What are the different types of the tequila? Which types give you a headache after one and those which don’t?! Which ones are clear or the ones that are yellow?
There are actually a few official different types of tequila as decreed by the Mexican Government.
There are 5 different types of tequila, they are Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Anejo, and Extra Anejo.
Tequila variations also includes ‘Mixtos’ (which tend to contain at least 51% agave with other sugars making up the remaining amount) or ‘100% Agave’ tequilas that are recognised types.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEQUILA?
or Silver, White, Plata, Platinum
Blanco is tequila that is not rested in barrels, it is pure and unadulterated agave flavour. To try the clearest expression from a distiller try a blanco.
Blancos can be rested for up to 4 weeks in stainless stills which don’t impart any colour or flavour. Overall the flavour profile is quite sharp.
or Young, Gold, Oro
Joven means that there is a degree of “resting” with the tequila, however it is not as you might expect.
To be a Joven, many distillers will take a Blanco, and add a little bit of a Reposado or Anejo to cut through the sharp Agave taste in a Blanco. Essentially a Joven is a mix of Blanco and either Reposado or Anejo tequila.
Gold tequila will often be a mixto so check the label if you are specifically looking for 100% Agave tequila.
Reposado tequila is rested for 3-11 months, sometimes a little longer. This is a popular tequila category for its balance of agave flavour and cask character.
A reposado can be a good entry point to trying and appreciating tequila and a great one to keep in the cabinet.
We recommend reposado’s for many of our stronger, agave prominent cocktails, like the Margarita.
We also find the greatest degree of variability in the quality, taste, balance and flavour of reposados compared to the other types of tequilas.
Anejo tequila is rested for 1-3 years. The tequila must age in barrels no larger than 600 litres. This imparts more flavour from the barrel. The agave flavour starts to give way to characteristics of the barrel, much like whiskey.
Drinking Anejo is a serious step up in quality, price and flavour profile. It is much more mellow, complex and nuanced.
Shooting Anejo or mixing it in a cocktail is pointless and huge waste of money. Even in a Margarita or Paloma, it is wasted.
An Anejo should be sipped to be appreciated.
Extra Aged, Ultra Aged
Extra Anejo tequila is rested for 3 years or more.
All that applies to Anejo also applies to Extra Anejo, except it is more complex, characterful, and flavoursome. It is often more expensive.
An Extra Anejo should be more expensive and tends to be appreciated when a drinker has developed tequila palette.
Hopefully this helps you start to understand the different types of tequila and how you might want to choose your next bottle.