Unlike other types of liquor, tequila isn’t normally aged for long amounts of time. The majority of the aging process is done inside the agave plant before distillation. The plant reaches its prime harvesting age after about 8-12 years. After harvest there are six ages. The types are as follows:
Silver (Blanco, White)
Silver tequila is the purest form of tequila. Its young age (bottled immediately after distillation or within two months) allows you to have the true flavor of the agave plant. The sweet, natural tasting tequila is then stored in steel containers and bottled immediately after being distilled.
Gold Tequila is typically a mix of Silver and Reposado (aged) tequila. This mix is often used for mixed drinks but can still be 100% agave tequila.
Reposado tequila is at the beginning of extended aged tequila. The tequila is stored in wooden barrels that are typically 200-600 liters large for between 2-12 months. Oak barrels are most commonly used because of the unique flavor the tequila acquires during the aging process.
Anejo (extra aged) tequila is any tequila that has aged for longer than one year but less than three. The long aging process gives the tequila a unique smooth taste and the amber color is a contribution from the barrel giving the tequila its dark color.
Extra Anejo, also known as ultra aged, is a fairly new style of tequila. Introduced in 2005, Extra Anejo is tequila that’s aged for more than three years. The long aging process allows for a deep color and very smooth taste.
Reserva is any tequila that is aged more than eight years. This long rested tequila has a very dark color and an extremely smooth taste that rivals even the best liquors. Not only does Reserva rival in taste and smoothness, but also in price. Reserva’s price follows its flavor and can be quite expensive.
Now that you’re informed on the different types of tequilas, your purchasing decision should come easier. Whether you want a sweet or deep, smooth taste, you can find the tequila that is right for you. Lastly, be sure to always select tequila that is 100% agave. The natural tequila is free of added sugars and artificial additives. This will help prevent unpleasant next-day illness often associated with tequila.