Tequila Basics: Kinds of Tequila
There are some basic things you should know about Tequila if you want to become a professional, in this post we’ll cover the third of many topics that are key for you education as a “Tequila Professional”:
Kinds of Tequila, the different Tequila categories and classes.
Tequilas are sorted into two different categories depending on the percentage of sugar used during the elaboration of Tequila:
- 100% de Agave. This Tequila has no aggregated sugars from a different source other than the Blue Weber Agave cultivated within the Tequila region, and it has to be bottled in the same facilities that have to be located within the Tequila region. It can be labeled with the following phrases: 100% de Agave, 100% puro de Agave, 100% Agave, 100% puro Agave.
- Tequila. This Tequila is mixed with other sugars, before fermentation, up to a 49%. These sugars can be from any kind of Agave or other sources. It has to be bottled in facilities located within the Tequila region or outside of it when the facilities fulfills the terms in the NOM.
According to the characteristics acquired during the processes after the distillation Tequila is classified in:
- Tequila Blanco (Silver Tequila). Clear and unaged Tequila that is normally bottled right after being distilled.
- Tequila Joven (Gold Tequila). This type of Tequila is normally a mix of White Tequila with Tequila Reposado, añejo or extra añejo or just color added. Their taste is smooth and and youthful.
- Tequila Reposado (Aged Tequila). The first level of ageing, the tequila remains in wood barrels for a period of two months but no longer than 12 months. Each distillery has its own preference for the type of barrel used in ageing. The type of barrel used have an impact on the final flavor of the Tequila.
- Tequila Añejo (Extra Aged). This is the next level of ageing and means “vintage”. Tequila has to be aged in an oak barrels, with a maximum capacity of 600 liters, for a least one year.
- Tequila Extra Añejo (Ultra Aged). This is the last level of Tequila ageing, it needs to be aged in oak barrels, with a maximum capacity of 600 liters, for at least 3 years.