Okay, I am back (at the stick) home for a couple days, before going to the Black Hills.
(FWIW, Tequila.net is great website for Tequila education. It has been my go-to for many years.)
These are three of the top ten "Best Inexpensive Tequilas" (Best Cheap Tequila | Cheapism
) that I have tried and can recommend highly:
Aņejo (aged) tequila spends 12 to 35 months in wood casks. These spirits take on more color and flavor from the wood, resulting in a deep amber color. Soft flavors and aromas of tobacco and baking spices contribute significantly to the overall flavor profile. Aņejos are often enjoyed as sipping spirits but can also be used in premium cocktails.
EL JIMADOR AŅEJO
The most popular aged tequila in Mexico scores 92 on Tequila.net and 94 from UBC. Its rich flavor profile offers ripe fruit, dark earthy moss, and sweet baking spices, with a touch of vanilla on the finish. It stands up against some of the most expensive alternatives, with a price of about $28.
Professionals love this smoky aged tequila, awarding it a whopping 93 points and a "great value" accolade from UBC. The flavor can be polarizing, with lots of leathery and spicy elements, leaning toward rustic and woodsy rather than cinnamon and caramel. It offers a lot of flavor for about $25.
HORNITOS BLACK BARREL AŅEJO
This aņejo gets special treatment, spending its last 12 months in charred barrels. This gives it a flavor that bourbon lovers will appreciate. With 87 points from UBC, it stands up nicely in the aņejo category. The flavors are intense, with elements of cigar tobacco, bourbon-like charred grain, and orangy citrus. The price is about $30 a bottle.