Reposado vs Anejo vs Blanco: Which Is The Best?

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Krishia Modified: August 1, 2022

Do you love capping your work week with a drink or two? Well, then you are probably familiar with tequila. You may drink it straight with some salt and lime juice, or use it to create the best tequila cocktail drinks. At the end of the day, tequila will always be one of our go-to drinks if we want to have a good time!

But what tequila type is best to choose between reposado vs anejo vs blanco? How will you fully enjoy each tequila type? Read on to discover their differences and the best way to enjoy each type of tequila.

Reposado vs Anejo vs Blanco: What’s Their Difference?

infographic showing different types of tequila

First off, what is tequila? Tequila is a distilled spirit mainly produced in five regions in Mexico: Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, and Nayarit. 

It is primarily made from agave tequilana or blue agave plants that grow abundantly in Mexico. In terms of appearance, this plant greatly resembles a pineapple. Premium quality tequilas are made of 100% blue agave.

There are 5 different types of tequila: 

  • Blanco or Silver – Blanco means “white”. Its name strongly represents itself since it’s clear and is also considered tequila in its purest form.
  • Joven – Joven means “young”. As it is the perfect blend of aged and unaged tequila, it offers a unique flavor profile.
  • Reposado or Aged – From the word reposado, meaning “rested”, reposado tequila is a tequila type that rested in barrels for a few months to age, affecting its color and flavor.
  • Anejo or VintageAnejo means “old”. It basically describes this tequila since it takes years to age inside an oak barrel.
  • Extra Anejo – This type is a new classification of tequila added in 2006. It is a premium and luxurious tequila type as it takes no shorter than three years to age.

Of all these tequilas, there are three major types widely available in the market: tequila blanco, reposado, and anejo.

But what are their differences? Well, here’s a quick breakdown to help you differentiate them:

Aging and Barrelling

Tequila blanco, a distilled tequila, usually does not undergo an aging period. On the other hand, reposado and anejo tequilas are aged using steel or oak barrel. 

Tequila reposado spends about two months to a year in steel or oak barrels to age. In contrast, tequila anejo takes one to three years to mature in oak barrels that are no larger than 600 liters. And finally, we have tequila blanco that undergoes little to no aging period. Producers usually bottle this tequila type right after the distillation process. 

Flavor Profile and Aroma

shot glasses filled with tequila blanco, reposado, and anejo

Tequila reposado and anejo have a more intense flavor and aroma than tequila blanco. It is because the flavor profile and aroma of tequila intensifies the longer it ages. The type of barrel used and the distillation process also affects how tequila tastes and smells.

Generally, tequila reposado has a vanilla and caramel flavor with a hint of blue agave sweetness (due to the shorter length of aging). If aged in an oak barrel, expect your tequila reposado to have underlying woody or oaky notes.

Now, as for what is the smoothest tequila among the three, well, it’s the tequila anejo! Aged for a year or more using an oak barrel, it develops a smooth, earthy, and woody taste. Also, this one has a slight tinge of vanilla, honey, and some floral notes (with a bit of spice).

Finally, we have tequila blanco. Compared to reposado and anejo, tequila blanco has the more straightforward sweet taste of blue agave. The distillation process of tequila blanco gives it a citrusy flavor with a little bit of kick. 

Blanco vs Reposado vs Anejo: How to Enjoy Them

tequila shots and cocktail with salt, and lime

The sweet, fruity taste of tequila blanco and reposado make it better suited for concocting cocktail drinks. On the other hand, tequila anejo is best to drink neat (i.e. on its own).

Tequila blanco has a more sweet and fruity flavor. That is why it is ideal to use in margaritas or cocktails with an herby or tart taste like this paloma cocktail recipe. This cocktail has the perfect blend of citrusy lime and grapefruit. 

We also have tequila reposado, another crowd favorite when it comes to cocktail mixing. This is because of its more complex sweet and earthy flavors. You can enjoy it in a margarita such as this spiced apple margarita recipe. However, you can also drink it neat. 

Start making your own clear ice and enjoy tequila on the rocks in the comfort of your home. Tequila anejo is best served neat. But you can also use it as a whiskey alternative! Combine it with some simple syrup and a squeeze of citrus for an old-fashioned style concoction.

Refreshing Tequila Cocktails to Try

pineapple-jalapeno-pitcher-margaritas-recipe

  • Mexican Mule (Tequila Mule) – This is a refreshing take on Moscow mule using tequila blanco. Enjoy this tangy, aromatic drink that is best on slow days when you just want to relax.
  • Dirty Bird CocktailUse tequila reposado and some Wild Turkey 101 to recreate this sweet spirit that has a little bit of kick. It is an excellent bar drink, especially if you just want to have a fun party with your friends.
  • Pineapple Jalapeño MargaritaThis is a lovely cocktail drink that will remind you of summer vacations! The perfect blend of sweet, tang, and spice from the aged tequila and pineapple juice makes this drink a must-try.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much alcohol is in tequila?

Tequila reposado, anejo, and blanco’s alcohol content typically ranges between 38 to 55% (76 to 110 U.S. proof). Note that the length of aging does not affect the level of alcohol content. However, the fermentation process does. Sierra Silver Tequila is considered one of the strongest tequilas in the world, with 75% ABV (150 U.S. proof). 

Which tequila will not give you a hangover?

Want to avoid a hangover? Choose tequila that has 100% agave. This is because it contains fewer additives and congeners. These two cause inflammation and dehydration which give the worst hangover.

How long does tequila last?

So, does tequila go bad? Well, unopened tequila bottles do not expire. However, once opened, it is advisable to consume it within a year as its quality deteriorates. It is good to note, though, that it is still safe to drink after quite some time. However, expect a dull taste and lower quality.

How much is a bottle of tequila?

Tequila price usually depends on the brand rather than its type. There are premium tequila bottles from popular brands like Don Julio and Jose Cuervo, ranging from $25 to $500.

Want to know which is the most expensive tequila on the market? It is the Tequila Ley 925 Diamante. It is an extra anejo spirit aged for seven years, made of 100% agave, and is worth 3.5 million dollars.

Anejo vs Reposado vs Blanco: Which Is Better?

So what’s the verdict? Which of the three is the best? Well, tequila anejo, reposado, and blanco are all made to grant you a good time. However, their main differences boil down to their flavor and aroma, as well as the aging and barreling process. 

If you prefer a sweet and fruity drink, then go with tequila blanco! Want a spirit that’s just the perfect balance of earthy, tangy, and sweet flavors? Look no further than tequila reposado. However, if it’s a clean and smooth drink you want, then place your bet on tequila anejo.  

At the end of the day, it’s your party and you can drink according to your tastes and preferences. 

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Krishia

KC is a writer, an artist, a theatre enthusiast, and a food lover. She believes in the saying, “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” That is why she has myriads of interests—from photography, cooking, designing, journaling, and the list still goes on. She dreams of traveling the whole country on her own someday to satiate her eyes, her curiosity, and of course, her stomach.

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