Tequila Tastings In Puerto Vallarta

It is important to do a little bit of research before signing up for a tequila tasting in Puerto Vallarta because there are so many different options.

The best tequila tours discuss the cultural and historical influence of the agave plant in the history of Mexico. However, at least one Puerto Vallarta tequila tour is pouring regular tequila. Make sure you choose the tours serving the best tequilas so you can find a hidden gem or two.

Puerto Vallarta is full of fantastic tequila. Choose wisely.

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