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
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.