When it comes to choosing the best tequila spirit, Mexicans are the best judges. It is part of their culture, and they would recognize high-quality tequila just by smelling or looking at it.
Explain the meaning of “Anejo Tequila.”
Anejo tequila is distinguished by the fact that it is aged in oak barrels for one to three years. The word “Anejo” means “old” in Spanish, referring to its aging time. Anejo tequilas frequently have rich tastes of vanilla, cinnamon, and/or sweet spice on the palate as a result of their oak age. Anejo Tequila is a premium drinking tequila. Anejo Tequila is also an excellent whiskey alternative in drinks.
Can Mexican Anejo Tequila be consumed in any way?
Mexican Anejo tequila can be enjoyed on its own or utilized in cocktail mixes; the choice is entirely personal. Swet explains that while consuming Anejo tequila on its own, it’s better to do it without ice, comparable to how one would enjoy cognac. “It’s excellent to make a simpler cocktail with Mexican Anejo tequila, where tastes can show, as opposed to a Blanco or Joven, which would blend well with several layers in the cocktail,” he says.
Anejo Tequila’s history
The history of Anejo tequila is the history of tequila. In 1000 B.C., the Olmecs (an ancient Mexican culture) began fermenting agave and turned it into pulque, a milky beverage. Eventually, the Aztecs converted this into “pulque.” When the Spanish invaded the Aztecs, they took pulque and began making tequila during a brandy scarcity. This tequila is one of North America’s original indigenous distilled beverages. The first mass-production tequila distillery was founded in what is now modern-day Jalisco by the Marquis of Altamira, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle.
King Carlos IV of Spain handed the Cuervo family, notably Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo, the first commercial tequila license in 1758. His family developed the Taberno de Cuervo and began distilling tequila from the agave tequila (blue agave) species because it retains water. The first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo was created in 1795, and thus the tequila business was born. The authentic Cuervo distillery was founded in 1812 and has been passed down through the Cuervo family.
The Sauza family quickly followed in the footsteps of the Cuervo family in the tequila industry. Don Cenobio Sauza recognized that the blue agave plant was the greatest species of agave plant for tequila manufacture.
Then, during Prohibition, tequila became a popular drink for desperate Americans in need of alcohol. Because bathtub gin wasn’t their cup of tea-quila, tequila became their drink of choice.
Recognizing tequila’s potential and relevance to their country, Mexico quickly claimed ownership of the name “tequila” and proclaimed its intellectual property in 1974. In addition, the law established specific tequila-making zones in Mexico and prohibited the production of tequila outside of Mexico.
A list of the top Mexican Anejo Tequilas
1. Corralejo Añejo
Añejo is created by historic tequila manufacturers at Hacienda Corralejo. Mexican Corralejo drinkers like the robust peppery flavors of this tequila.
Mexicans choose tequila such as Corralejo, which manages to preserve the robust flavors but does not overdo it.
Hacienda Corralejo prepares its tequila without any additions or caramel. Adding water or ice will soften the agave flavor and spice.
This bottle is one of the best sipping Anejo tequilas since this is one of the smoothest tequila with the pure sweetness of baked agave.
2. Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila
Don Julio’s 1942 blend is named after the year the company’s founder, who was 17 at the time, started making tequila. It is a very good tequila that is made in small batches in copper pot stills.
After aging for at least two and a half years, it has a sweet, complex aroma with spicy notes of oak, pepper, and cinnamon.
3. 1800 Cristalino Añejo
1800 Cristalino Anejo is a crystal clear añejo tequila. It can be confused with silver tequila because of its color.
But its apparent thickness makes it clear that it is an old tequila. It is made by the Beckmann family, the same people who make Jose Cuervo.
It is smoother than reposado tequila because it is aged 16 months. It goes through a careful filtration process before being bottled in glass made by Mexican artists.
A 750ml bottle of 1800 Cristalino Anejo costs about $56. This is not a very high price for a bottle of good-tasting tequila.
4. Casa Dragones Añejo Barrel Blend
Casa Dragones is proud of the fact that it only makes tequila in small batches of 500 cases each. It makes its Anejo barrel blend by mixing tequila that has been aged separately in new 100% Quercus Sessile French oak and new American oak.
