You may love the taste of a good sipping tequila, and Volans multi-award-winning tequila is an ultra-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 CATEGORIES
Blanco tequila, including our own Volans blanco, is unaged. It is a freshly distilled spirit; the pure flavor of the agave without any additional flavors from oak of a barrel. Our Blanco is beautifully clear, demonstrating our expertise in producing tequila in its purest form. You’ll sometime see Blancos labeled or called Plata or Silver.
Reposado tequila refers to tequila that has been ‘rested’. Although it is sometimes associated with añejo, or ‘aged’, tequila, there are differences between the two. Reposado is aged for between two and twelve months and can be stored in barrels of any size. Because Reposado is aged for less than a year, it takes on a yellow-ish color, somewhere between Blanco and the darker Añejo. Some Reposados can have more oak flavor by using a new, freshly burnt, or traditional size barrel or it could have a more subtle oak flavor by using older and more aged barrels.
Añejo tequilas is aged between one and up to three years. They are typically darker than Reposados and can have more flavors imparted into the tequila from the barrel. The more you age a tequila the more complex it gets in the aroma, flavors and color.
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 this time, it develops its full-bodied flavor with hints of dried fruit, caramel, vanilla and maple. The length of the aging process allows the extra Añejo to take on an even darker color and more complex flavors and aromas than the Reposado or Añejo tequila.
TIP: See our last thoughts about tequila additives at the bottom.
Gold tequila is colored tequila. It can be mistaken for one that has been aged. In reality, a caramel coloring and/or flavors have often been added to give it color.
Joven means young, but it is simply a blend. Blanco tequila is mixed with an aged tequila (Reposado, Añejo, or Extra Añejo) to produce Joven tequila. It can be slightly darker in color than Blanco, but it is usually made with a very small proportion of aged tequila.
Cristalino tequila is not as well known as other types of tequila. Cristalino is añejo or extra añejo tequila that has been filtered, often through charcoal, to remove the color that it picks up in the oak barrels. The result is a clear tequila, like a blanco, but with a high price tag.
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% by 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 in 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 times the additives won’t dissipate.
Here are some typical 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…
Whether you’ve been enjoying tequila for years, or have only recently discovered this beautifully pure spirit, Volans Ultra Premium 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.