You may love the taste of a good sipping tequila, and Volans multi-award-winning tequila is a premium spirit that can be enjoyed and savored at all occasions. Originating in Mexico (and only Mexico), there are several types of tequila, each with a name that describes how it has been produced. Whilst the terminology can seem overwhelming at first, there is a simple explanation for each of the names.
THE MAIN TYPES OF TEQUILA
Blanco tequila, which includes our highly acclaimed Volans blanco, is unaged. Crafted with meticulous care, it embodies the essence of the blue Weber agave plant in its purest form. Unburdened by the influence of oak barrels, Blanco tequila offers a crisp and pristine flavor profile that genuinely showcases agave’s natural sweetness and vibrant character.
When exploring the world of tequila Blanco, you may encounter alternative names such as Plata or Silver tequila. These designations are often used interchangeably, indicating tequilas that have not undergone the aging process. With each sip, you are transported to the heart of Mexico, embracing the true essence of tequila in its unadulterated form.
Savor the smoothness and pristine qualities of Volans Blanco as it tantalizes your palate with its delicate flavors and aromatic nuances. This unaged tequila captures the spirit of traditional distillation techniques, ensuring a refined taste that leaves a lasting impression.
Reposado tequila, also known as “rested” tequila, holds a distinctive place in agave spirits. While it is sometimes associated with aged añejo tequila, Reposado possesses its own charm and unique qualities. Aged for a period ranging from two to twelve months, this tequila undergoes a restful maturation process, resulting in a warm, yellowish hue that sits between the crystal-clear Blanco and the darker Añejo.
As Reposado tequila ages, it can interact with barrels of various sizes and types. Some distillers choose newly burnt or freshly crafted barrels to impart a more pronounced oak flavor, infusing the spirit with delightful hints of vanilla, caramel, and spice. Others opt for older, seasoned barrels, which lend a more subtle oak influence, allowing the agave’s natural character to shine through.
Crafting a Reposado tequila requires a delicate balance between the blue Weber agave’s essence and aging’s influence. Master distillers meticulously select barrels and employ different aging techniques to create a harmonious interplay of flavors. The result is a tequila that embodies both the vibrancy of the agave and the nuances acquired from its time in the barrel.
With each sip of Reposado tequila, you embark on a sensory adventure, experiencing flavors’ inviting aromas and layered complexity. From the first encounter to the lingering finish, this tequila showcases the craftsmanship and dedication that go into producing a spirit of refined taste and character.
Indulge in the allure of Reposado tequila and savor its unique expression. Whether enjoyed neat, in a cocktail, or paired with your favorite cuisine, let the subtle warmth and gentle oak transport you to Mexico’s sun-drenched agave fields, where tradition and artistry converge to create an unforgettable spirit.
Añejo tequilas are aged between one and up to three years, allowing them to develop their distinct characteristics. With their aging process, añejo tequilas undergo a transformation that sets them apart from reposados. The extended aging period imparts a rich, amber color to the tequila, creating a visually striking appeal. This darker hue results from the tequila interacting with the oak barrels over time, absorbing the essence of the wood.
Beyond their appearance, añejo tequilas also benefit from an increased depth of flavors derived from barrel aging. As the tequila rests in the oak, it absorbs the nuances of the wood, creating a harmonious fusion between the agave and the barrel. This interaction introduces complex flavor profiles, often showcasing notes of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and spices like pepper and cinnamon.
The aging process contributes to a more refined and sophisticated taste, enhancing the drinking experience.
Moreover, as añejo tequilas age, their aromas become more intricate and enticing. The interaction between the tequila and the wood allows for captivating scents, ranging from toasted oak and subtle smokiness to hints of dried fruit and floral undertones. These aromas further contribute to the sensory pleasure of savoring an añejo tequila.
As tequilas age, they become more concentrated, producing higher alcohol content than younger varieties. This concentration enhances the tequila’s body and viscosity, imparting a smooth and luxurious mouthfeel.
A tequila that has been aged over three years is considered an Extra Añejo or “Extra Aged.” We are proud of our multi-award-winning Extra Añejo tequila, which is allowed to age in used American white oak barrels for over three and a half years. During its extended maturation period, Extra Añejo tequila develops a full-bodied flavor profile that captivates the senses. Tasting our Extra Añejo you will taste delicate hints of dried fruit entwined with the indulgent notes of caramel, vanilla, and maple, creating a harmonious symphony of taste and aroma. Each sip is an experience to be savored as the tequila showcases its remarkable complexity and depth.
