Everything You Wanted to Know About Blue Agave Tequila

Blue Agave is grown in the Jalisco region of Mexico.  Tourists visiting the Town of Tequila, the City of Puerto Vallarta, or even Guadalajara can choose from a wide selection of Tequila that is only made and sold from this area.  Most of the smooth and well-aged Tequilas cannot be purchased outside of Mexico.   It is Illegal to process Blue Aqave Tequila outside of Mexico.  While America is working very hard on producing the same quality of tequila as its home country, only a select few have managed to meet this goal.

What’s in your Bottle?

Believe it or not, when you drink a well-processed tequila, you can drink the night away without a hangover the next day. The hangover does not come from the tequila; it comes from the chemicals added when processing it.  This will also include any mix that you add yourself.  When you are purchasing a bottle of Tequila, hold it firmly and turn it upside down.  Give the bottle a couple of shakes.  If there are no preservatives, nothing will happen. If there are additives or preservatives, then the liquid will quickly foam on top.  This is not to say that the tequila won’t taste good; it is just a good indicator that there are additives and it’s not a 100% pure Blue Agave Tequila.

Blanco, Reposado, or Anjeo?

Tequila is aged in whisky barrels. This distilling process is what gives tequila its unique taste.  The length of time that tequila is aged will determine the type of tequila it will be sold as.  Blanco tequila is a tequila that has not had an aging process. It is distilled and then immediately bottled and sold. Of the three types of tequila, it is the cheapest to purchase, but it also may have a “bite” when you consume it.  The stronger flavor makes it a great mixing tequila, and it is thus very popular with lime shots.  This tequila is a clear color and is very easy to find on store shelves.

Reposado Tequila is a medium aged tequila, normally between two to 11 months. It is not as sharp tasting as the Blanco process, but it is not as smooth as Anjeo.  As per its medium aging, it is also in the mid-price range, between Blanco and Anjeo. It’s the compromise between a stronger tasting tequila and a more expensive smooth one.

Anjeo tequila is known as the top of the line.  Blue Agave Anjeo tequila is aged for a minimum of one year. It has a subtle flavor and is very smooth to drink. This is known as the sipping tequila and is generally consumed without any mix or ice.  It carries a much higher price tag but is well worth the extra money.  It is more difficult to find.  Extra Anjeo tequila is very difficult if not impossible to find in America. It can be compared to smooth whisky and has a flavor that cannot be matched by any other distilling process.  Be prepared to pay quite a bit extra for this tequila, but expect to wholly enjoy your experience with it.

Know your Distillery and Liquor Store

While Tequila does come at a price, it does not need to break your bank account. If you purchase tequila directly in Mexico you will immediately notice that the finest tequila may just break into the triple digits, but not much higher.  The price will vary based on where you shop.  In America, the cost of tequila is much higher; this is, in part, due to the distilling process, but it is also because of the cost of shipping it to the American locations. However, when outside of Mexico, keep a very close eye on price vs quality. There are a large number of tequilas on the American market that can cost hundreds of dollars for a single bottle and still do carry the quality it claims with the price tag. Whenever possible, request a sample of the bottle you intend to buy.  Your tequila should be smooth, with subtle taste. Also check the label for location. 100% Blue Agave Tequila will only be distilled in Jalisco Mexico; it should not have any additives to it. Be wary of the bottle being colored as well.  Anjeo tequila has its own brown tinge from the distilling process. Some packages like to color the bottle to give this same affect.

When you know what to shop for, Agave tequila is a liquor that has no comparison. It is a smooth-flavored beverage with a very subtle taste.  It becomes very easy to see why this is one of the most popular and well protected secrets of Mexico.