Hey tequila lover, have you ever wondered what the difference is between Reposado vs. Anejo Tequila? Or wanted to know the best way to enjoy each? As tequila aficionados, we’ve done plenty of research and tasting to answer these questions.
Whether you’re a beginner or a connoisseur, this article is for you. We’ll break down the difference between Reposado and Anejo tequilas, outline their production processes, and provide tasting tips to discover which one you like best.
So grab your glass, and let’s get sip-sational!
What Is Tequila?
Hey, there, tequila connoisseur! If you’re trying to decide between a Reposado and an Anejo tequila, it’s important to understand the differences between styles of tequila.
Tequila is a distilled spirit made in Mexico from the blue agave plant. If you’ve ever seen a blue agave plant, it looks like a giant artichoke surrounded by sharp leaves. Once harvested, the plant’s core is steamed or roasted before being mashed into a pulp. This pulp is then fermented and distilled to make tequila.
Tequila is often classified by color—Blanco (white) for clear tequilas, Reposado (aged/rested) for those aged up to one year, and Anejo (extra aged/vintage) for those aged 1–3 years. So now let’s look at Reposado vs. Anejo tequila—which tastes better?
Differences Between Reposado vs. Anejo Tequila
So, what’s so different about Reposado vs. Anejo tequila?
To start with, there are two key differences: aging and flavor. Reposado is aged two to eleven months in oak barrels, while Anejo is aged for one to three years. This aging process will dramatically change the flavor of the tequila from the blanco stage—which makes sense when you consider that some Reposado and Anejo tequilas can cost nearly twice as much as a blanco.
Regarding taste, Reposado tends to be smoother than blancos but not as sweet or smoky as Anejo. It also has a slight woody oak note if it’s aged longer and can have a hint of caramel.
Anejo has more of an intense woodsy flavor with deep sugars and some spice on the finish. So if you’re looking for something bolder than Reposado but not too sweet, try a good Anejo tequila!
How Are They Aged?
If you’re anything like us, you love to explore the world of tequila. You’ve probably heard of Reposado and Añejo tequila, but you may wonder what separates them.
A key difference is an aging process. Reposado and añejo are both aged tequilas, but the amount of time they spend in barrels differs. Reposado tequila typically spends between two and twelve months in barrels, while añejo usually matures at least one year before bottling.
The length of time that the spirit spends aging affects its taste; longer aging leads to mellower flavors. Reposado is usually smooth but will still retain some of the brighter flavors associated with unaged tequila, while añejo will taste smoother and more complex than Reposado because it has had more time to develop its flavors.
Which Tastes Better? Reposado vs. Anejo Tequila
So which tequila tastes better: Reposado or Anejo? That’s where personal preference comes into play. Both have sweet, distinct flavors that can add a special twist to any cocktail, but each offers a different taste and experience.
Reposado is sometimes called the “Goldilocks” tequila because it has the perfect balance of sweet and smooth flavors with a hint of smokiness. Typically aged for a minimum of two months in oak barrels, the complex flavor of Reposado has notes of caramel and citrus, making it perfectly suited for mixing in cocktails or drinking neat.
Añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for at least one year, giving it an even deeper flavor than Reposado. Its intense taste includes smoky notes, subtle hints of dark chocolate, and hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and spice. This tequila is incredibly smooth when sipped neat or can be used to enhance any craft cocktail with its unique flavoring.
How Reposado Tequila is Made
So you’re considering trying Reposado tequila but don’t know anything about it? Here’s a breakdown of how it’s made:
The main difference between Reposado and Anejo tequila is the aging process. Reposado — which translates as “rested” — is aged in oak barrels for at least two months, usually up to one year. This process gives it a smoother taste, with hints of oak, vanilla, and caramel.
Reposado tequila is made using the same production process as other tequilas. It starts with the blue agave plant, where the leaves are cut off to reveal an aromatic piña (or heart) in the center. The pina is then cooked, crushed, fermented, and distilled twice to make a smooth-tasting Anejo spirit with 40-50% alcohol by volume.
Maturing in oak casks
After distillation, Reposado tequila is placed into oak casks for anywhere between two months and one year—that’s what gives it its unique flavor profile. It absorbs some of the wood’s colors and flavors during this time, such as vanilla and caramel. The longer it’s stored in wood barrels, the richer its flavor will be on your palate.
How Anejo Tequila is Made
When it comes to your tequila, there’s a lot more than just taste that you should consider. Knowing how each type of tequila is made and how to tell them apart can make all the difference when sipping.
What makes Anejo Tequila so special? Let’s take a look at the process:
The aging process for Anejo Tequila is its defining factor. After each batch of Tequila has been tested and approved, it’s placed in white oak barrels and left to age for more than a year but no longer than three. During this time, the liquor will take on the flavors and texture of the barrel and any notes from previous batches stored in that barrel.
