Añejo vs. Blanco vs. Reposado Tequila: What’s the Difference?

Tequila has gained global popularity as one of the most cherished and versatile alcoholic beverages. From enjoying it neat to crafting delightful cocktails, tequila offers various flavors and aromas that cater to every palate. This iconic Mexican spirit is derived from the blue agave plant and has a rich history dating back hundreds of years. And if you are a tequila enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of the three main types of tequila: Añejo, Blanco, and Reposado. But what exactly do they mean, and what sets them apart in taste and complexity? 

On the surface, it might seem that the biggest difference between these types of tequila is just their name and color. However, their actual distinctions are usually unveiled when you start appreciating their flavors and aromas. In this article, we’ll dive into the exciting world of tequila and explore the differences between these three popular varieties. Get ready to discover the unique aging secrets and flavors that make each tequila type so unique.

Añejo Tequila

Top 5 Añejo Tequilas

Some things improve with age, and añejo lovers would undoubtedly add tequila to the list. The word añejo translates to “old,” and this versatile spirit indeed spends one to three years aging in small oak barrels no larger than 600 liters to enhance contact between the wood and the tequila. This extended aging process is what gives the spirit a more sophisticated and refined flavor profile as well as a darker color and smoother taste compared to Reposado and Blanco Tequilas.

Additionally, añejo not only highlights the flavor of agave but elevates the flavor profile to a new level. It’s silky and thick, with caramel, vanilla, custard, butterscotch, and lingering oak flavors that make it a mellow and calming tequila. Añejo is especially meant to be sipped, but you can serve it on the rocks or as a whiskey substitute in cocktails. For tequila enthusiasts seeking to enjoy the distinct taste of tequila mixed with the notes of a barrel, añejo is an excellent choice. 

Top 5 Añejo Tequilas

  1. Don Julio Tequila Añejo: Don Julio Tequila Anejo has a long history. This tequila has been aged in American oak barrels, giving it a rich caramel colour and silky texture. Notes of caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak will meet you, making each sip satisfying.
  2. Herradura Ultra Añejo: This exceptional tequila is aged in oak barrels and offers a remarkable balance of toasted oak, vanilla, and caramel. 
  3. Casamigos Añejo Tequila: Casamigos Añejo Tequila is a top-tier spirit aged in American white oak barrels for at least 14 months and has a subtle and silky flavor profile.
  4. Cincoro Tequila Añejo: When NBA legends Michael Jordan and his crew entered the tequila game, they brought us Cincoro Tequila Añejo, a true slam dunk. This tequila spends a luxurious 24 to 28 months in oak barrels, resulting in a velvety masterpiece with flavors of dark chocolate, butterscotch and caramel leading to a smooth and warm finish.
  5. Lote Maestro Extra Añejo Tequila 80 Proof: This treasure is matured in oak barrels for a minimum of three years. Its amber colour bursts through and delivers an explosion of flavors, including caramel, vanilla, and a light spice combination. 

Best Food Pairings with Añejo Tequila 

Because añejos are robust and full of bold flavors, they should be coupled with equally rich and brazen meals. The following foods pair perfectly with añejo tequila:

  • Charred or seared vegetables: These veggies have an aroma and texture that match the earthy taste of añejo tequila. 
  • Spiced meats: Seasoning juicy red meats with fragrant herbs will enhance the natural smoke and oak aromas that make añejo delightful. 
  • Dark chocolate: Try drinking a chilled añejo with some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has strong notes of spice and fruit, making it an ideal complement for añejo tequila. 
  • Steak: Pair your steak with añejo, and your taste buds will be in heaven. You can add some mushroom sauce for extra flavor.  
  • Fried chicken: Try añejo tequila with fried chicken and experience perfection. That hot and crispy chicken skin with spices combined with a sip of añejo is sure to become your favorite. 

Blanco Tequila

Top 5 Blanco Tequilas

If you have ever ordered a Paloma or Margarita, chances are you’ve already tried blanco or “silver” tequila. It is the purest expression of agave and is typically unaged, though some expressions can be aged for two months. Blanco tequila is clear in color and is usually bottled immediately after the last distillation. Because there is no oak aging, the flavors you taste come directly from the agave, making it an ideal choice for tequila lovers who enjoy the spirit’s natural taste. The flavors are peppery with notes of citrus and grass. 

Blanco tequila works best on the rocks because it is light. It is also great when diluted with soda water for a refreshing drink. The margarita, the most popular tequila cocktail, is another excellent vessel for blanco tequila. 

Top 5 Blanco Tequilas

  1. Casamigos Blanco Tequila: Casamigos Blanco Tequila is a premium unaged tequila that captures the true essence of agave. It is a flexible and delightful tequila that may be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as a base for refreshing cocktails.
  2. Don Julio Tequila Blanco: Here is another premium, unaged expression celebrated for its clean and vibrant character, offering a smooth taste of pure, fresh agave with subtle citrus notes. 
  3. Espolon Blanco Tequila: Espolon Blanco Tequila is well known for its bold and refreshing citrus taste and herbal undertones. 
  4. Tequila Cabal Blanco Caballo: Elevating Spirits from Los Altos Highlands! Crafted with passion and tradition, our agave-forward expressions, including the pure Blanco Tequila, deliver an unparalleled sipping experience. Taste the notes of cooked agave, citrus, black pepper, and vanilla undertones. Embark on an exceptional tequila adventure!
  5. Don Fulano Blanco Fuerte Tequila: A higher-proof tequila that intensifies the blue agave essence for a delightfully smooth experience. On the nose, ripe agave shines alongside subtle citrus and pepper notes. The palate boasts crisp agave, sweet tropical fruit and a touch of spice. This product of La Tequileña distillery pays homage to raw power. Sip it neat or in tequila-forward cocktails!

