We’re celebrating this edition of La Revista with a tequila tasting at Añejo HQ, with a resident tequila expert. Tequila tastings are a great opportunity to expand your tastes and try something new. Read on to find out more about what goes on during a tequila tasting and all there is to learn!
As mentioned in prior blogs, there are four main types or classes of tequila. Each class having its own set of distinct colours, smells, and tastes. There are often no differences in techniques used in the making of each class, but it's the time spent in barrels that sets each tequila apart from the next. For example, Blanco tequilas are aged for a maximum of 60 days, while a Reposado sits anywhere from 60 days to one year. Ańejo tequila will age for a minimum of one year to a maximum of three years and must be aged in an oak barrel no more than 600 litres in size. The longest stretch in aging is an Extra Ańejo, which ranges from three years to as long as the distiller sees fit. They must also stick to the same rules for the size of the barrel.
Let the tasting begin!
When you first sit down at a tequila tasting, you might have a few questions and that’s the fun part! The first question that often comes up is about glassware. It’s set up so nicely on the table that you want to know, does it make a difference what type of glassware you use when drinking tequila? Typical tastings use a glass known as a copita glass. The copita glass is used because of the expansive middle that gathers and compounds the aromas and the narrow rim that concentrates these aromas at the top of the glass. Although the glass isn’t necessary for proper tequila drinking, it appeals to aficionados because they allow ease of access when smelling the liquid.
Now onto the tequila. The experts will usually have the bottles already lined up and sorted for the optimal tasting experience starting from Blanco to Extra Ańejo. A tip from the experts; unlike a wine tasting, the best way to introduce yourself to the spirit is to keep your nose fully out of the glass while lightly inhaling with your mouth open. As it turns out, sticking your nose in a glass containing 40% ABV Tequila is a sure-fire way to overwhelm yourself before the tasting even begins.
When it comes to tasting the tequila, experts will tell you there are three steps to ensuring you’re making the most out of it. First, you’ll want to give the tequila a swirl in the glass to incorporate oxygen and aerate the liquor, coaxing out the aromas. This really brings out all the aromatics and prepares for step two. Next, you’ll want to lightly sniff the glass by bringing it close to your nose while keeping your mouth open. Remember here, this isn’t like wine, so you don’t want to stick your nose right into your glass. When the aromas are taken in this way, you’ll note that you’re able to extract more notes of agave and citrus within the glass and take in more flavourful notes. The third step and quite possibly the favourite of all, is the final taste. Bring your lips to the glass and lightly wet them with the tequila to give your palate an introduction then take a sip and let the tequila dance in your mouth. Here you’ll note the aromas of agave and all the tones you’ve smelled throughout the process.
Every tequila tasting will be different, and that’s what keeps things interesting. Tequila is complex in its own way, and whether you’ve done a tasting before or not, it’s a great way to learn more about the alcohol. At Añejo, the experts will guide you through the steps of a tasting and provide insights along the way to make things feel less intimidating. Remember, there is no right level of experience required to indulge yourself in the world of tequila. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a beginner, we highly recommend gathering friends and indulging yourself in a tequila tasting!