Most people have come to know tequila in one of two ways: shot back with a side of lime and salt, or as a bit character in a drink made with ample sour mix to mask the spirit’s taste. But that’s the old way of thinking, and now tequila is slowly becoming something to savor neat, or in a rocks glass with a slow-melting cube.

Ultra-premium producer Compoveda Tequila, is creating tequila that can do just that. This family-owned and operated company makes high-end sipping tequila — yes, tequila that is not meant for shooting or stirring, but for sipping — that is drawing more comparisons to whiskies and wine than what tends to wind up in a Margarita.

THE BARRELS

Compoveda Tequila opts for medium-charred French oak barrels that previously held Napa Valley red wine, whereas most producers age tequila in ex-whiskey or bourbon barrels. After spending more than five years in these barrels, the tequila is then transferred to new American oak barrels and flash-aged for up to another year. The payoff is an unbelievably smooth, almost creamy, luxury sipper — layered with notes of red fruit, vanilla, and warm spices, and a more viscous mouthfeel capable of winning over even the most discerning bourbon drinker and red wine aficionados.

THE DISTILLERY

Although there are roughly 900 tequila brands, there are only about 100 distilleries, which means that multiple tequilas can be made in one distillery. While many distilleries produce only a few different family brands, some distilleries produce up to 50 brands. Compoveda and its Master Distiller, Alberto Partida, are from NOM #1477,  a boutique distillery that produces four brands for import to the U.S. The distillery is based in the small town of El Arenal in Jalisco, Mexico, where there are scarcely over 13,500 residents.

THE PROCESS

The agave used to make Compoveda Tequila is grown in estate-owned fields and matures for more than eight years before it’s hand-harvested. The piñas are slow-cooked in traditional brick ovens for 36 hours to bring out the agave’s natural sweetness before they’re pressed through a rolling mill that extracts the juice. This is twice-distilled inside traditional copper stills to achieve the appropriate proof and flavor profile.

Ultra-premium producer Compoveda Tequila is creating sipping tequila.

OTHER REASONS WE LOVE THIS BRAND

Compoveda focuses solely on extra añejo, or extra-aged tequila, rather than releasing a full expression line as many brands do. For extra añejos, the spirit legally must be aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels. Compoveda Extra Añejo exceeds that, aging for nearly six years in two different types of oak. While delicious enough to drink every day, Compoveda’s broad appeal to nearly every palate also makes it ideal to have on hand as a special occasion or celebratory sipper. If you don’t want to take our word for it, try this: In a blind tasting against a 12 Year Pappy Van Winkle, all but two participants favored Compoveda!

Plus, $5 from every bottle sold goes to Isla Urbana, a non-profit that helps bring reliable, clean water systems to Mexican communities in need. Compoveda Tequila’s direct contribution helps with the purchase and installation of rainwater harvesting systems in schools, homes, and farms.

WHERE TO BUY

If you are looking for Compoveda at your local liquor stores, you aren’t likely to find it, with only 9,000 750-milliliter bottles produced in its first batch, it is exclusively available for direct-to-your-door delivery via SipTequila.com. Get free U.S. ground shipping (up to $30) on Compoveda, or any other items site wide at SipTequila – use code: VINESHIP1 at checkout!

We’ll sip to that.

Ready to leave the salt and lime behind? Grab a glass and order a bottle of Compoveda Extra Añejo, available exclusively on SipTequila.com. Check out the video below!

This article is sponsored by Sip Tequila.