Regarding tequila, Reposado and Anejo are two of the most popular types. But which one is best, and what are the similarities and differences between these two kinds of tequila? Many tequilas taste similar and even look similar, but they are different.
The main difference between Reposado tequila and Anejo tequila is the aging time. Anejo means “aged,” and this type of tequila is aged between one and three years. On the other hand, Reposado tequila is aged only for a few months to a year.
The word Reposado means “rested.” So, the hint of the difference in age for these two types of tequila is also present in the brand names. But there are other differences that you should be aware of before you choose between these two types of tequila!
Reposado Vs Anejo: Table comparing them
|Blue agave plant juice, fermented in sugar and ethyl
|Blue agave plant juice, fermented in sugar and ethyl
|Extra aged tequila
|Milder flavors of oak, vanilla, cinnamon, wood and pepper
|Richer flavors of vanilla, caramel, oak and cinnamon
|Oak, spices scent
|Sweet, oak, floral scent
|Neat, on the rocks, cocktails
|Best neat or on the rocks but can be mixed in cocktails as well.
Taste, making, alcohol content, drinks
Each brand of tequila comes with its characteristics, and while all of them share similarities, they also have their differences. Reposado and Anejo are two of the most popular brands in Mexico, and they got to be known worldwide too.
Also check: Can You Mix Vodka And Tequila
Other differences besides the aging process make these two types of tequila special in their own way. Here are the main aspects that you want to be aware of when you look at these two types of tequila!
There are no notable differences between the way Anejo tequila and Reposado tequila are produced. They are made from blue agave plants.
The core of the plants is baked and then fermented in sugar. The fermentation process takes place in stainless steel ovens. Producers will shred, extract and distill the juice and alcoholize it through an ethyl fermenting process. The final distilled tequila is then aged.
The aging process is the primary difference between Anejo and Reposado. Anejo is aged for up to three years and always more than one year. Reposado tequila is only aged between two months and one year.
We can therefore look at Reposado tequila as a less-aged Anejo version, with the same flavor profile but a milder taste. Another version of Anejo is also known as Extra Anejo, which is aged for more than three years.
More: Gold Vs Silver Tequila
Tequila comes in five primary types: tequila Blanco, Reposado (aged tequila, Joven (golden tequila), Anejo (extra-aged tequila), Extra Anejo ( tequila aged for more than three years), and Cristalino. All types of tequila are made from the agave plant. However, the Reposado, Anejo, and Extra Anejo are the aged types and some of the most popular versions worldwide.
Taste and flavor profiles
In terms of taste, Anejo and Reposado tequilas will taste different because they were aged for different amounts of time.
Anejo tequila tends to have a richer flavor profile and contains notes of vanilla, caramel, oak, and cinnamon. Extra Anejo also contains other notes, such as spices and chocolate, and the oak flavor tends to be slightly more intense than the one we find in regular Anejo tequila.
Reposado tequila has a milder flavor profile with notes of oak, vanilla, cinnamon, wood, and pepper. The flavor will be similar to the one of Anejo tequila, but the intensity of it will be reduced due to the limited aging process. Reposados can also come with notes of citrus, chocolate, and chili.
The appearance of these two types of tequila is also different but they are both within the gold-brownish spectrum.
The Anejo has a dark golden, amberish shade, while the Reposado has a more light gold shade. Generally, Anejo is a dark tequila, and the more it is aged, the darker it gets.
Reposado can also come in silver if it doesn’t acquire the golden hue from oak barrels and caramel. However, Reposado tequila, made by the traditional recipe, will usually have a color between silver and light gold.
While the difference in aroma profiles will only sometimes be obvious to beginners, they set the Anejo tequila and Reposado tequila apart. The scent of all types of tequila comes from the distillation process, and the time it was aged.
When you analyze the Reposado tequila, you will notice a scent of oak and spices. As for the Anejo tequila’s aroma is sweeter and more affluent, and it can have mild floral notes.
The aroma profile might differ depending on the types of tequila and the spices added to them.
The general rule says that tequila should be bottled with an ABV between 35% to 55%, and even if there are variations of this rule, the traditional tequila recipes tend to respect it. There are also silver tequilas at 75% ABV on the market.
Anejo tequila is usually about 40% Alcohol by volume, which makes it a significant alcoholic beverage. Reposado tequila is also bottled at around 40% ABV; in terms of alcohol content, this tequila could be used interchangeably.
Anejo and Reposado tequilas are perfect for drinking neat or on the rocks, but they might taste even better in your favorite cocktails. While you can use them interchangeably, you always want to be aware of their flavor and aroma profiles.
Reposado tequila goes excellent in mixed drinks that contain fruit juices such as pineapple juice and orange juice, and it is an excellent choice for a perfect Margarita too. Besides the classic Margarita cocktails, you can use Reposado tequila in versions like Hennesy Margarita or Cadillac Margarita.
