Different types of tequila are classified based on the method of production and ageing process.
1. Method of Production
There are 2 ways to produce Tequila Commercial way which is known as a Mixto where Tequila contains at least 51% of Agave and the rest is substituted by sugars. And then there is Traditional way production of higher quality Tequilas made from 100% Blue Agave plant with no addition of sugars.
2. Classification based on Ageing
Blanco (white) or Plato(silver) – This type of tequila is clear in colour and unaged, usually bottled right after distillation within 60 days. Blanco tequila perfectly reflects the flavour of the agave plant, bringing more herbaceous and earthy quality than other grain spirits. That’s why it’s ideal for mixing in cocktails.
Joven(Gold) – Named for the golden rich brown colour. Gold tequilas are usually not aged but rather additional colouring and flavouring is added prior bottling such as caramel and other sugars. They are almost always made from Mixto and these additional sugars are in the most cases the reason for having a hangover next day so I would rather avoid them.
Reposado(Rested) – Tequila is rested in the oak barrel for 2 months to 12 months. The ageing process gives it a golden colour which you would normally expect from Mixto and also a balanced flavour between the agave and wood from the barrel. So it can be used also in certain types of cocktails or sipped neat.
Añejo(Aged) – Añejo tequila has to be aged for a minimal of 1 year but is often aged for much longer than that in wood barrels. It is darker in colour, more complex and smoother in flavour with a richer body than un-aged tequila.
Extra Añejo(Ultra-aged) – The newest classification of tequila was recognised in 2006 when any tequila that is aged for a minimum of 3 years will be classified as Extra Añejo. This type of tequila is almost indistinguishable from other aged spirits.
If you are searching for ways to drink a tequila then check the article.
How to drink tequila the right way
It’s an unaged spirit with a distinct flavour profile and a typical smoky aroma. It’s a bit harsher spirit then tequila but there are some good brands which can compliment a wide range of cocktails.