For the past few years, I have been a lover of Tequila. Many people’s experience with Tequila is limited to either Cuervo, which in my opinion is as close to generic as you can get- and tastes horrible- or they drink Patron, which is far more expensive than its quality justifies.

Last night, I had the opportunity to sample one that I had not tried before. I like resposado tequilas, because they don’t have the harsh taste of the blancos, nor do they have the aftertaste of the anejo tequilas.

This particular Tequila, Herradura Resposado, was actually pretty good. I had two small glasses of it straight, and then had three absolutely outstanding Margaritas.

A moderately priced $40 for 750 mL, not many people drink it because it is more expensive than Cuervo, and it doesn’t have the big name that Patron has. I found it to be a very nice Tequila, and well suited to sipping and to Margaritas.

In order to appreciate Tequila, there are a few things a person needs to know:

1 Like anything else, quality costs more. Drink cheap liquor, get low quality.

2 Don’t use the more expensive/higher quality liquors for mixed drinks. The more expensive liquors taste better, but those flavors are wasted when they are covered up by the taste of mixers.

3 There are different classifications of Tequila:

Blanco- Clear Tequila that is aged less than 3 months. It tends to be harsh and strong, especially in the cheaper brands. I do not like the taste of Blanco Tequila.

Resposado- Tequila that is aged from 3 months to a year in wood barrels. The type of barrel, and where it is sourced, changes with the distiller. Some use old Scotch barrels. Some old Bourbon barrels, and others. It has a light brown color. Resposado is the type I prefer, because it has less of the wood flavor, but is smoother and less harsh than the Blanco Tequilas.

Anejo- After aging for at least one year, Tequila can then be classified as an “Añejo”. The distillers are required to age Añejo Tequila in barrels that do not exceed 600 liters. This aging process darkens the Tequila to an Amber color, and the flavor can become smoother, richer, and more complex.

Extra Anejo is a Tequila that is aged over three years. Anejo Tequila becomes much darker, more of a Mahogany color, and has a smooth flavor that can become as complex as a top end Scotch.

There are other sub types.

Gold Tequila is usually Blanco Tequila with artificial color added so that it can be sold at the more expensive Resposado prices. This is the type used by bars for mixed drinks. It can also be a mixture of Silver and Anejo Tequila.

Silver Tequila is Anejo Tequila with much of the color and flavors filtered out. What you get is a smooth, spicy Tequila, but without the barrel flavor that some people do not like. I don’t prefer this type, but many people do.

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