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  • What Does Tequila Taste Like?

    Published on September 21, 2021
    What Does Tequila Taste Like?

    Tequila is a distilled spirit made from blue agave plants and is produced primarily in Mexico’s state of Jalisco. The taste of tequila can vary depending on where the agave is grown, who is producing it, and how long it is aged.

    Tequila can be described as fruity, sweet, and earthy, depending on the variety. The range of tastes includes notes of honey, citrus, vanilla, caramel, oak, and black pepper. Tequila that has been aged tends to be smoother and richer than other varieties. 

    The Taste Of Tequila

    Tequila has a range of flavors depending on where it is made, the style, and how long it is aged. If you don’t drink tequila regularly, the cheaper styles can taste harsh. Tequila that has been aged for years has an earthy taste. 

    The most common types of tequila include:

    Blanco Tequila

    Blanco tequila, also known as plata or silver tequila, is either bottled without aging or aged up to two months. The flavors of blanco tequila tend to best represent the flavors of the blue agave plant. 

    Flavors include:

    • sea salt
    • citrus
    • black pepper
    • spice

    This type of tequila is most commonly used in mixed drinks because of its harsh, bold flavor. It is often added to margaritas and other citrus-flavored alcoholic beverages. This variety is usually cheaper than aged styles. 

    Reposado Tequila

    This tequila is known as “rested tequila” and is aged anywhere from two months up to a year. It is less harsh than blanco and has a sweeter taste. The oak barrels they are aged in contribute to the flavor and color of reposado tequila. 

    Flavors include:

    • citrus
    • black pepper
    • honey
    • cinnamon
    • chocolate
    • chiles

    This higher-end tequila retains the flavor notes of the blanco style but with a smoother taste. The taste is also more complex and earthy than silver tequila. 

    Anejo Tequila

    This high-quality tequila is referred to as extra-aged or vintage and is aged up to three years. It has a smoother taste and is darker in color than other varieties. This style has a sweet, fruity, and earthy profile, while still maintaining the traditional peppery taste.  

    Flavors include:

    • caramel
    • oak
    • banana 
    • citrus
    • nut

    Extra Anejo Tequila

    This variety of tequila is fairly new and must be aged for a minimum of three years. Unlike other tequila varieties, water is added to the mixture at the end of the aging process. This tequila has the richest and smoothest taste compared to other styles. 

    This type of tequila is closer in taste to whiskey or bourbon than other varieties. It is expensive and is commonly drunk straight rather than mixed in cocktails. 

    Gold Tequila

    Gold tequila, also referred to as joven, is blanco tequila mixed with aged tequila and other additives. The additives, which may include cane sugar or corn syrup, mean it can be categorized as a mixto. 

    Additives in mixtos can also give it the appearance of a more expensive tequila. However, the taste and texture is not the same as those derived from 100% agave. 

    Is Drinking Tequila Dangerous?

    Although the alcohol content can vary by style and brand, tequila is generally 40% alcohol. This is similar to other hard liquors, like vodka. To compare, a glass of wine has about 12% alcohol content. 

    While all alcohol can be harmful, tequila and other hard liquors are commonly associated with binge drinking. Binge drinking increases the risk of developing alcohol dependence and alcoholism. 

    If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol abuse, Ark Behavioral Health can help. Contact us today to speak with an addiction specialist about treatment options.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Southern Illinois University Carbondale Research - Blue Agave And Its Importance In The Tequila Industry
    Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority - Buying Guide For Tequila
    Washington State Liquor Control Board - Tequila

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