It turns out there are over 100 varieties of the agave cactus and many are used in the production of tequilas unless the label specifies “100% blue agave”. The latter is one sign of quality. Also, white, or silver tequila as it is also called, does not need to be aged at all. It can go straight from fermentation, to distillation, to bottle.
Herradura exceeds the required minimum standard, applying some age to their silver expression which is around 45 days in American oak. Reposado tequila requires a minimum of two months aging by law, but Herradura gives theirs 11 months in American oak. Herradura is something of an aging entrepreneur, having created the Reposado category in 1974. Finally, Añejo requires one year of oak aging but Herradura ages theirs for twice that time. The result in each case is a product that is more complex and individual. As the accompanying pictures show: The more ageing, the darker the tequila.
This raises the question whether even longer aging, on a time span comparable with scotch or brandy, might enhance tequila even more. Herradura is breaking new ground there too. An expression named Seleccion Suprema is aged 49 months, a full 13 months longer than the three years required by the Mexican government for the category of Extra Añejo.
Herradura tequila is widely available in Dallas at liquor stores and bars.