Tequila is a agave-based spirit made in Mexico. Today, there are 134 tequila distilleries that make a total of 971 different brands.
There are two different types of tequila, regular tequila and 100% agave tequila. Regular tequila is made with half agave sugars and half non-agave sugars. The 100% tequila only uses the blue agave sugar in its production.
Tequila Blanco, White or Silver
This tequila is clear and unaged, being bottled right after it is distilled. Brands in this category include Casa Noble, Aficionado, Cabo Gold, and Damasana, among many others. Depending on the manufacturer, some of these brands are allowed to settle for two or three weeks before bottling.
Also known as joven or smooth, tequila gold is tequila that has not been left to age but has had a caramel or gold coloring or flavoring added. This is the most popular type of tequila in most local taverns. Some of the many brands are Familia Azteca, Jarro Viejo, Sangre Azteca, and XXX Siglo Treinta.
Rested or Aged Tequila
This tequila, by Mexican law, has to be stored in wood and aged for 2 to 12 months. This produces a smoother taste. Different distilleries may use different kinds of wooden barrel or container. Most aged tequilas are stored in French or white oak barrels. Del Mio, Dios Agave and Don Abraham are just a handful of the hundreds of brands for this type of tequila.
Extra Aged or Vintage Tequila
This tequila is aged for one to three years and must be aged in oak barrels. These tequilas are darker in color. Some of the brands include Puerta Vallarta, Sauza, Cuatro y Cinco, and Tres Mujeres.
Ultra Aged Tequila
This tequila must be aged in oak for at least three years, though it is not required that the manufacturer list the aging time on the label. This is a new class of tequila, created in 2006. Some of these fine brands include El Tesoro de Don Felipe Paradiso, Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario, Partida Tequila Elegante, and Siete Leguas D'Antano.
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