Once the aging process is complete, all batches are blended together. This ensures consistent flavor throughout every jug or bottle of Anejo Tequila produced. It also allows for a distinct taste between different brands or distilleries—no two are alike!
At this point, distillers might also blend Anejo Tequila with other types like Joven (young) or Reposado (rested). This gives it an even more complex taste profile that can’t be achieved by simply aging alone.
Flavoring & bottling
Finally, the tequila is added to bottles and might even be infused with flavors like fruit or vanilla to give it an added kick. This step is totally optional, though—unflavored Anejo still has plenty of wonderful tastes! The end result? A premium Tequila with a smooth body and rich aroma perfect for sipping neat or
Tasting Notes on Reposado and Anejo Tequilas
So what can you expect in terms of taste when trying a Reposado and Anejo tequila?
When it comes to Reposado tequila, you’ll find that it has a slight sweetness that unlocks a secret world of flavors among the agave, fruit, and oak. It is typically more pleasant than other tequilas because its mellow flavors keep the bite in check.
On the other hand, Anejo tequila has a bold flavor incomparable to any other form of tequila. It is aged in wooden barrels for at least one year (many are aged for longer), which provides a unique taste and aroma. Anejo tequila will have oak, leather, and coffee notes for a smooth finish with an extra punch.
Remember: You should always seek out 100% agave tequilas when considering Reposado or Anejo options — this will ensure the highest quality product with the most flavor!
If you don’t like sipping straight tequila or want to mix it up, you can always try making a tequila cocktail. Whether you choose Reposado or Anejo, the smoothness of the spirit makes it perfect for adding to your favorite recipes.
One classic use of tequila is in a margarita, and both Reposado and Anejo work great. You can also play around with ratios of tequila to triple sec for different flavor combinations. Plus, if you prefer a blended margarita, i.e., one with crushed ice mixed in, consider using Anejo tequila – it’s smoother in texture and can handle blending better than Reposado.
Another delicious tequila cocktail is the Paloma – a combination of grapefruit soda, lime juice, and either Reposado or Anejo tequila, depending on your preference. Gently mix all three together over ice and enjoy!
If you don’t have grapefruit soda, regular citrus soda will also work fine!
Try our delicious recipe and fun take on the popular whiskey or vodka sour. The fresh lemon and lime juice really make this Tequila Sour recipe stand out.
Check out our full list of Tequila cocktail recipes here!
Ideas for Pairing Reposado and Anejo Tequilas With Food
Regarding a Reposado or Anejo tequilas, each has a flavor profile, and what you like better depends on your tastes. But you don’t just have to drink the tequila alone—you can pair it with food for an even tastier treat.
Reposado tequila is a good match for light salads or dishes with grilled fish and chicken, as the subtle sweetness and caramel notes of the tequilas don’t overpower the delicate flavors of these foods. It also pairs well with desserts like flan or sweet bread like conchas or pan de Muerto.
Anejo tequilas are best when paired with spicy dishes, as the oaky flavors of this tequila can balance out any spiciness in a dish. These tequilas pair well with chile Verde, carne asada tacos, and other Mexican dishes that you might normally reach for a beer to cool down with. They also work really well as an after-dinner drink, so try breaking out your Anejo after your next fiesta.
The most important consideration when choosing a tequila is what tastes best. Both Reposado and Anejo have a great flavor profile, but depending on the brand, the nuances of that flavor may vary.
Reposado tequila is typically aged for two to 12 months in oak barrels. This aging process imparts a creamy vanilla and caramel notes and some fruity and floral notes. Some brands also add additional spices like pepper and cinnamon for more depth. The aging process makes Reposado tequila smooth, rich, and slightly sweet with a hint of spice.
Anejo tequila is aged for at least one year in oak barrels. This aging process marries the agave with the barrel to create a rich flavor profile featuring spicy and woody tones such as cinnamon, pepper, and oak with some vanilla and subtle caramel notes. You’ll also find subtle hints of chocolate in many brands of Anejo tequila. The taste is smoother compared to the Reposado but still incredibly complex.
In the end, both Reposado and Anejo Tequilas offer a unique taste to enjoy, so the answer to which one tastes the best is entirely up to you. Reposado offers a slightly sweet and smoother finish, whereas Anejo provides a robust aged flavor. Each has its own unique merits and will provide a memorable tasting experience. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with either.
No matter your preference, be sure to enjoy your Reposado or Anejo responsibly. The taste of either of these tequilas should be savored and appreciated. After all, it’s a part of Mexico’s culture, and it’s something that can be shared with family, friends, and the wider community. No matter which one you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.