Experts recommend choosing a tequila Anejo if you want to drink it plain or on the rocks, with a bit of ice. Tequila Anejo has a much more intense flavor, which is very satisfying. You might like it so much plain that you will not want to waste it in a mixed drink!
Is Anejo or Reposado better?
When you choose Anejo and Reposado tequila, the best way to decide which one is better is by tasting them both neat.
If you taste your drinks neat, you will be able to observe their flavor profile and aroma as well as their color, and you can make a better decision regarding which one to use in a mixed drink.
Generally, the Anejo brand might be the best choice if you want a tequila with a richer flavor and a more defined aroma. On the contrary, if you are looking for mild tequila with a pleasant taste and smell without being aged for years, you want to look at the Reposado brands.
Also, note that in terms of flavor, Anejo can be sweeter than Reposado, while Reposado can be spicier. But these tequila brands taste very good and are extremely inviting, so you can’t make a wrong decision with either one of them.
The Anejo tequila tends to be seen as a more elegant and exquisite type of tequila thanks to its intensity and high-quality ingredients.
Why is Reposado tequila better?
Many people prefer Reposado tequila over other tequila brands, including Anejo. This happens thanks to the mild flavor of this kind of tequila and its flexibility when mixing it with other drinks to create the perfect cocktail.
Reposado tequila tends to come with more notes, so more consumers appreciate its flavor. There are interesting versions of tequila Reposado that are enriched with Asian spices and even chili.
These herbs, mixed with the caramel and cinnamon sweetness, create a great experience every time you enjoy this tequila, plain or as part of a mixed drink.
You will also notice that most often than not, Reposado tequila comes at a better price compared to Anejo tequila or other types of tequila aged for more than one year.
This affordable price also increased the popularity of the Raposado tequila among tequila lovers from all over the world.
Is Reposado or Anejo better for shots?
Tequila shots are prevalent at parties and in public bars and pubs. For the perfect tequila shot, you will need lime, salt, and the best tequila.
But which tequila is the perfect one for shots? The type of tequila that is the most aged is most likely the best in terms of flavor and aroma.
So, when you have to choose between Anejo and Reposado tequila, you want to go for the Anejo type if you drink it in shots. The intense flavor and aroma of this tequila and its attractive color will make it ideal for a few shots at your gathering event.
But ultimately, if you don’t have Anejo tequila, you will not be disappointed by Reposado tequila shots. Beginners tend to appreciate the mild flavor of the Reposado tequila, so it can be a better option for those who don’t drink it often.
In terms of alcohol content, you will not notice differences between the Reposado tequila and the Anejo tequila. So, when you choose the perfect tequila for your shots, know that both these kinds of tequila usually come with an ABV between 35% and 55%.
What are the three grades of tequila?
Besides the five different types of tequila, you will also find three different grades of this drink. The grades engulf several tequila brands, and you can see them as three main categories.
Tequila aged for less than one year. This is the Reposado tequila that is aged from two months to 12 months, but also types of tequila bottled right away, without being aged at all.
The Joven tequila. This grade of tequila includes mixes of Reposado tequila and Blanco tequila.
Ultra-aged tequila. This final grade of tequila includes the Anejo and Extra Anejo tequila. It refers to the types of tequila aged for more than one year, like Anejo, or more than three years, like Extra Anejo.
Besides these primary three grades of tequila, two other levels refer to the ingredients used to make the drink.
100% agave tequila. The 100% agave tequila is made completely from the agave plant, without added sugars or sweeteners. This type of tequila is bottled in the region where the agave plant was produced, and it is considered a high-quality type of tequila.
Mixed tequila. As expected, mixed tequilas contain sugars such as corn or cane sugar. These sugars are added before fermentation and offer the drink a sweeter taste.
If in 1949, it was required for tequila to contain 100% sugar from the agave plant, and in 1964, this percentage went down to 70%.
In the 1970s, the minimum agave sugar required to make tequila got down to 51%. Therefore, the agave flavor in mixed tequila is less present than in 100% tequilas.
The price difference between Reposado and Anejo tequila
Tequila prices cover an extensive range. You can expect to spend $36 for a classic bottle of tequila Reposado, while Extra Anejo tequila can get close to $1800.
The more the tequila is aged, the higher its price tag will be. But you can find cheaper versions of aged tequila at local liquor stores, and the prices vary according to the location.
Limited edition bottles of tequila are the most expensive. Also, tequila made 100% out of agave plants before the fermentation state tends to come at higher prices.
In light of all the information in this guide, you should find it easier to choose the type of tequila that suits you best.
Keep in mind that both the Reposado and Anejo tequilas are highly appreciated and bring inviting flavors to all the cocktails.
But you will most likely love the Anejo tequila neat or on the rocks, thanks to its intense flavor profile and aroma.
So, if you get some of this pricey tequila, you should not waste it in mixed drinks but save it for shots.