Añejo, meaning “Old” is tequila which is aged for a minimum of one year and up to three years in either American or French oak barrels. Like all tequila it begins with the harvesting of agave, the roasting and crushing of their piñas, and the fermentation and following distillation process. Añejo is typically consumed by itself to enjoy it’s characteristics.
Añejo tequila differs from Reposado and Extra Anejo in that it is aged for a minimum of one year and up to three years. Añejo is also typically more suited to sipping, as it is aged for a longer period of time, resulting in more intense flavor development. Anejo is known for its deep golden color and silky mouthfeel and rich flavors of vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch.
Añejo is more suited to smooth sipping than shot-taking. Additionally, it's typically more on the expensive side and would be more of a waste of money and quality as a shot.
Though typically consumed on its own, Añejo is a wonderful stand-in choice for whiskey. It’s rich complexities and smooth mouthfeel make for a wonderful swap-out such as in a tequila old-fashioned. Additionally, it is definitely a perfect choice for upgrading any beloved tequila-based drink.
Anejo tequila is best consumed at room temperature from a wider vessel such as a wine glass or champagne flute. To enjoy its range of flavor, it's best to swish it around for ten to fifteen seconds after each sip. The act of sipping it slowly allows for the consumer to get intouch with the deep flavors and how they all work together. Anejo can also be enjoyed on the rocks, with a bit of lime or orange as a garnish.
Many popular extra anejo tequila comes from well-known brands such as José Cuervo, Hornitos, Patrón, and Don Julio. Though pricier than younger tequila, these brands offer a more affordable way to enjoy this premium-aged spirit. Each has a deep amber color and offers rich notes of butterscotch, cooked agave, toasted oak, and creamy vanilla. Looking for a more expensive, artisanal Anejo? Try anejo tequila from Clase Azul, José Cuervo Reserva, or Casa Dragones.