What’s the difference between Reposado and Blanco?

Answered by Robert Dupre

Reposado and Blanco tequilas have distinct flavors that are influenced by their respective distillation and aging processes. Let’s dive into the differences between these two types of tequila.

1. Distillation Process:
– Blanco: Blanco tequila is typically made from 100% blue agave and undergoes a single distillation process. This results in a vibrant and pure agave flavor profile. The agave-forward taste is often accompanied by citrus notes like lime and grapefruit, as well as hints of black pepper.
– Reposado: Reposado tequila also starts with 100% blue agave, but it undergoes an additional step in the distillation process. After the initial distillation, it is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months and up to one year. This aging process adds depth and complexity to the flavor profile.

2. Aging Process:
– Blanco: Blanco tequila is typically bottled immediately after distillation, so it does not go through any aging process. As a result, it retains the freshness and sharpness of the agave, making it ideal for cocktails like margaritas or tequila shots.
– Reposado: Reposado tequila, on the other hand, spends a significant amount of time aging in oak barrels. This aging imparts flavors from the wood, such as vanilla, caramel, and even a touch of spice. The oak also helps mellow out the agave flavors, resulting in a smoother and more rounded taste.

3. Flavor Profile:
– Blanco: The flavor profile of blanco tequila is often described as vibrant, crisp, and herbaceous. It showcases the true essence of the agave plant, with notes of citrus and pepper providing a lively and refreshing experience.
– Reposado: Reposado tequila offers a more complex flavor profile. The aging process in oak barrels gives it a smoother and slightly sweeter taste. Expect to find notes of caramel, vanilla, and sometimes even hints of chocolate. The agave flavors are still present but are complemented by the mellowing effect of the wood.

4. Culinary Uses:
– Blanco: Blanco tequila’s vibrant and agave-forward flavor makes it a versatile spirit for culinary applications. It can be used to enhance the flavors of sauces, marinades, and even desserts like sorbets or cakes.
– Reposado: Reposado tequila’s more nuanced flavors make it a great choice for sipping neat or on the rocks. It can also be enjoyed in more complex cocktails where its flavors can shine, such as Old Fashioneds or Palomas.

The main difference between Reposado and Blanco tequilas lies in their aging process and resulting flavor profiles. Blanco tequila is fresh, agave-forward, and often used in cocktails, while Reposado tequila offers a more complex and mellow taste with notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel. Both types have their own unique characteristics and can be enjoyed in various ways, depending on personal preferences and culinary uses.