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What Is Reposado Tequila?

by Scott Connor 17 Nov 2022

Tequila: No, it’s not just for shots. Chances are you’ve tossed back this mainstay from Mexico at some point in your storied career. But did you know that tequila is as distinct, expressive, and profound as the fancy scotches and bourbons you were taught to sip?

Whether you’re a budding mixologist or you’re simply looking to take your enjoyment of spirits and cocktails to the next level, you can bolster your bartending knowledge by learning more about this classic liquor.

Tequila reposado offers as good a starting point as any to deepen your appreciation. But what is reposado tequila, what is the difference between reposado vs Blanco, and how does it differ from the other categories of agave flavor spirits?

Kick back, relax, and enjoy a sip-worthy introduction to this delicious, dependable, and yes, deep, beverage.

The Mature, Rested Tequila

Consider first the linguistic origins of the word reposado, and you’ll gain a clue as to what kind of tequila it is. Reposado means “rested” in Spanish, which makes sense once you learn that this variety is aged in barrels for between 2 months to a year.1 Not only does this aging process give it its telltale golden or amber hue, but it also allows the flavors to deepen and become more complex.

In terms of age, reposado slots right between Blanco tequila and añejo tequila. Blanco denotes a version of the liquor that is aged two months maximum, while añejo varieties spend one to three years maturing before they are bottled.

From the Hands of Mexico’s Jimadores to Your Glass

Forecasters predict that the spirit of tequila will outsell both whiskey and vodka in the United States by 2023.2 Given this recent spike in demand, you may be surprised to learn that tequila is still grown using classic, time-honored techniques by jimadores, or tequila farmers. So exactly how is tequila made? These storied professionals tend their fields of blue agave, the plant that is eventually pressed and distilled, and honor the craft of Mexico’s most storied libation.

Just as true champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, real aged tequila is produced in just five authorized states in Mexico:

  • Guanajuato
  • Michoacan
  • Nayarit
  • Tamaulipas
  • Jalisco

Once the agave plant is harvested, five additional steps are required to transform this spiky succulent into the margarita mixer, including:

  • Baking
  • Juicing
  • Fermenting
  • Distilling
  • Aging

It’s important to note that while the agave plant bulb is saturated with syrupy sweet juice, it doesn’t contain any booze until ethyl alcohol is added during the fermentation process. Next comes distillation, during which impurities are removed, and the concoction is concentrated.

Finally, and most importantly for this discussion, aging—which is when tequila reposado gains its gorgeous color and acquires its unique tasting notes.

What Is Reposado Tequila

Which Should You Choose, Blanco or Reposado?

If you’ve ever found yourself nodding along to song lyrics that waxed poetic about Patrón or puzzled over the refreshment choices at your local cantina, you’ve probably wondered which of these two popular varieties boasts the higher calidad (or quality). The answer is, it depends.

Unlike most Cabernets and Chardonnays, tequila isn’t necessarily better with age. There are plenty of first-rate Blancos on the bar shelf that was made with premium agave nectar and advanced techniques. Similarly, reposado tequilas can range from decent to luxury, and high-end.

Ideally, the type of sipping tequila you choose depends on how you’re looking to imbibe.

High-caliber Blanco tequila can be sipped, of course, but it’s more often used in light, slightly sweet cocktails like margaritas and Palomas. This is because the clean and lightly vegetal notes that characterize this variety play nice with citrus and salt.

Of course, reposado tequilas can also work well in your go-to tequila beverages. Thanks to the aging process, reposado tequilas tend to have more complex flavors, including notes of:

  • Caramel
  • Dried fruit
  • Vanilla
  • Spice
  • Wood
  • Smoke

Those deeper flavor profiles can lend depth and—dare we say— a touch of swank to your favorite recipes.

But reposado is as good, if not better, than a quality tequila Blanco for sipping. Aficionados will enjoy identifying and savoring the different tastes across their tongue. And that arresting caramel color isn’t bad to contemplate either. Fans of rums and ryes alike will have no problem finding a place for reposado tequila in their at-home bars.

What Is Reposado Tequila

Discover Your New Favorite Reposado Tequila with Barbank

There’s a time and a place for shots. When it comes to carefully crafted and aged tequila, this denotes special occasions. With your new-found knowledge of reposado tequila, you can one-up your homemade cocktail menus and sipping repertoire and enliven late nights with friends and family.

Not sure where to begin?

Here at Barbank, our goal is to furnish you with the best options in premium tequila and all your favorite liquors, like whiskey, rum, and vodka. If you’re running low, you can have any of these alcoholic beverages delivered straight to your door using our online liquor delivery service.

Keep your bar well stocked and your special occasions flowing—with Barbank.

 

Sources:

  1. Martha Stewart. Mezcal and Tequila Are More Popular Than Ever—Here's How to Tell These Agave-Based Spirits Apart. https://www.marthastewart.com/8330706/mezcal-vs-tequila
  2. Bloomberg. Americans Will Spend More on Mezcal and Tequila This Year Than Whiskey. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-08/mezcal-and-tequila-oust-whiskey-as-second-biggest-us-spirit
  3. ABC News. Tequila boom rooted in traditional farming techniques. https://abcnews.go.com/International/tequila-boom-rooted-traditional-farming-techniques/story?id=54916062
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