Silver or Blanco/White Tequilas are clear, with little (no more than 60 days in stainless steel tanks) or no aging. They can be either 100% agave or mixto. Silver Tequilas are used primarily for mixing and blend particularly well into fruit-based drinks.
Reposado ("rested") Tequila is aged in wooden tanks or casks for a legal minimum period of at least two months, with the better-quality brands spending three to nine months in wood. It can be either 100% agave or mixto. Reposado Tequilas are the best-selling Tequilas in Mexico.
Añejo ("old") Tequila is aged in wooden barrels (usually old Bourbon barrels) for a minimum of 12 months. The best-quality añejos are aged 18 months to three years Beyond three years they can be called extra añejo.
Aging takes place in barrels formerly used to mature bourbon and rarely Cognac. Those aged in the latter vessels have more of a mellow edge, with aromas ranging from vanilla to tobacco, while those aged in former bourbon barrels often have notes of dill and coconut from the American oak. Añejo tequilas should be sipped neat, after dinner in a copita or snifter and perhaps enjoyed with a cigar.
An extra añejo tequila must be aged for at least three years in oak barrels that have a maximum capacity of 160 gallons (600 liters). These are dark-colored tequilas - deep amber or copper - that have a spicy oak-influenced flavor with notes such as dark chocolate, tobacco and Asian spices. They typically have a long, refined finish.
Extra añejo tequilas can display great style, depth of flavor, and finesse and are meant exclusively for after dinner sipping.
It should be noted that among tequila producers, aging tequila for more than four years is a matter of controversy. Many tequila producers oppose doing so because they feel that "excessive" oak aging will overwhelm distinctive and delicate earthy, fruity, and vegetal agave flavor notes.
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