Before I recommend a brand or style (blanco, reposado, or añejo), I will first ask them what other spirits they like to drink, as well as what tequilas they’ve had that they liked and do not like.
If the person prefers whiskey, cognac, aged rum, and /or red wine, I will recommend an añejo or maybe a reposado. If the person likes vodka, white rum, gin or sauvignon blanc I will suggest a blanco.
Now, within the aged products, the type of barrel used and how long it aged for, is a HUGE factor in determining its flavors, texture, and “smoothness“. While some people love the vanilla, caramel, and nutty elements in a product that has been aged in a new American oak barrel, the person next to them ,might notice only the heat that comes from the charring of the barrel and feel like their mouth has been set on fire. One person likes it and the other doesn’t think that it is “smooth“, but it’s the same product. So really it does come down to personal preference and what you like. But, what you like now, may not be the same 2 years from now.
I was at a tequila party recently and had 3 people (2 guys, 1 girl) taste Milagro reposado and Milagro Select Barrel reposado - blind. I chose these 2 tequilas because they both have the same production process the only difference is that the regular reposado is aged in used American whiskey barrels and the Barrel Select is aged in used French oak barrels. While 2 people liked the Barrel select more, and thought it was “smoother“, the other preferred the regular reposado. Myself? Well, the Barrel Select has light and sweet elements, while the regular reposado is a bit bigger and a touch earthier. So for me, I preferred the taste when I blended them together as they seemed to develop more depth and complexity.
Originally posted Wednesday September 15, 2010