There are dozens of brands of tequila on the market today. Within those many of brands, you will only find five basic types of tequila, though. Most people are not familiar with the specifics surrounding the different types of tequila, so I am going to highlight them today. The five types of tequila are Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Anejo and Extra Añejo. These types of tequila are also referred to as Silver, Gold, Aged, Extra-Aged and Ultra-Aged. You may have seen a label that states a tequila is 100% de Agave. This means that it is only made with the sugars from the Weber blue agave plant. Mixted or Mixto tequila is made of 49% other sugar and a total of 51% agave sugar.
Blanco (Silver) Tequila
Silver tequila is a clear, unaged tequila. This type of tequila is typically bottled and packaged directly after being distilled however some producers will allow it to settle and finish before bottling for a short period.
Joven (Gold) Tequila
Gold or Joven tequila is also bottled directly after being distilled but only after colorants and flavorings are added. Typical coloring and flavoring agents include sugar syrup, glycerin, oak tree extracts and caramel coloring. These are known as the youthful tequilas offering great smoothness with every sip. This type of tequila is typically a mixted tequila. Gold tequila can also be the combination of silver tequila with either aged or extra-aged tequila.
Reposado (Aged) Tequila
Reposado or Aged Tequila is a tequila that has aged to the requirements of the first stage. This requires that the tequila rests for a period no shorter than two months and no longer than 12 months after being distilled. This requirement is one of the Mexican government. The tequila ages and rests within barrels during this time. Typical types of barrels include white oak and French oak. Producers have to select carefully what kind of barrel their tequila ages within as the resins and tannins have a large effect on the outcome of the product.
Anejo (Extra-Aged) Tequila
Anejo or Extra Aged Vintage Tequila requires that the tequila rest between 1-3 years after being distilled. The Mexican government requires that this type of tequila only rest in oak barrels with a max capacity of 600 liters. The minimum rest time for this kind of tequila is one year. An Extra Aged tequila will be a darker color and offer a smoother and complex taste. This type of tequila will typically be stored within an American whiskey barrel or cognac barrel for aging.
Extra-Anejo (Ultra-Aged) Tequila
This type of tequila requires that it be stored within an oak (holm or holm oak) or Encino oak container for a minimum of 3 years. This is the newest classification of tequila and was adopted in 2005.
So, get your tequila sipping glasses out and get ready to try some of these varieties.