Why Don Julio 1942 Tequila Is So Expensive

Whether you're buzzing about the Oscars or were buzzing during the Oscars, Don Julio tequila might be on your mind. During the 96th Academy Awards, host Jimmy Kimmel shouted out guests Guillermo Rodriguez and Colman Domingo, who were sharing a margarita, and Rodriguez named Don Julio 1942 as his tequila of choice. Rodriguez then led the attendees in a toast, and Kimmel took a shot from a miniature version of the brand's distinctive slim, golden-brown bottle.

In case you're wondering, yes, the bit was sponsored — but to great effect, as Don Julio 1942 is trending following the show. This label is definitely not on the list of the most inexpensive tequilas to buy. A 750-milliliter bottle will run you about $170, and the larger 1.75-liter bottle is worth over $415. The smaller 50-milliliter bottles served to guests at the Oscars are not yet for sale, but will provide a (slightly) more economical option for tequila fans who want to drink like the stars.

Don Julio distillery was founded in Jalisco, Mexico by Julio Gonzalez in 1942. "Don" is a Spanish honorific term, and combined with the founding year, it's clear that the name of the tequila pays tribute to its creator. Don Julio 1942 spends at least two and a half years aging, which makes it an añejo tequila, and only three barrels are made in each distilling cycle. These factors, along with its reputation as a luxury product, result in a hefty price tag.

What does Don Julio 1942 taste like?

Don Julio 1942's high price correlates to a special product, with a nuanced complexity to the flavor. The aroma ranges from floral and fruity to caramelized and chocolatey. On the palate, vanilla, oak, roasted agave, warm spices, and stone fruit come through. The spirit is smooth, sweet, and on the lighter side in comparison to other añejo tequilas. This is definitely a spirit that is meant for slow sipping, preferably in a Champagne flute, the best type of glass for tasting tequila (and one that feels fancy enough for a celebrity). 

Some online reviews of this tequila say that it is well worth the cost, while others say it is tasty, but somewhat overpriced. As with all beverages, the verdict is highly subjective, and completely depends on your own flavor preferences and budget. The good news is that if you do decide to make the investment, you have a decent amount of time to finish your tequila for the best flavor. Maybe you'll still have some left for an Oscar-worthy toast by the time the next Academy Awards come around!