Best Food Pairings with Blanco Tequila

  • Tacos: Tacos and tequila are one of the most classic food and beverage combos. Try your blanco tequila with some fish tacos for a filling and refreshing meal. 
  • Grilled or raw fish: The light and airy properties of blanco tequila would be the greatest match for any type of raw fish, such as oysters, fish tartare, ceviche, or even sashimi and sushi. The same is true with seafood or grilled fish, such as shrimp. 
  • Citrus dishes: Blanco tequila perfectly complements citrus dishes like oranges, lemons, or limes. Consider making a citrus salad or marinating and grilling a citrus-marinated chicken or steak. Add lemon meringue or key lime for a sweeter meal. 

Reposado Tequila

Top 5 Reposado Tequilas

The golden and iconic-looking tequila is known as the reposado. Reposado, which means “rested” in Spanish, refers to tequila that has been aged for a limited period of time, often in oak barrels for at least two months but no longer than one year. The longer a reposado is aged, the darker the golden hue and the sweeter and more nuanced the flavor. Reposado tequilas are usually sweeter than the other types of tequila and take up the oaky or smoky aromas of the barrel in which they are matured. They are slightly less spicy and have a richer honey sweetness. 

Reposado tequilas are a bartender’s favorite because they are reasonably priced and can withstand a wide range of flavors. They are also primary candidates for cocktails like the margarita since the lime juice elevates the cocktail beautifully without overpowering the flavor profile. It is difficult to go wrong with a reposado as long as it’s top-quality. 

Top 5 Reposado Tequilas

  1. Clase Azul Reposado Tequila: This exquisite, refined spirit delivers a harmonious blend of rich caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak flavors. 
  2. Patron El Alto Reposado:  This tequila is produced from the finest 100% Weber Blue Agave grown in the highest areas of Jalisco, Mexico – where the sweetest agaves are grown. 
  3. Dos Artes Reposado: Dos Artes Reposado is a tequila aged to perfection and offers a blend of agave sweetness and oak character.
  4. Casa Dragones Mizunara Reposado Tequila: The scent is sweet and fruity, leading to a robust pepper flavor that delivers a punch. The light and crisp finish, with flavors of grapefruit and green apple, makes it ideal for cocktails as well as sipping on its own. 
  5. Cazcanes No. 7 Reposado Tequila: The brainchild of the awesome Master Distiller, Mr. Collin Edwards! This tequila scored a Bronze Medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a Gold Medal at the 2020 Sip Awards. Experience the floral notes, sweet Agave, grapefruit, vanilla, and coconut, culminating in an incredibly smooth and long-lasting finish!

Best Food Pairings with Reposado Tequila

  • Grilled vegetables: Grilled veggies would pair well with the full-bodied oak and vanilla flavors of a reposado. 
  • Pork: Spicy pork tenderloin would be an excellent match for a reposado tequila. Think of anything robust or spicy, whether grilled or pulled and pair it with a chilled glass of reposado. 
  • Fajitas: The sizzling and flavorful combination of grilled meat and vegetables in fajitas can be balanced with the smoothness of reposado tequila. 
  • Mole sauce: Mole sauce can complement the nuanced flavors of reposado tequila, particularly if the tequila has been aged in oak barrels. 
  • Salsa and guacamole: The spicy flavors of salsa and the creamy richness of guacamole can contrast nicely with the smoothness of reposado tequila. 


So, there you have it! The difference between añejo, blanco, and reposado tequila and what makes each one distinct. As you can see, each variety offers a delightful and unique drinking experience, providing something for every tequila lover. Whether you prefer the boldness of blanco, the balance of reposado, or the smoothness of añejo, one thing’s for sure – tequila offers something for every palate. So, the next time you reach for your tequila bottle, take a moment to explore the flavors and aromas that await you. 

Anejo, blanco and reposado tequilas


What Makes Blue Agave Unique? 

Blue agave is a succulent that can only be found in central Mexico, making it a highly sought-after ingredient. Exceptional tequilas are made entirely of blue agave, although any beverage must have at least 51% to be considered tequila. 

Which Type of Tequila is Best for Shots? 

Blanco tequila is a popular choice for shots, as its pure agave flavors offer a smooth and intense experience. Its vibrant character makes it easy to enjoy quick and refreshing shots. 

What is the Right Way to Store Tequila? 

Store your tequila in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight or heat. Seal the bottle tightly to prevent oxidation. 

Are there any Vegan-Friendly Tequilas?
Most tequilas are vegan-friendly because they are made without animal products. However, if you have specific dietary needs, you should always double-check with the manufacturer or search for the “vegan” label on the bottle. 

Where Can I Purchase Añejo, Blanco and Reposado Tequilas? 

You can find a wide selection of these tequilas at various local liquor stores or online retailers. One trusted online liquor store is Nestor Liquor, a reputable store known for its diverse range of spirits, including premium tequilas.
Tequila historyTequilas

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