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Blanco vs. Repo (vs. Añejo vs Extra Añejo)

Written by: Niko Loyatho

In simplest terms, the difference is their age. Blanco is aged 0-2 months, reposado 2-11

months, añejo 1-3 years, and extra añejo 3+ years. This refers to the amount of time the

tequila spends in oak barrels before it is bottled. Storing a bottle of reposado for a year

does not make it an añejo. (Spirits can change over time regardless of their portage but

that is unrelated to the age statement on the bottle.) How long the spirit has had to interact

with oak is what we are measuring.

Nosotros makes a blanco and a reposado. A question I get asked a lot is, Which

one is better? The answer is both. They are different expressions and there is no

qualitative difference. Aging costs more by way of time, barrels, storage, and

evaporation. This is perceived by many consumers as value. It is not. All it means is that

it costs more. What is valuable is the taste you personally prefer. To know it, you have to

try them.

Blanco is clear with no color. It is aged less than two months if at all. Drinking

blanco is how to appreciate the purest expression of the agave. All tequila is made with

weber blue agave but terroir—region, soil, air, weather—and process makes blanco

tequilas very different from each other.

Reposado means rested. Most producers bottle after 2-6 months. The aim is to

palliate the spirit’s harsher notes so that the agave’s best flavors can be appreciated.

Many true tequila lovers identify as “repo drinkers”. Nosotros reposado is unique for its

classification. It is aged longer—only one month short of añejo—and in French oak. This

makes it rich in caramel and vanilla notes.

Añejo means aged. Aging has been a part of tequila’s identity since it first made

its way onto the world market. Añejos, naturally, have more properties of the wood their

aged in. They’re often richer, smoother, and sweeter than the younger expressions.

Extra Añejo: This category was only added in recent years. As market demand

for long-aged spirits, particularly whiskeys/whiskys has climbed, tequila producers have

followed suit. The properties of añejo can be amplified in extra añejos until a certain

point when the flavor of oak begins to override other flavors.

Warning: “Gold” and “Silver” are not legal terms. Silver loosely refers to blanco but a

common misconception is that gold refers to reposado or añejo. It does not. “Gold” is

almost exclusively used in labeling cheap tequila that’s had color added in order to

impersonate aged tequila. Most of this tequila is not even 100% agave.

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