In recent years, Tequila has taken over the spotlight in bars, lounges and nightclubs. Most of the time, patrons are served blanco Tequila, which is how many are introduced to the world of Tequila. However, if you ask for a Reposado, you'll quickly realize what you've been missing out on.
For many, even those who consider themselves true aficionados now, their first Tequila love is a Reposado. Reposados tend to have an easier approach than a blanco, when sipped neat because of the light resting and rounding of flavors that comes from that process. The deep flavor profiles and lengthy, smooth finishes in Reposados can elevate your favorite cocktails or savored neat.
If you're new to sipping Tequila or looking to expand your knowledge of this beloved spirit, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about Reposados, from how this Tequila category should be enjoyed and what makes it so unique.
What is Reposado Tequila?
Nestled in the red volcanic soil of the Mexican state of Jalisco are millions of blue agave plants waiting to be harvested, steam-cooked, fermented, distilled, and finally, aged in barrels. In time, the juices from these plants transform into an unmistakable spirit that's enjoyed worldwide.
While all Tequilas go through the first four pieces of the process listed above, the approach to resting the spirit in barrels is where different Reposados stand apart. Variations can be attributed to the type of barrel used during the aging process, how long the Tequila is aged for, and the final blending decisions made by the Tequilero or Tequilera.
Here's how reposado is different from other Tequilas:
- Age: Tequila reposado is most commonly rested in American and French oak barrels. Reposado must be aged for at least two months but no longer than 364 days. There are no size restrictions on the vessel in which a Reposado is aged so they can vary from traditional 220 liter whiskey barrels, to large wooden vats called pipones. The name “reposado” translates to “rested” in Spanish, reflecting the time it takes to qualify as a reposado.
- Color: Reposados vary widely in color, perhaps more so than any other Tequila category. They range from appearing nearly clear to light honey to rich amber. Generally speaking, the more time reposado spends in contact with the wood of the barrel, the greater color it'll have but this also depends on how many times the barrels have been previously used and whether they're charred between fillings. Most reposados you'll see have a light gold or brown hue to them.
- Flavor: All Tequila is made using agave, so it carries a natural sweetness. While some Tequilas are mixed with additives like sugar cane or molasses, good reposado is 100% agave, which adds some flavor. The wood of the barrel adds hints of dried fruit and warm vanilla to the spirit.
Top Reposado Tequila Brands From Sip Tequila
When it comes to Tequila, the sweet agave taste is the highlight of every sip. The balance between the subtle oaky flavor and complementary mixers and garnishes is achieved through precision and a master blender's expert palate.
This list of spirits features the very best reposado Tequilas for sipping. Each blend has been verified as an authentic Tequila, meeting the highest standards of time-tested brands that only serve the best.
1. Clase Azul Reposado
Over 25 years ago, Clase Azul hit the shelves and made one of the biggest impacts ever seen in the liquor and spirits industry. The hand-painted blue and white ceramic decanter is the perfect introduction to the level of care and craftsmanship that goes into every batch.
Clase Azul Reposado is made with 100% blue Weber agave and is aged for eight months in American whiskey casks. The final product is a smooth finish with notes of hazelnut and vanilla.
2. Fortaleza Reposado
From the casks of true artisans comes one of the most esteemed Tequila brands in the world. While the brand is only 15 years old, Tequila Fortaleza's legacy ties the company to one of the oldest Tequila makers, dating back to 1843.
Crafted with 100% agave, Fortaleza Reposado features a full aroma of caramel, light oak and sweet potatoes. With a palate of cinnamon, butter, lemon rind and black pepper, you'll enjoy an intriguing earthy finish with every sip.
3. Fortaleza Reposado Winter Blend 2021
Tequila may not be the first drink that's associated with the holidays, but the Fortaleza Reposado 2021 Winter Blend has the qualities of a seasonal favorite. Aged in American and French oak barrels that once stored Marsala wine, this limited annual-release Tequila has an outstanding aroma of sweet creamed butter, dried fruits and cinnamon bark.
At first taste, cinnamon is the star flavor. Then, hints of black pepper, agave and dried plums come together for a delicate and alcohol-forward finish.
How to Drink Reposado Tequila
Experienced Tequila drinkers appreciate reposado Tequila by itself without any garnishes and additives that will change its flavor. However, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Tequila that will allow you to appreciate its natural flavor, regardless of whether you're a novice drinker or a knowledgeable sipper.
Sipping It Neat
Tequila reposado should be sipped slowly, not taken as a shot. Sipping allows you to savor the taste and take your time finding the subtleties underneath the initial agave flavor. With small sips, you can learn how to recognize these flavors and expand your understanding of Tequila. This is why quality is the biggest factor in sipping Tequila.
If you want to skip the usual sunrises and margaritas and opt for a different type of elevated cocktail, try swapping other liquors with reposado. Tequila is a great substitute in a Manhattan, yellowjacket or old fashioned.
Fruit Juices and Herbs
Instead of using sugary mixers, try enhancing your cocktail menu with fresh herbs and simple fruit juices. Tequila pairs well with:
- Grapefruit juice and a sprig of rosemary
- Club soda and lime
- Ginger beer and lime juice
- Pineapple juice and club soda
Best Food Pairings for Reposado Tequila
While you may not typically think of pairing Tequila with specific foods unless you're having a Mexican-inspired meal, the distilled spirit goes well with several delicious entrees and sides.
- Meats: The earthiness of Tequila perfectly complements the seasonings used to create savory chicken, beef, pork and lamb dishes. Rosemary, mango salsa and jalapeno are all great additions to dishes you intend to serve with Tequila.
- Grilled vegetables: If you're serving up grilled veggies with your meal, don't forget to pour a glass of Tequila, too. Whether you're enjoying fajitas with grilled peppers and onions or grilled corn as a side dish, the flavors present in Tequila marry perfectly with the delicious char of grilled vegetables.
- Espresso and lattes: Coffee and Tequila — why not? You can mix Tequila with espresso drinks for a richer sip or with a cup of cold brew and sweet cream. An espresso martini with Tequila is a must-try!
- Cheese: After aging in oak barrels, the soft profile of reposado fits the creaminess of brie and the smoky flavor of gouda. If you want to change things up, forget the wine and try a Tequila and cheese pairing night instead.
Browse Our Reposado Tequilas
The best reposado comes from authentic brands that have a history of producing the finest spirits in the world. At Sip Tequila, we only partner with artisans who craft truly exceptional reposado Tequilas, so every drink is just as silky smooth as the first pour. Browse our entire reposado collection and order one of our premium bottles to your door today!