It can be difficult to know exactly what you’re looking at when you’re picking out the tequila. What is smoothest for sipping? What goes best in a margarita? While all tequila is made from blue Weber agave from either Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, or Tamaulipas, there are other aspects of the creation process that differentiate them. Let’s take a look at the different types of tequila so you can make the most educated choice for your needs!
AKA: Plata, Silver, White
One of the first defining features of Blanco tequila is that it is not aged in an oak barrel. This gives a pure taste of the agave with a hint of the region where the agave was grown. Blanco tequila has a hotter flavor combined with natural notes of citrus, herbs, black pepper, and more. Because of its strong flavor profile, Blanco is perfect for cocktails–never losing its hardiness to a mixer. If you’re looking for a shooter, seek out a brand known for being smooth. Ask one of our staff members at 3rd Street Beverage for their recommendations if you’re unsure of what defines “smooth”.
AKA: Aged, Rested
When creating a reposado, Blanco tequila is taken directly from the still and stored in oak barrels. In order to be defined as a “reposado”, the tequila must rest in these barrels for anywhere between 2 to 12 months. This allows it to mature into a more unique flavor without losing its punch. While in the barrel, the tequila will grow darker, taking on the tannins from the wood and developing warmer notes of caramel and honey. Oftentimes, you can pinpoint additional notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and chilies as well. Reposados are usually a terrific sipping tequila if that’s what you’re in the market for.
AKA: Extra Aged, Vintage
Leaving tequila in longer than 12 months renders it an Añejo. With an aging process of 1-3 years, this tequila adopts an even richer, woodier flavor with a deeper brown hue. The additional time mellows the intensity that can come with a younger tequila with a sweeter, caramel tone. When it comes to Añejo tequila, we don’t recommend it for shooting or traditional tequila cocktails, but it is a great sipper and can even be used as a replacement for bourbon in cocktails.
AKA: Ultra Aged
If tequila is left in the barrel any longer than 3 years, it becomes an Extra Añejo. This super-aged tequila has to be cut with water to temper out its proof, making it even smoother. Due to its age, there’s a certain prestige that comes with this tequila, making it more expensive than most. Extra Añejo is meant to be exclusively an after-dinner sipper.
Come See Us
If you’ve found yourself on a quest for the ideal tequila for a tasting, margaritas or simply sipping, pay 3rd Street Beverage a visit for our favorite recommendations! We’re here to answer all your questions, give informed suggestions and guide you in any way we can!