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Types of Tequila: Everything You Need To Know

Figuring out the many different types of tequila can be a daunting task, but that’s why Types of Tequila exists in the first place.

Let’s get started about learning the different types of tequilas.

types of tequila

The Two Tiers Regarding Types of Tequila

There are two different levels of how to classify tequila. They break down as follows:

  • Classification 1 Categories (2)
    1. 100% blue agave
    2. Mixto/Tequila Mixto/Mixed/etc.
  • Classification 2 Categories (5)
    1. Gold
    2. Silver
    3. Reposado
    4. Añejo
    5. Extra Añejo

Types of Tequila – Classification Level 1

  1. 100% blue agave
  2. Mixto/Tequila Mixto/Mixed/etc.

This one is very, very simple to understand.

When it comes to types of tequila, 100% blue agave tequila is…well, 100% blue agave. Mixto still contains blue agave – a minimum of 51%. Of course, they are marketed cleverly. Any tequila brand that is 100% blue agave will very clearly state that on the bottle. Use this bottle of Jose Cuervo Tradicional as an example. The ‘100% Agave’ label is impossible to miss.

jc types of tequila 100%

Contrast that with this bottle of Jose Cuervo Especial, which is a Mixto.

not agave

Of course, some tequila makers will still label a bottle with the phrase, ‘Made With Blue Agave’, or ‘Contains Blue Agave’ – but this does not mean they are 100%. If they are 100%, you can rest assured that they will be specified. But they will not say “Mixto” anywhere on the label. It’s almost a like a bad word.

Why?

Well, 100% blue agave is considered the purest tequila and many tequila fanatics will only drink 100% blue agave when it comes to their preferred types of tequila.

Types of Tequila – Classification Level 2

  1. Gold
  2. Silver
  3. Reposado
  4. Añejo
  5. Extra Añejo

To make understanding the level 2 types of tequila easy, we’re going to be using Don Julio’s line of tequilas for comparison. Don Julio has six different types of tequila in their lineup. We picked Don Julio because they are a well-known and respected tequila maker. We’ve utilized their websites classifications and descriptions to give you guys better insight into how to classify types of tequilas. The only thing to note is that they do not technically have a gold tequila in their lineup. So, let’s get gold out of the way first.

Types of Tequila: Gold

  • Also known as: Joven, Oro, Mixto Gold
  • Age: Varies

Gold is probably the most confusing item when it comes to types of tequila. Here is what you should know about gold tequila:

  • It’s often the cheapest kind – used by bars for mixed drinks, or at college parties
  • It can be 100% agave but is more often found under the ‘Mixto’ category
  • Colors and/or flavors are often added along with the agave, hence the Mixto classification

Types of Tequila: Silverdjblanco

The beginning of the good stuff.

  • Also known as: Blanco, White, Platinum
  • Age: Varies
  • Example: Don Julio Blanco Tequila

Most types of tequila classified as silver are not aged and typically fall under the more affordable category. Silver types of tequila are clear in color and will often taste a bit on the “fruity” side due to the agave.

COLOR Clear
NOSE Crisp agave aromas blended with hints of citrus notes – lemon, lime and grapefruit
TASTE Light, sweet, agave flavor
FINISH Clean and dry with a touch of black pepper and grassy undertones
BEST SERVED Mixed drink

Types of Tequila: Reposadodjresposado

Reposado Translation: Rested

  • Also known as: Aged, Rested
  • Age: Varies
  • Example: Don Julio Reposado

As we go down through the second classification level of types of tequila, they are going to get older in age (and more expensive!). Reposado tequilas are less than a year in age; the various flavors will depend on the type of barrel that was used for the aging.

COLOR Straw-like color
NOSE An inviting aroma of mellow lemon citrus notes and spice layers with touches of ripe stone fruit
TASTE Incredibly soft and elegant hints of dark chocolate, vanilla and light cinnamon
FINISH Silky, warm finish with an essence of dried fruit, nuts and a touch of caramel apple
BEST SERVED Neat

Types of Tequila: Añejotypes of tequila anejo

Añejo Translation: Aged

  • Also known as: Aged (yes, just like Reposado types of tequila), Extra-Aged
  • Age: Between 1 and 3 years
  • Example: Don Julio Añejo

This specific example is aged for eighteen months. With Añejo tequilas (and Reposado), we’re also getting to the point where it’s quite enjoyable to drink them without the use of a mixer or chaser.

COLOR Light amber
NOSE A fresh blend of lime, grapefruit and mandarin citrus aromas with a rich touch of caramel
TASTE Full-bodied and complex with expressions of cooked agave, wild honey and oak-infused butterscotch
FINISH Bright and lightly spiced finish with the essence of wild honey
BEST SERVED On the rocks

Types of Tequila: Extra Añejotypesoftequilaultra

Why half the name is in Spanish and half in English, we have no idea.

  • Also known as: Ultra-aged
  • Age: 3+ years
  • Example: Don Julio Añejo

The cream of the crop in regards to types of tequila. Ultra aged tequilas are aged for at least three years and become a much darker color than their competitors. Also, they often come in really cool looking bottles. Tequila and a souvenir.

COLOR Majestic golden hue
NOSE A mature aroma balanced with gentle hints of citrus and sweet, cooked agave
TASTE Enticing vanilla flavors layered with caramel, chocolate and almond undertones
FINISH Sweetly seductive with lingering vanilla impressions and a hint of oak for a warm, sensuous finish
BEST SERVED Neat

Again, all the descriptions and images of these types of tequila can be found on the Don Julio website.

Types of Tequila: Bottom Line

The best types of tequila vary from person to person based off of preferences – flavor, mixers, way of serving, and more. Types of tequila can be classified into two levels of classification:

  • Classification 1 Categories (2)
    1. 100% blue agave
    2. Mixto/Tequila Mixto/Mixed/etc.
  • Classification 2 Categories (5)
    1. Gold
    2. Silver
    3. Reposado
    4. Añejo
    5. Extra Añejo

What is your personal preference when it comes to types of tequila? As always, comments are welcomed.

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