Both barrels have been lightly “bousiné,” or toasted, which reduces the effect of the wood and makes the wine more complex. As a result, the nose is floral and fruity, and the taste is rich in macadamia and spicy nutmeg, building to a peak of cacao and pepper.
5.Herradura Ultra Añejo
Herradura’s Ultra Anejo is a truly unique tequila that is made at the new facility in San Jose del Refugio. It mixes the 49-month-old Selección Suprema Extra Anejo that was aged in bourbon barrels with a 25-month-old Anejo.
But Herradura then uses a very fine filtering process that makes the liquid clear as glass. From the outside, it looks like a regular Blanco tequila. Still, when you taste it, you’ll find the expected mix of woody, vanilla, and spice flavors.
How are Anejo and Extra Anejo different from other types of Tequila?
When you start drinking tequila that has been aged longer, called Anejo, its complexity really starts to come out. To make beautifully aged Anejos and extra Anejos, you have to give them more time to age and pay more attention to the details than you do with younger expressions. This is because you want to bring out more complexity in the agave spirit.
A perfect Anejo or extra Anejo will not only add depth, beauty, and dimension to what the spirit already has to offer, but it will also do so without hiding the essence and qualities of the agave plant. If a good Blanco tequila can be thought of as an artistic interpretation of the agave it is made from, then the Anejo and extra Anejo versions can be thought of as elaborate frames that surround the canvas.
During the process of making tequila, a skilled master distiller must think about and adjust to a number of factors in order to make Anejo and extra Anejo tequilas that are consistently good and stand out. Time, technique, barrel material, and temperature can all affect how the tequila tastes, feels and smells in the end, just like they can with a good Scotch, Cognac, or fine wine.
Most Blanco tequilas are bottled as soon as they are made, with little or no aging. Anejos must be aged for at least one to three years in oak barrels that can’t hold more than 600 liters. This long period of “resting” is much longer than the two months that are required for a reposado. Also, barrels used to age reposados don’t have to be made of a certain type of wood.
Can I bring Mexican Anejo Tequila on an airplane?
Yes, you can bring Mexican Anejo tequila on an airplane as long as it’s unopened and in your checked luggage.
There is also a limit of five liters per person, regardless of whether they are bringing Blanco, Reposado, or Anejo.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, passengers can bring more than five liters of tequila if the alcohol content is less than 24%.
Why do Mexican Anejo Tequilas taste better than others?
Because it’s their pride and tradition, Mexican Anejo Tequilas taste better. Using traditional methods, they make good Tequila.
These producers make tequila to keep their culture alive, which is why they taste better. Most tequilas made in Mexico are made in small batches, which reduces the amount of sugar cane, artificial sweeteners, and other additives that are needed.
Are Mexican Anejo Tequilas stronger?
No, Tequilas in Mexico are not stronger because the law only allows 35%–55% alcohol by volume. A bottle of tequila in the US can start at 40% and go up from there.
Some tequila drinkers like a stronger spirit. This is especially true if they like reposado or Anejo, which are usually smoother and don’t have the burn that they don’t like.
Some people store them in Scotch barrels to give them a unique flavor, but the alcohol levels are kept below what is recommended.
Which Mexican Anejo tequila is the smoothest?
The Ocho Anejo is the smoothest Mexican Anejo tequila. These tequilas are made by the Camarena family, which has been making tequila since 1937.
They are one of the few tequila makers who still use the old, slow-cooking method, the artisanal way.
Where Can I Buy Tequila in the USA?
Tequila is easy to find in the USA because it is close geographically and culturally. It can be found in most liquor stores and convenience stores.
In fact, the USA is the biggest importer of tequila from Mexico. In 2019, they brought in more than 204 million liters of it! For some background, Germany is Mexico’s second-biggest importer, but Germany only used a little more than 5 million liters in the same year.
But most tequila that is easy to get isn’t particularly good or good value. Most of the time, it’s cheap liquor and rarely 100% blue agave. In fact, it’s easy to buy “mixto” tequila by accident, which is made of at least 51% blue agave and other sugars.
Still, the Internet is a great place to find information, especially about liquor. There are a number of online stores that specialize in selling high-quality alcohol at good prices.
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