How is reposado different from tequila?

Answered by Robert Flynn

Reposado is actually a type of tequila, so it is not different from tequila in the sense that it is a separate category or classification. Instead, reposado tequila is a specific style of tequila that has been aged for a certain amount of time. To understand how reposado is different from other types of tequila, it is important to look at the aging process.

Tequila, in its simplest form, is made from the blue agave plant and is typically unaged. This unaged tequila is known as blanco, or silver, and is clear in color. It is typically bottled shortly after distillation, without any aging in barrels. Blanco tequila is known for its crisp and fresh flavor profile, with the agave notes taking center stage.

Reposado tequila, on the other hand, undergoes a period of aging in oak barrels before being bottled. The term “reposado” means “rested” in Spanish, and this refers to the resting period the tequila spends in the barrel. According to Mexican law, reposado tequila must be aged for a minimum of two months, but no more than one year. This aging process allows the tequila to develop more complex flavors and characteristics.

During the aging process, the tequila absorbs flavors from the oak barrels, such as vanilla, caramel, and spice. These flavors mingle with the natural agave flavors, creating a more rounded and smooth taste profile. The color of reposado tequila is also influenced by the aging process, taking on a light amber hue.

The aging period for reposado tequila is shorter compared to another type of aged tequila called añejo. Añejo tequila must be aged for a minimum of one year, but no more than three years. This longer aging period results in a darker color and even more pronounced flavors.

In terms of taste, reposado tequila falls somewhere between blanco and añejo. It retains some of the vibrant agave flavors found in blanco tequila, but also introduces the subtle complexity and smoothness that comes from aging in oak barrels. It is often described as having a balance of sweetness and spice, with a slightly creamy texture.

Ultimately, the aging process is what sets reposado tequila apart from other types of tequila. It adds depth and character to the spirit, creating a unique drinking experience. Whether you prefer the youthful vibrancy of blanco tequila or the richness of añejo, reposado tequila offers a middle ground that appeals to many tequila enthusiasts.