Looking for a great idea for your next gathering? Why not host a tequila tasting party? Easy and fun, everyone has the chance to become a tequila critic while sampling and rating good and perhaps not so good tequila brands!
Types of Tequila Tastings
There are two types of tastings: regular and blind. During a blind tasting, participants will not know which brand of tequila they are tasting. This can be both exciting and surprising for everyone. A fun idea is to mix in a variety of Tequilas at various price points and see if guests can tell the difference. Obviously, you need to pour in advance or if you are like me and have trouble keeping track of things, then you should pour one at a time, otherwise your tastings could be confused. For this type of tequila tasting, I’d recommend sticking with one or maybe two types of tequila at most. For one thing, it will get awfully expensive if you are buying several varieties of each type of tequila. The second is that you guests will be plastered.
I think a tequila flight tasting is much more fun and it’s what I’m giving the materials to host a party for. If you are doing a regular tasting (ie, tasting types of tequila rather than brands), you can go through the tasting of four of five types and for this you don’t have to disguise the name of the tequila. These would be blanco, gold, reposado, anjeo and extra anjeo. For me, I make sure if I were doing the last, extra anjeo, I really loved the people I invited to this tequila tasting party as extra anjeo tequila is not cheap!
These glasses are ideal for capturing the aromas of the tequila before sipping, allowing for a much more in-depth experience of flavor. Sipping and Rating Once your have selected the tequilas you will taste, the type of tasting to perform and the glassware to sip from, the fun begins!
Types of Tequila to serve at your tasting party
Blanco Tequila: This clear spirit is also called “silver” tequila. This type of tequila is bottled immediately after being distilled. This tequila is the purest form and the truest flavors of the agave plant because it is never aged barrels. Some distillers call blanco tequila “the essence of tequila” because it offers the most genuine appeal of the blue agave’s natural sweetness.
Joven or Gold Tequila: “Joven,” means “young” in Spanish. It is also known as gold tequila because of the light brown color that the liquor has because of the extracts like oak added to to it. This tequila is best for mixed drinks like margaritas since it is less expensive.
Reposado Tequila: This tequila is known as “aged” or “rested.” Regulated by the Mexican government, reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months, but less than a year after being distilled. This gold-colored spirit is typically aged in white oak and French oak barrels where resins and tannins shape the flavor of the tequila. Many different types of wood barrels give the tequila different flavors since the barrels were previously used to age other spirits such as wine, cognac, whiskey, or bourbon.
Añejo Tequila: Añejo means “old” in Spanish, and añejo tequila is aged one to three years in oak barrels. The Mexican government states that to be considered añejo, the tequila can only rest in oak barrels with a maximum capacity of 600 liters. This tequila is generally aged in whiskey barrels, French oak casks, or cognac barrels. Compared to reposado, añejo are darker in color, more complex, richer, and smoother in flavor. Known as vintage tequila, the amber-colored spirit is typically seen as a sipping tequila.
Extra Añejo Tequila: This ultra-aged liquor only began in 2006. Simply put, it is aged longer than añejo tequila, more than three years. It still must be aged in a barrel that doesn’t exceed 600 liters. This tequila is darker even than añejo with a mahogany shade. As expected, it is the most expensive, but it will be the smoothest tequila.
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Here’s your tequila tasting guide
Serve tequila at room temperature.
Pour one half ounces per glass.
- Instruct attendees to hold tequila to the light and observe the color. These should go from lightest to darkest.
- Swirl the tequila around in the glass, and take note of the aroma. This is best observed with the glass about half an inch from the nose. For Blanco, aromas of citrus, apple or pear. Golden will have notes of agave, spiciness and even some fruity notes. Reposado and Anjeo will be stronger with smells like caramel, chocolate, honey and even tobacco.
- Next, take a sip of the tequila and allow it to coat your tongue. Hold it for a moment before you swallow. You should taste the flavors you smelled.
- Lastly evaluate the finish. It could be mellow and smooth or it could be full-bodied and bold. What kind of feel do you have on your mouth? Oily, silky? Sugary, spicy, smooth? Creamy, balanced, or even some heat?
If you are hosting a virtual tequila tasting party, because, hey, these are the times we live in and there are pandemics that keep us apart. It’s great to connect on some small level, so to do this you’ll need to subscribe to a video service where you can screen share and chat with everyone. Everyone can use the handy tequila tasting placemats below. Just print out and place your tequila on each corresponding spot. Then let the fun begin!
Video from Juan Lobo Tequila with Jon Wolfe