Don’t you just love change? Let’s face it, most of us don’t, which is why it can be downright scary when theres a change to your favorite tequila. When the bottle changes you can’t help but worry if the tequila has changed as well. One such case is the mega-popular Don Julio 1942, which saw a change to its bottle AND recipe a few years ago.
Don Julio 1942 Tequila Bottles Old and New
I first tasted Don Julio 1942 back around 2006. It came in a cool wooden “coffin” box and the bottle was tall and slightly rounded with an agave leaf shape blown into the glass. It had a blue label and a screw top. I drank this like a mad man for several years.

When they changed the bottle to the taller, darker brown design of today, I smelled it and realized it was different! To be honest, I got angry, and I childishly refused to drink it ever again!

I thought to myself: “Why did they mess with such a good thing?!”

Years go by, and after we launched the Tequila Matchmaker, we saw Don Julio 1942 shoot right up the charts to become the most popular tequila according to our users. All these people can’t be wrong, so we decided to give it another try. We wanted it to be absolutely fair, so we used the “blind rating” tool within the Tequila Matchmaker. This is a cool feature built into the app that makes it possible to rate a tequila without any biases.

We were shocked to discover that Scarlet and I both liked the NEW version better!

This was totally unexpected. When a tequila brand changes a bottle or recipe, it’s usually because they are trying to save some money at the expense of quality. But this was clearly not the case here.

The new Don Julio 1942 has a little more vanilla, and slightly more caramelized baked agave to the aroma. The older formula smells great, but the new stuff smells even better. The flavor is deeper, richer, rounder, and has a slightly cleaner finish.

We were so surprised by this that we had to get other people involved. So over the course of several months, we invited 12 different tequila enthusiasts to our house and gave them 2 glasses marked “A”, and “B”. We didn’t tell them what it was, and asked them to tell us “which do you like better?”

Only 8% said they liked both equally, while 25% said they liked the old stuff, and 67% said the new Don Julio 1942 was better. Validation!

Don Julio 1942 - Taste Test Results

Afterward, we told them what they had just tasted, and almost everyone was surprised.

So, the next time your favorite tequila changes something, don’t panic! Just remain calm, do your own blind taste test, because you may be pleasantly surprised.

We’d love to know what you think, too. Log into the Tequila Matchmaker and share your ratings with us!

— Grover

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Hi – wondering where I might find a bottle of the old 1942 – any websites for resellers or individuals I might watch?


    • That’s a really good question. I’ve only been able to find it in odd liquor stores off the beaten path. There’s still a few of them out there, you just need to look for them.


      • I’ve been drinking 1942 for 2 years and used to live it. Although due to the high volume production orders through big discount clubs like Costco, the tequila is definitely not the same. It’s not as smooth as it used to be and tastes more like a cheap Cuervo Gold. I won’t be purchasing it any more.


    • I have a few in stock Bob. I might just let one go, send me a msg and we will talk.


  2. This is what I know, when we go to Mexico with friends we always bring a bottle or two of 1942… Believe it or not I have persuaded one of my liquor store guys to sell it to me for $100 a bottle. Get it all the time cheaper then I can buy it in Mexico! Haven’t had the old stuff but don’t really need to taste it because this one is great. My favorite is one I can only get in Mexico. It’s showing up in San Diego but I don’t think it’s the same quality. Let me know if you have tasted it, Casa De Oro Extra Anejo….


  3. I too was not happy with the change. I did not realize the formula had changed thought only the packaging had changed. I loved the old label and bottle, it had class and to me felt old school.The coffin case is neat and helps finish the presentation. (Love Don Julio ‘Real’packaging)I too didn’t continue on my 1942 addiction but will rethink that now. Thanks for the clarification.


  4. You can buy Don Julio 1942 at Costco for $100. BevMo also carries it for $120. It’s the best Tequila I’ve ever had, and well worth the $100 for special occasions.


  5. Since Don Julio’s family no longer owns the distillery, it’s not surprising that recipes will change. Don Julio Gonzalez now sells his family’s tequila under the Gonzalez label. I haven’t seen it yet in OR stores but have had it in Mexico. I would call it more “distinctive” than the current batch of Don Julio recipes that seem to have raised smoothness a bit but lost flavor in the process. Our favorite bartenders in Cabo & PV all turn up their noses at Don Julio now, as no longer “authentic”.


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