Another favorite subject of mine is tequila. So let’s find out a hot topic, Anejo vs Reposado.
The historical backdrop of tequila traces all the way back to the Aztecs, however, the spirit they were drinking was pulque, a beverage produced using the matured sap of the agave plant, that is they weren’t distilled. It was the Spaniard who started distilling the mezcal around 1500. The modern-day tequila as we know it was produced quite a bit later in the 1700s.
In the present day, Tequila is mainly manufactured in Mexico as Mexico declared Tequila its intellectual property in 1974. Tequila is exclusively produced inside theMexican state of Jalisco and in some municipalities in Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
Like mezcal, tequila is agave-based. It tends to be either mixed to (51% blue agave, 49% different sugars – similar to a mixed Scotch), or a lot greater, 100% agave form. Bribon Tequila is produced using a seven to 10-year-old agave that has been cooked for 18 hours at the refinery. The juice from the destroyed agave is matured utilizing Don Roberto’s exclusive strain of yeast. At long last, the fluid is refined twice in both pot and segment stills.
The main difference between Anejo and Reposado is how long they are aged. While Reposado is aged for four months to a year, Anejo is ahead for longer, a minimum of a year to four years.
Comparison Table: Anejo vs Reposado
|Aging||A good Anejo is aged at least three years, while the minimum time required for any Spirit to qualify as Anejo is a year in the barrel.||Reposado is “rested”, not “aged” for a maximum of a year and a minimum of three months.|
|Meaning||Anejo translates to “aged” or “vintage” Reposado means “rested”.||Again, the reason behind this terminology comes down to the aging process.|
|Taste||It has a smoky taste and notes of caramel and vanilla along with sweetness.||Reposado isn’t as smoky because it is aged for a shorter period of time. It mainly tastes like oak ( in a good way) along with caramel and vanilla.|
|Use||Anejo is best enjoyed straight or on the rocks.||Reposado is a fine accompaniment for various cocktails, especially Margarita.|
|Storage||Anejo has to be stored in a barrel that contains no more than 600 liters of liquid.||Reposado, on the other hand, can be stored in a barrel containing 20,000 liters of liquid.|
The word Anejo literally translates to “aged” or “vintage” in Spanish. This form of tequila is aged for a minimum of three years in an oak barrel giving it a smoky, flavorful taste compared to drinking cognac. The taste is rather sweet, very sugary along with notes of caramel and vanilla.
One specialty of Anejo is that it is a very smooth kind of tequila because it is aged for a longer period of time. It gains a darker color from aging in the barrel.
Anejo is special because though the sweetness is very prominent in its taste, it is balanced out by the smoky, woody flavor it gains from aging in the barrel. Anejo has a more layered taste. So, it is best drunk straight or on the rocks to fully immerse in the nuanced taste of it.
Anejo is kept in a smaller oak barrel, holding only up to 600 liters worth of spirit. Unlike Reposado, it is considered too flavored for use in cocktails.
Reposado is a Spanish term that translates to “rested”. In contrast to Anejo’s age, Reposado translates to “rested” because it is not really aged but merely rested for a minimum of two months and a maximum of a year.
Since this variant of tequila is “rested” for a shorter period of time, it is not as layered in taste as Anejo is. Therefore, it is mostly used in cocktails. Reposado is actually a favorite spirit to be used in cocktails as it is just fine aged to produce the perfect combination of alcohol with other ingredients. It doesn’t overpower the recipe but compliments it.
Reposado is mostly used in making an incredible Classic Margarita, or added in classy mixes like the Hennessy Margarita, Grand Marnier Margarita, or Cadillac Margarita. Reposado elevates the taste of a complex drink like Tequila and Ginger Ale.
The method involved with maturing permits Tequila to assimilate the complex constituents of wood, which give Tequila its smell and taste. The aging tequila reacts with the wood’s constituents to create new compounds by the process of oxidation.
As it is aged for a shorter period than Anejo, it develops a lighter color than the dark brown of Anejo. Another difference to Anejo is that Reposado can be stored in up to 20,000 liters of the barrel without any prominent issue.
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Difference Between Anejo and Reposado
The prime factor that makes all the difference between Anejo and Reposado is how long they are aged. That factor alone makes all the difference in taste, color.
Anejo is aged longer than Reposado. A good Anejo is aged at least three years, while the minimum time required for any Spirit to qualify as Anejo is a year in the barrel. Reposado is “rested”, not “aged” for a maximum of a year and a minimum of three months.
Both Anejo and Reposado are Spanish words. Anejo translates to “aged” or “vintage” and Reposado means “rested”. Again, the reason behind this terminology comes down to the aging process.
The complexity of flavors in these tequilas again is developed during the aging process. The spirit reacts with the compounds in the woods to acquire a woody note in the flavor. The taste is also developed during the anaerobic fermentation process.
As Anejo is aged for a longer time, it is a finer sipping tequila. It has a smoky taste and notes of caramel and vanilla. Reposado isn’t as smoky because it is aged for a shorter period of time. It mainly tastes like oak ( in a good way) along with caramel and vanilla.
Reposado is a fine accompaniment for various cocktails, especially Margarita. It doesn’t over-power the drink, instead compliments it.
Because of its more complex taste, Anejo is best enjoyed straight or on the rocks.
Anejo has to be stored in a barrel that contains no more than 600 liters of liquid. Reposado, on the other hand, can be stored in a barrel containing 20,000 liters of liquid.
Though both of them are the same variety of alcohol, they differ in several aspects. And because of this certain people prefer Anejo, while others Reposado. If you are looking to make cocktails with tequila it is important to understand the difference between the two types of tequila to truly enjoy the flavor of this hard-hitting spirit.
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Naomi is an educator with 2 decades of experience working with children of all ages. She is a keen observer of the magic and importance of Maths in our daily lives. Follow me on Linkedin