Last Updated on September 29, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Have you ever taken a moment to marvel at the remarkable smoothness of your tequila? Well, I certainly have with my recently bought Extra Añejo.
I’ve always been the type to go for Blanco tequila when whipping up cocktails. Its clean, crisp taste is the perfect foundation for Margaritas and Palomas.
But my new tequila bottle has got me thinking: Does aging tequila make it smoother? Or is it merely a clever marketing ploy?
Does Aging Tequilas Smoothen Their Taste?
Absolutely! Aging tequila in a barrel can smoothen and transform its profile, bringing out unexpected nuances and flavor combinations.
“Tequila is one of the oldest spirits in the world. There’s so much tradition that goes into it. There are processes that have passed down for generations.” – Uduimoh Umolu, President of Jon Basil Tequila
Blanco tequila is aged within two months, while Reposado tequila can go through barrel-aging for over two months but less than a year.
Moreover, Añejo may take more than a year but less than three years, and Extra Añejo for more than three years. The last two are suitable substitutes for whiskey in an Old Fashioned cocktail.
What Does Aging Do To Tequila?
Aging imparts flavors like vanilla, caramel, and even hints of spice to tequilas. It also smoothens the liquor, similar to how it works in whiskey and brandy.
An Extra Añejo, introduced in 2006, captivates even bourbon fans. The most commonly used barrel types for aging an Extra Añejo are French oak (Limousin oak) and American oak barrels .
How Tequilas Are Aged
A tequila is aged differently depending on its type, from Blanco to Extra Añejo. The distiller can choose which barrel to use for the aging and finishing process, such as French oak (Limousin oak) and American oak barrels.
The oaks are used to impart different flavor combinations for the distilled spirit. But unlike whiskey, tequilas usually undergo maturation for only up to 10 to 11 years. But will tequila make you horny?
What’s The Smoothest Tequila Type?
The smoothest tequilas are Añejo and Extra Añejo because of their longer barrel-aging process. These two are my go-to choice for luxurious sipping as they have adapted unexpected nuances and flavors from the barrel.
Another type of tequila called Cristalino also has a smooth profile. It is a blend of aged tequila like Extra Añejo and Reposado tequila, but it has gone through a filtering process to remove its color and flavors.
How Long Does It Need To Be Aged?
Tequilas do not take long to undergo maturation, unlike whiskey, because of the climate. Since Mexico has a hotter climate, tequilas only age about two to three years to reach their optimal potential .
Añejo undergoes maturation inside that time frame, while Extra Añejo needs more than three years to obtain that label.
What Makes This Spirit Higher Quality?
The agave used in tequilas is what really makes the spirits higher quality. Similar to other types of liquor like whiskey and brandy, tequilas also need premium ingredients to ensure a premium-quality product.
“Aging tequilas isn’t just a matter of time; it’s an art form that requires skill, passion, and a deep understanding to achieve the exact right notes of the spirit.” – Liquor Laboratory
The best tequilas use 100% agave, ensuring a purer and more authentic profile. Add to that careful distillation, precise aging, and high-quality barrels; you’ve got the recipe for a higher-quality spirit. But will tequila go bad?
Can you drink 50-year-old tequila?
No, you can not drink 50-year-old tequilas because tequilas do not undergo maturation for such an extended period. The oldest tequila is an Extra Añejo, aged for over three years.
Some tequilas have also released limited and special editions of Extra Añejo, which are around 10 to 11 years old.
Is longer-aged tequila better?
No, longer-aged tequilas do not necessarily mean that they are better. Extra Añejo will start to be overpowered by the barrel flavors and lose its agave notes in about three to five years.
So Extra Añejo is best aged only around five years.
On A Final Note
Like whiskey, tequilas matures in oak barrels and interacts with the wood, absorbing subtle flavors and aromas. This process not only mellows out the sharp edges of tequila but also adds complexity and depth until it achieves the exact right notes and combinations.
Extra Añejo and the Cristalino may have the smoothest tequila because of the more extended aging experience. The tequilas can be whiskey replacements for an Old Fashioned cocktail.
For a better drinking experience, always check the label and see if your new tequila is made of 100% agave.