Whether you're hearing about Extra Añejo tequila for the first time or want to know if it's worth spending the extra money for the extra, you're at the right place.
This post will keep it simple for you by explaining what it is, and how it's best served, so you can decide if it's the tequila for you!
What is Extra Añejo Tequila
“Añejo” in Spanish means “aged.” So Extra Añejo Tequila would be considered extra-aged tequila.
To receive this classification, the tequila must be left to rest in a barrel for a minimum of 36 months, the length of time after that mark will vary by brand.
Like bourbon, when tequila is left in a barrel to age, it absorbs the flavor of the wood from the barrel, some of the color, and the result are flavor notes added to the alcohol.
In addition to flavor, the color, aroma, and texture also change during the aging process.
With so many types of tequila to choose from, Extra Añejo is making its mark among tequila drinkers, especially those that enjoy sipping on tequila or enjoy drinking bourbon.
Difference Between Añejo and Extra Añejo Tequila
The distilling and aging process is the same, but while Añejo is left in an oak barrel between 12 and 35 months, Extra Añejo sits to age for a minimum of 36 months before being bottled, with some brands going up to 5 years of aging.
For this reason, adding the term "extra" to the Añejo label will also add to the cost of the bottle.
This aging process makes Extra Añejo sweeter and smoother to sip than traditional Añejo tequila.
The color is also deeper and richer, with some Extra Añejo tequilas having a nearly mahogany shade (medium brown, almost like bourbon) while Añejo tequila has a rich shade of amber.
Related: What is Añejo Tequila
What Does It Taste Like?
While the taste varies by brand, Extra Añejo tequila has a delicate, smooth flavor with notes of vanilla, caramel, fruit, and honey. If the tequila is left in a barrel that had whisky, the flavor notes can be more buttery, while if the barrel had wine, it can be more on the fruity side.
All the flavors that tequila takes on from the oak barrel, and whatever it might have been inside before, resulting in a softer and easier-to-sip liquor that's too good to mix into a drink.
Is Extra Añejo Tequila Sweet
People that enjoy sipping on tequila will agree that Extra Añejo tequila has a sweet buttery taste.
How to Drink Extra Añejo Tequila
The exquisite notes of an aged tequila deserve to be enjoyed straight up. Pour yourself some Extra Añejo tequila right into a glass and savor the sweetness and complexity of its flavor.
As the most exclusive type of tequila, the best way to drink it is neat, sipping it slowly. That said, Extra Añejo can be the luxurious main ingredient of a good Classic Margarita if your budget permits it.
Should It Be Chilled
There’s no need to chill aged tequila only if you enjoy it that way. You can choose to drink it at room temperature, served neat, or add a few ice cubes to make it on the rocks.
Extra Añejo Tequila Prices
Extra Anejo Tequila's price of a 750ml bottle can vary from $65 to $2000 USD or even more. The price difference between brands will depend on one or several of these things:
- The type of barrel used to age the tequila.
From simple oak barrels to ex-Bourbon barrels, this sets the complexity of flavors and aroma. High-quality barrels create more exclusive and unique aged tequilas.
- The length of time left to age in a barrel.
While all Extra Añejo tequilas must stay in a barrel for at least 3 years, some of them are kept longer, which will make them more expensive.
- The packaging.
From a simple glass bottle to a handcrafted limited edition for collectors, the type of bottle will also be considered in the price.
- Distillery size.
Smaller, more exclusive distilleries often produce limited edition releases in addition to having their own unique aging process. Larger, mass-scale distilleries can scale production and can yield more affordable bottles.
Best Extra Añejo Tequila to Buy
If you're just starting out and want to try Extra Añejo tequila but don't want to break the bank, here are a couple of options to get your tequila-sipping journey started.