The color of aged blue Weber agave tequila can vary significantly. The darker, whiskey-like color is not always the best for aged tequila. The darker in color a tequila is, the more a barrel has imparted its oak colors, aromas, and flavors into the tequila.
It’s also important to note that aging tequila is both an art form and a science. We can use French oak barrels or American oak barrels; each imparts different flavors and aromas. The location of where the barrels are stored matters; if they previously had a different type of wine or spirit, bourbon, wine, whiskey, rum, brandy, you name it. Remember that if you fill a barrel with high-quality premium tequila, you’ll have a better-tasting aged tequila.
Whether you choose our revered original Extra Añejo or explore the extraordinary depths of our limited edition 6-year extra añejo, each sip promises an unforgettable journey into tequila craftsmanship.
TIP: See our last thoughts about tequila additives at the bottom.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEQUILA
Gold tequila, often misleadingly labeled for its appearance, is one of the tequila types that acquires its color through artificial means rather than the natural aging process. The golden hue of gold tequila may lead one to believe that it has been aged, but in truth, its color is achieved through the addition of caramel coloring and/or flavoring agents. These additives impart an appealing visual appeal to tequila, creating an illusion of sophistication and maturity. It is important to remember that the color of gold tequila is from artificial coloring and not from a barrel.
Joven tequila, derived from the Spanish word for “young,” represents a unique category within the tequila family. Despite its name, Joven tequila does not indicate the age of the spirit itself but refers to its blending nature. In the production of Joven tequila, unaged blanco tequila is combined with a small portion of aged tequila, such as reposado, añejo, or extra añejo. This blending process imparts certain characteristics and complexities to the final product. While Joven tequila may exhibit a slightly darker hue than blanco, it is essential to note that the proportion of aged tequila used in the blend is typically minimal. Consequently, Joven tequila balances the vibrant, youthful qualities of blanco tequila and subtle nuances derived from the aged components.
Cristalino tequila is not as well known as other types of tequila. It is essentially añejo or extra añejo tequila that undergoes a filtration process, typically involving charcoal, to strip away the color acquired from oak barrel aging. The result is a colorless tequila, resembling a blanco, but with a significantly higher price tag. While it may be marketed as a unique offering, some critics argue that this extensive filtration compromises the authenticity and character of traditional aged tequilas.
Mixto tequila is worth mentioning, although it is not a distinct category like blanco, reposado, añejo, or extra añejo. Mixto tequila refers to a type of tequila that is made from a blend of at least 51% blue agave sugars and other sugars, typically from sugarcane. While it is more affordable compared to 100% agave tequilas, mixto tequila is generally considered to be of lower quality and not as refined in taste. Additional sugars and the lower agave content can result in a harsher and less complex flavor profile. Mixto tequila is often associated with lower-priced options and is commonly used in cocktails rather than sipping.
A note on Additives
One note on Additives. As you notice, as a tequila ages from a blanco to reposado, to añejo, and finally to an extra añejo, the main difference is color and flavor due to aging in oak barrels. Time is money, and so to save money, additives are used. An important thing to remember is that some tequila brands may add up to 1% to the total volume of additives in your tequila without telling you. Now why would brands add these additives? They do this to maintain consistency between batches, to cover up mistakes, or to fix a sub-par product.
If you’re drinking a tequila that tastes extremely sweet or tastes like fake fruit or smells like cake, or it seems like you’re smelling a bottle of vanilla, that’s the additives. Another way to tell is by letting your tequila sit in a glass. Pour your tequila into a glass, then smell it. What do you smell? Then taste it. What do you taste? Wait a few minutes. An additive-free tequila should slightly change as the tequila mixes with oxygen. It’s similar to wine; as a glass of wine sits, or you swirl, it changes. You might pick up different aromas or flavors in your tequila. If the tequila has additives, often, the additives won’t dissipate. Try this experiment with Casamigos Tequila (not confirmed additive-free): pour a glass of Casamigos blanco, then pour some vanilla extract into another glass & compare them. What do you think?
Here are some typical tequila additives that could be added:
- Sugars (corn syrup, cane sugar, agave nectar, aspartame, sucralos, or stevia)
- Glycerine – to create a more rounded mouth feel and a less “thin” or watery feeling tequila
- Oak Extracts – this adds aromas and flavors found in an oak barrel. This makes your tequila taste and smell like its been aged longer.
- Caramel Color – this makes a darker color. It’s only for the looks, but it does add slight bitter flavors.
