What Color Tequila is Smoothest? A Deep Dive Into Shades

Last Updated on September 29, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Here at Liquor Laboratory, we really love agave spirits, and we love all types of tequila. We’ve spent much time tasting different types and brands to determine our favorite.

As you know, tequilas come in different colors, each with its own unique taste. However, knowing which color is the smoothest can make your tequila nights way better, which is why we put our palates to the test with a variety of types and brands.

If you’re dying to know what color tequila is the smoothest, keep reading!

Tequila Colors Smoothness Levels Ranked

1. Dark Amber

Smoky Tequila Old Fashioned

Smoothness Level: ★★★★★

Alcohol Content: Around 40% ABV

Tequila Type: Aged

Best For: Sipping

Why We Like It: Dark amber tequilas, especially añejo and extra añejo tequila, spend time in oak barrels, which gives these spirits richness and complexity. This aging period also rounds out any harshness that may be initially present.

“Tequila shot: The shortest path to adventure.” – Liquor Laboratory 

Aside from the classic agave, this premium tequila offers an array of flavors, from vanilla and caramel to butterscotch and custard. This creates a smoother taste, perfect for sipping slowly. But what’s the smoothest tequila?

2. Gold Tequila

Pouring Tequila on a Glass

Smoothness Level: ★★★★☆

Alcohol Content: Around 40% ABV

Tequila Type: Mix of aged and unaged

Best For: Shots and sipping on the rocks

Why We Like It: Some say gold tequilas are less authentic than other types of tequila because it’s usually made from a mix of reposado tequila, silver tequila, and some additives.

However, this mix gives it a more forgiving palate, especially for those seeking a milder experience. Gold tequila shots have a slight sweetness.

3. Colorless/Silver Tequila

Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

Smoothness Level: ★★★☆☆

Alcohol Content: Around 40%

Tequila Type: Unaged

Best For: Shots or cocktails

Why We Like It: Tequila blanco or silver tequila showcases the authentic flavors of 100% blue agave without any additives. However, because it’s unaged, this type of tequila is the least smooth, so we’re giving it only three stars.

It has a bright and vibrant blue agave flavor, which makes it the best tequila for shots and cocktails. This type of tequila is also pretty affordable compared to other tequilas because of its unaged nature, so you’ll often find this in bars. [1]

Note: The smoothness level was determined based on a blind test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each color was determined based on mouthfeel, absence of burn, lack of astringency, aftertaste, maturation process, and alcohol content.

Tequila Types & Colors Cheat Sheet

Tequila Type


Smoothness Level

Silver Tequila Colorless  3/5
Joven Tequila Light gold  4/5
Reposado or Aged Tequila Light gold  4/5
Añejo or Extra Aged Tequila Deep gold  5/5
Extra Añejo or Ultra Aged Tequila Deep gold  5/5
Cristalino Tequila Colorless  5/5

What Do The Different Colors Of Tequilas Mean?

The different colors of tequilas signify the level of aging and flavor complexity.

Tequila blanco, like Jose Cuervo or Don Julio Blanco, is unaged, hence its colorless nature. Silver tequilas are bottled directly after the distillation process.

Golds are crafted using a blend of blanco with aged tequilas. It may also get its hue by adding caramel coloring or other additives to the agave juice before fermentation.

Lastly, dark amber tequilas are aged in oak barrels for at least one year. This type of tequila is characterized by its deep golden hue.

Also Read:

Is The Smoothest Tequila Color Beginner-Friendly?

two glasses of tequila shots

The smoothest tequilas, often associated with dark amber tequilas such as añejo and extra añejo varieties, are not necessarily the most beginner-friendly option. [2]

“Tequila is more than a drink; it’s a way of life.” – Anthony Bourdain

For those new to agave-spirit tasting, starting with a milder choice, like the best silver tequila, might be better.


Does the color of tequila matter?

Yes, tequila’s color matters in terms of flavor and how they are best enjoyed. Silver tequila is usually colorless and is great for shots or cocktails.

Gold types of tequila provide a smoother, slightly sweet taste and are suitable for shots and mixed drinks. Dark amber tequilas are ideal for sipping neat because they are aged in oak barrels, resulting in a rich and complex flavor profile.

What color is normal tequila?

There is no “normal” color for tequilas, as the color varies depending on the type and aging process. Silver tequila is colorless; gold/Joven is golden due to additives, and dark amber tequilas range from deep golden to amber-brown, depending on how long it’s aged.

What color tequila is the strongest?

Tequila’s color is not directly related to its strength. The tequila’s strength or alcohol content is usually around 40%, regardless of its color.

What color tequila is healthiest?

Whether or not it’s healthy is not directly related to tequila’s color. We recommend sticking with tequilas made from 100% blue agave plant, as they are the healthiest option.

What color tequila is smoothest for Margaritas?

Silver tequila is considered the smoothest choice for Margaritas. Its clean and crisp agave flavor pairs well with Margarita’s fruity and tangy flavors.

Final Thoughts

Based on our blind-tasting sessions, we unanimously concluded that dark amber tequilas are the smoothest. These types of agave spirits deliver rich and complex flavors meant for sipping.

Silver tequila emerges as the least smooth option. This is because the fresh tequila is bottled straight after the distillation process, which doesn’t give the harshness any opportunity to round out. This type of tequila is best for shots instead.

Lastly, gold is usually made with a mixture of silver tequila and reposado tequila. This type of tequila offers a slightly sweet profile with plenty of that fresh agave flavor.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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