The Secret To Aged Tequila Flavor
In the age of premium sipping tequilas, a good aged tequila makes all the difference in the quality of each sip you taste - giving you a spirit that can be enjoyed with as much leisure as other fine aged spirits like whiskey and bourbon.
But what is the secret to aged tequila flavor?
If you’re looking for a sweet, flavorful, and complex high end tequila, it all comes down to the oak barrel aging process.
How Does Tequila Get Its Flavor?
All tequila starts with a Blanco, or Silver, which is usually bottled directly after distillation and is traditionally unaged. As the purest expression of tequila, the characteristic agave flavors and quality of the Silver is essential as any flaws present here will be magnified after aging.
For Joven, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo styles - the oak barrel aging process is what gives the full expression of flavor profiles in aged tequila. The longer a tequila sits in the barrels, the more wood tannins, vanillin, and color is imparted from the wood into the final product.
All tequilas are required to be aged in oak, but in many brands, the length of time, the style and type of oak barrels end up overpowering the natural agave flavors. A good oak barrel aging process should highlight the tequila with a balanced and flavorful profile, and not add too many additional flavors.
The Difference Between Oak Barrel Aging Processes
The type of oak barrel will have a unique effect on the tequila produced. The condition or size of the barrel, the age of the wood or any previous usage, and whether the barrel has been charred or toasted will all impart varying tastes and aromas to the final product.
Whether the flavor profile is more subtle, sharper in sweetness, earthy, smoky, or caramelized, the tequila will begin to take on the color, flavor, aroma, and other characteristics of the wood itself, making the quality of the barrels of high importance.
Some brands take shortcuts by using additives such as vanilla extract in their tequila to affect the taste and color, but this often results in a lesser-quality spirit that experienced tequila drinkers can often discern.
How Does PaQuí Stand Out?
With the PaQuí aged styles, the key differentiator and what makes it so sippable and a pleasure to enjoy, is that the oak doesn’t overwhelm the flavor — but instead, it is well balanced with the agave.
What makes tequila so unique is the agave ingredient, so we are careful not to overdo the oak which can make aged tequila resemble a bourbon or whiskey.
PaQuí Reposado is lightly aged for four months in American oak barrels. Rather than overpowering the natural tequila flavor, the oak and agave flavors are in beautiful balance giving it a clean, crisp, and savory finish.
PaQuí Añejo is aged for just over a year in American oak barrels, presenting a significant oak presence in balance with the agave fruit, deeper notes of vanilla, nuts and caramel. Unlike competitive añejos which are dominated by oak, our Añejo has a complex balance of oak and agave fruit.
When the Spaniards first came, the explorers were served a food called papadzules, a corn tortilla dipped in pumpkin seed sauce. The Spaniards then brought the calabaza to Europe, where it diversified over several centuries.
And the difference is clear. PaQuí is proud to present a 93 score from Wine Enthusiast for our Reposado, beating out many major brands, and a 92 score on our Añejo, very recently beating out brands such as Herradura and Patron.
What makes PaQuí unique and delightful is that the wood flavors do not dominate like so many of the competing brands. Are you ready to try a premium sipping tequila? Shop our flavorful array of PaQuí styles today.