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A Symphony of Flavors: The Expert’s Guide to Tequila Tasting


friends drinking musica tequila
Friends at Red Phone Booth, Miami FL

If you just picked up a bottle of Música tequila, this expert’s guide to tequila tasting is for you.


Tasting tequila is not as complicated as you may think it is, and it also doesn’t have to burn going down. With some simple guidelines and knowledge, it’s easy to taste tequila like a pro. From there, it’s up to you to put your special twist on it, treating friends and family to a tequila tasting paired with great music and food.


If that sounds like a great time to you, this is your opportunity to become an expert on tequila tasting.


From Farm to Glass


There are a lot of steps in the journey your tequila takes from Agave to glass. Tequila, like most spirits, is defined by a specific distillation process, but there are also many types of tequilas that may seem more complicated to English speakers than they actually are. Knowing these differences, however, can really level up your tasting experience.


Let us walk you through the process from field to glass, so you know what you’re drinking.




How Tequila Is Made


Tequila is made from the central bulb of the blue agave plant, called the piña. It’s naturally sweet and traditionally harvested in Mexico. Growing blue agave is actually much more intensive than you might think. While other spirits may have significantly longer aging processes, their ingredients have a short life cycle. Blue agave actually takes five to ten years to mature, one of the longest growing periods of any spirit.


After the agave is harvested, it’s baked and shredded to extract as much of the juice as possible. The juice then undergoes a fermentation process lasting up to two weeks before it’s distilled and aged. In our quest to maintain the authentic, pure flavor of the agave in Música tequila, we have chosen a distinct approach to fermentation. Unlike some other tequilas, Música uses open fermentation (some call this wild fermentation) which means that we do not add (pitch) any yeast to our fermentation process, preserving the original essence and the integrity of its flavor.


The aging process then introduces another layer of complexity and character. It’s this stage that determines the type of tequila—whether Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, or Extra Añejo—each offering a unique taste and experience reflective of its time in the barrel. As we explore these types, remember that the foundation of all our varieties remains the pure, unaltered agave flavor that Música is known for.

cut agave plants harvesting
Agave plants harvested and ready for production

Types of Tequila


Blanco, also known as silver or plata tequila, is a popular choice among tequila varieties, often serving as the standard offering from many distilleries. Characteristically almost clear due to minimal aging—less than two months or not at all—Blanco tequilas like Música Blanco capture the raw, vibrant flavors of agave. While many enjoy these unaged spirits in cocktails, savoring a high-quality Blanco tequila on its own can offer a pure and distinct tasting experience, highlighting its craftsmanship and the essence of the agave.


Reposado is the second most popular tequila, and it means “rested,” referring to the two-to-11-month timeframe it spends aging in a barrel. The barrel aging is what gives it a yellow or brown hue, and that aging process smoothens the bite a freshly distilled tequila has. You still get heavy blue agave notes, but there’s an added subtly of smooth barrel notes and a warm finish.


Añejo, meaning old, is aged for one to three years. While any barrel can be used, it’s very popular to use ex-American whiskey or French oak barrels. Ex-Bourbon barrels are the most popular though, which is why you often get a lot of sweeter, vanilla, maple, or brown sugar notes that are more prevalent in American whiskey. While you can enjoy an añejo however you like, they’re more often sipped neat, since the aging makes them exceptionally smooth, and they usually carry a higher price tag than a blanco or reposado.


Extra añejo refers to tequila aged longer than three years, and it’s usually the most expensive option on this list, due to the long aging process. Many extra añejo tequilas are aged in more than one barrel type, adding additional complexity and nuance in an already smooth flavor. Just like an older bourbon or cognac, most people are only sipping extra añejo neat (without ice), and if you haven’t tried it before, you’d be very surprised at how easily it goes down.


Tasting techniques


Tasting tequila starts with selecting between one and three quality tequilas to try together. While you can absolutely start with just one, you’ll learn a lot about tequila by trying them side-by-side. For example, if you try Música Blanco next to Música Reposado, you can start to learn how the aging process effects tequila.


tequila tasting flight
Glencarin-style tulip glasses for side-by-side tasting


Once you’ve chosen your drink, you need to choose a glass for it. If you’re not yet wanting to invest in some specific glassware, you can get by with a wine glass or champaign flute, but you might want to measure out your tequila before pouring! If you’re into other liquors as well, a Glencairn glass is a perfect starting place since it’s perfect for whiskeys and rums as well. What you’re looking for is a tulip shaped glass. This funnels aromatics upward, elevating your tasting experience.


With your tequila in glass, it’s as simple as giving it a light swirl in the glass, gently inhaling, then taking a small sip. If you want to, you can also swirl the tequila around in your mouth before swallowing, but it’s usually more pleasant to do this with smoother tequilas.

You won’t prefer everything you try, but you can begin to see what’s different between tequilas. If something is too hot for your taste, it’s perfectly acceptable to add a little water or a little lime juice and try it again. You can also elevate the experience by adding in some of your favorite music, foods, or games. Tasting tequila is supposed to be fun and exciting, and there’s nothing better than sipping a great tequila with your favorite people.


While picking out “notes” might seem intimidating, it’s all subjective. Tasting notes are as simple as thinking through what you’re tasting and saying what it reminds you of. It’s perfectly acceptable to disagree on notes, it’s all just what you taste and think.


Conclusion


If you feel excited and equipped to start your tasting journey or add a new tequila to your shelf, Música Tequila is the perfect place to start. With a blanco, reposado, and añejo in the lineup, you can taste everything the aging process does to a tequila by following this expert’s guide to tequila tasting.


Look for Música's iconic bottle at your local bar or liquor store! (And if you're in Florida or Michigan and they don't have it yet... ask for them to carry it!)


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