The World's Most Expensive Tequila Is Encased In Diamonds

Prices for tequila are typically determined by factors such as the quality of agave, the length of barrel aging, and the brand's reputation. These aspects contribute, for instance, to the cost of the expensive Don Julio 1942 tequila.

However, Don Julio's ultra-premium offering is not the world's most costly variety. That distinction goes to Ley Tequila .925 Diamante, a bottle now valued at $3.5 million. The extraordinary price is not solely due to the contents produced by Hacienda La Capilla in Jalisco, Mexico — the ancestral home of the agave-based spirit — although it is of exceptional quality, sourced from 100% Blue Weber agave, and aged for seven years in French oak barrels.

The bottle itself is even more stunningly crafted. Made of white gold and platinum, it is adorned with over 4,000 white diamonds, totaling a staggering 328 carats. As a result of these luxurious materials, the decanter weighs close to an astonishing 18 pounds (platinum alone accounts for 4.4 pounds of this), and Guinness World Records has officially certified it as the most expensive liquor of its kind ever made.

Why Ley Tequila .925 Diamante is a work of art

The Ley Tequila .925 Diamante isn't just a liquor bottle; it's a work of art. This is attested to not only by its container's designer, Fernando Altamirano, but also by the fact that it took a small army of artisans — no fewer than 10 jewelers and several ceramists — 10 months to assemble it. Much like crown jewels or a legendary painting, this enormously valuable liquor was treated to a world tour, being displayed in cities such as Paris and London before being sold at auction.

Altamirano originally conceived Tequila Ley .925 as a producer of limited-edition liquors with artistic designs aimed at the luxury market. He founded the brand in 1997, and his initial offering of 1,500 bottles, each adorned with a silver label, was modestly priced at 1,500 pesos, relatively speaking. From there, each project became more exclusive and expensive. Particularly notable were the gold and platinum decanters designed for his Project MX 33, as only 33 were ever produced. It was this series that formerly delivered the world's most expensive tequila, sold for $225,000 in 2006.

That figure paled in comparison to his Diamante (or Diamond Sterling) version, however. Only one was produced, and its sale price of $3.5 million easily surpassed the former world record. For context, the third most valuable tequila, a bottle from Clase Azul's 15th Anniversary collection, is valued at only $30,000.

Is there a less expensive version of Ley tequila?

Some consumers opt to buy inexpensive tequilas, while others prefer shopping in the super-premium category. Ley .925 certainly qualifies for the latter, although it's worth noting that not every bottle is sold for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. There are less expensive options, albeit without diamonds affixed to the decanter. Nevertheless, the liquor from Hacienda La Capilla is of very good quality. Like the Diamond Sterling version, the bottles contain tequila made from 100% Blue Weber agave sourced from highland growing areas in Jalisco.

However, the amount of aging depends on the classification. As any aficionado can tell you, these classifications are blanco (aka silver), joven, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo. The latter two categories receive the most aging — one to three years or more — and these tequilas are the most expensive in Ley .925's regular line of products. For example, a bottle of the extra añejo, for example, retails for about $130.

The Ley .925 blanco can be purchased for under $50, though. It's a far cry from $3.5 million, but represents a more affordable expression of a luxury spirit. Just remember to drink it from the best type of tequila glass for tasting