Tequila is one of the most popular spirits in the world, but the spirit can still be incredibly confusing. While it’s pretty widely known that tequila is made from 100 percent agave, most probably don’t realize that the spirit can only be made in certain parts of Mexico. In fact, Mexican laws state that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. And the restrictions don’t end there. One of the more confusing aspects of tequila can often be the five categories a tequila can fall in to — we’re not talking Gold and Silver, as these are made up categories by Jose Cuervo; we’re talking the true tequila categories of Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo.
This is tequila in it’s purest form. It’s the freshly distilled spirit without any oak aging at all. These tequilas show you the true expertise of the distiller, because there are no oak flavors or aging to hide behind. It’s just the flavor of agave, freshly distilled.
This category of tequila is rare to find, but does exist. It’s a Blanco that’s been blended with something, whether that something is color, glycerine — both of which are permitted — or another category of tequila such as Añejo.
These are tequilas that see two months to one year in oak. This is a tequila that’s perfect for Margaritas and other mixed drinks, as the slight amount of aging rounds and softens it.
A tequila aged for one-to-three years in oak. This is a sipping tequila, one that exhibits not only flavors of agave, but rich vanilla and floral aromas as well.
Any tequila aged longer than three years. Producers can do whatever they want here in terms of aging, and some are creating some pretty crazy bottles that are highly collectible. This category is for true tequila aficionados.
Learn more about tequila in our video below where we’re taught all about this delicious spirit by the Master Distiller of Don Julio!