- Others – You name it… Vanilla, Caramel, Butterscotch, Pepper, Toffee, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Citrus…
All Volans Tequila is 100% Additive Free 👉 Here is a list of Additive Free Tequilas.
Tequila Regulatory Council
The Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), an organization dedicated to upholding the standards and authenticity of tequila production, ensures that tequilas like Volans adhere to the highest quality standards, the age of tequila, and several other important details. This ensures that every bottle of Volans tequila meets the expectations of tequila connoisseurs. It also provides that all tequila originates from the state of Jalisco, Mexico, or one of these Mexican States. The blue Weber agave thrives within this region, benefitting from the ideal climate and soil conditions necessary for its growth.
How your tequila is made matters.
From growing the Agaves to harvesting, through the distillation process, are all crucial steps in crafting tequila. We employ traditional methods at Volans to ensure the highest quality and authenticity. This meticulous process imparts a delicious and smooth taste to our tequilas, making them enjoyable on their own or in your favorite tequila cocktails. Whether you prefer sipping our tequila neat, savoring a classic margarita, or indulging in a tequila sunrise, our tequila varieties offer a wide range of possibilities to elevate your cocktail experience. From the moment the bottle is opened, you’ll be captivated by the enticing aromas and unique flavors our tequilas deliver.
At Volans, we are committed to using fully mature blue Weber agave plants to create tequilas with unparalleled flavor profiles. This dedication to quality and craftsmanship results in tequilas that exhibit unique flavors, ensuring an exceptional and memorable drinking experience.
So, whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo, enjoying a tequila cocktail with friends, or simply looking to savor a tequila that embodies the true spirit of Mexico, Volans tequila is your ultimate companion. Cheers to the world of tequila and the exploration of its diverse and delightful offerings.
Whether you’ve been enjoying tequila for years or have only recently discovered this beautifully pure spirit, Volans Tequila is the perfect addition to your spirit collection. Additive-free for a refined taste, Volans produces the best tasting craft tequila for sipping and relaxing.
How do you drink different types of tequila?
There is no real wrong way of drinking tequila. You go ahead and enjoy it however you like it.
Here are some quick tips on how to drink tequila:
- Blanco: Neat. Mix your cocktails with blanco.
- Reposado: Neat. You can also mix cocktails with a reposado.
- Añejo: Neat. Adding ice or mixing cocktails with an añejo isn’t recommended.
- Extra Añejo: Neat in a wine glass, Glencairn, brandy snifter, champaign flute. Adding ice or mixing cocktails with an extra añejo isn’t recommended & might even anger some people.
We do not recommend drinking anything in these categories: Gold, Joven, Cristalino, or Mixto.
Neat or on the Rocks:
Many tequila enthusiasts prefer to savor any tequila in its purest form. Pour a serving of tequila into a small glass and sip it slowly. You can use a brandy snifter, a white wine glass, or a Glencairn glass. Take the time to appreciate its aromas, flavors, and the nuances of the agave. If desired, add a couple of ice cubes to chill the tequila slightly without diluting it too much. Remember that once you add ice cubes, the tequila’s aromas & flavors will change.
Consider organizing a tequila-tasting session to fully explore tequila’s flavors and complexities. Pour small amounts of different tequilas into separate glasses. We usually compare blancos to blancos and reposados to reposados, but you can taste a Volans Flight and taste all of our expressions together. Take your time to compare and contrast their unique characteristics, noting each tequila’s aromas, flavors, and mouthfeel. This approach allows you to appreciate the subtle differences between brands and enjoy the nuances of each blanco tequila.
Tequila is a versatile base spirit that works well in many cocktails. We have talked to many mixologists with a tequila version of any cocktail with a neutral spirit like Vodka.
Here are a few classic options:
- Margarita: Mix two parts tequila, and 1 part lime juice, and then squeeze a wedge of a ripe orange into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
- Paloma: Combine tequila, grapefruit soda (or fresh grapefruit juice), lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a glass with ice. Stir gently and garnish with a grapefruit slice.
- Tequila Sunrise: Fill a glass with ice and pour blanco tequila over it. Add orange juice and gently pour grenadine down the side of the glass to create a sunrise effect. Do not stir; let the colors settle naturally. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.
- Tequila with Sangrita: In Mexico, some people pair tequila with an accompaniment called “sangrita.” Sangrita is a non-alcoholic beverage that complements the flavors of tequila. It is typically made from a mix of tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, and spices. Sip the tequila and take small sips of sangrita between sips of tequila to cleanse your palate and enhance the overall tasting experience.