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How is silver tequila different or the same, from gold tequila?

Tequila Tasting at Los Dados
Image by fritish
Tequila Tasting at Los Dados in Meatpacking district of New York City. Tres Generaciones by Sauza.

Question by DreeszenC_712: How is silver tequila different or the same, from gold tequila?
The only tequila Ive ever had is Jose…

Does silver taste the same as gold?
How are the same and different?

Best answer:

Answer by Jsanthara
Silver tequila is a clear spirit that can be either 100% agave or a mixture. These tequilas are aged no more 60 days in stainless steel tanks, if they are aged at all. Gold Tequila is an unaged silver tequila that is colored and flavored with caramel.

Gold tequila is usually smoother and sweeter and is good for taking shots. Silver tequila has more of a bite and is usually used for margaritas and mixed drinks.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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3 Responses to “How is silver tequila different or the same, from gold tequila?”

  1. May 6, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    There are two basic categories of tequila: mixtos and 100% agave. Mixtos use no less than 51% agave, with other sugars making up the remainder. Mixtos use both glucose and fructose sugars.

    With 100% agave tequila, blanco or plata is harsher with the bold flavors of the distilled agave up front, while reposado and añejo are smoother, subtler, and more complex. As with other spirits that are aged in casks, tequila takes on the flavors of the wood, while the harshness of the alcohol mellows. The major flavor distinction with 100% agave tequila is the base ingredient, which is more vegetal than grain spirits (and often more complex).

    Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:

    Blanco (“white”) or plata (“silver”): white spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels;
    Joven (“young”) or oro (“gold”): is blanco or silver tequila with caramel or food coloring added. If caramel flavoring is used (versus food coloring) to create the ‘Gold’ color in the Tequila, the Gold tequila is less harsh when drunk as a ‘shot’, as the small amount of caramel flavoring slightly tones down the harshness in the mouth and throat, when compared to the silver or blanco tequila. Examples are Jose Cuervo Gold or Sauza Gold
    Reposado (“rested”): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size;
    Añejo (“aged” or “vintage”): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels;
    Extra Añejo (“extra aged” or “ultra aged”): aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. This category was established in March 2006.

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  2. May 6, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    I highly recommend avoiding José Cuervo at all costs.
    Look for something that’s 100% Blue Agavé (Cuervo does have a few, but there are many other brands that top it.)

    The color is based on aging.
    There are 4 types of tequila:
    blancos / silvers / platinos: they are aged up to 6 months. You taste a lot of the agavé flavor.
    reposados / rested (gold, if you will): they are aged 6 months to 1 year. You taste agavé and oak flavor
    añejos / aged (dark, if you will): they are aged 1 year to 3 years. Much oak flavor
    maduros / super añejos / matured: they are aged a minimum of 3 years.

    the blancos & reposados are better for mixing drinks, whereas the añejos & maduros are sipping tequilas

    There is a 5th class of tequila called Joven (young) but it is only accountable toward tequilas that are NOT 100% blue agavé. Coloring has been added to make it gold. Therefore, you’re drinking gold crap.

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  3. May 6, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    Silver/blanco: unaged tequila.
    Gold: unaged tequila additioned with caramel to make it look “aged”/reposado (just look, not taste like!).

    – both use agave sugars.
    – both are usually not aged in oak barrels.
    – both can be 100% agave (top quality) or mixtos (51% agave, 49% other sugars, lower quality spirit)

    – You’ll rarely see 100% agave gold tequila (100% blue agave silver is far more common).

    – flavor: gold is not a quality drink. I believe caramel should never be added to a wonderful tequila spirit, but that’s just me. Blancos have a clear, strong agave presence. Not all blancos are harsh; some can be far more subtle and refined that other top-shelf spirits.

    – price: golds are usually cheaper to produce (unless agave prices are REALLY low, like now). You should still be able to find well-priced quality 100% agave spirits in your area.

    – stick to 100% blue agave tequila. If it doesn’t say “100%”, it’s a mixto. This will dramatically improve your tequila experience.
    – Forget Jose and Patron: it’s all marketing hype with little quality to back it up. Try Herradura, Don Julio or Corralejo (they are a few other excellent brands, but that’s a good starting list).

    If you want to look into all tequila categories, do read through the link below

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