PM Spirits

Is it Better to Sip or Mix Rested Tequila?

Nicolas Palazzi

Reposados or "rested" Tequilas are full of unique and complex flavors depending on what they're aged in—if you love wine, be sure to keep an eye out for reposados aged in former wine casks—making them perfect for sipping straight or enhancing your cocktails.

Those in the sipping camp may wonder, where do all those complex flavors come from? The sun-baked agave plant is the critical ingredient of Tequila, yielding honey and piquant peppery notes, yet the barrels are a key component, too. ­Abundant ex-Bourbon barrels are ­frequently used to impart toasty vanilla and rich caramel notes, however, wine lovers will want to keep an eye on reposados that spend some time in former wine casks. For example, Codigo 1530 spends six months in barrels that previously held Napa Cabernet, while Excellia Reposado is aged in both Cognac and grand cru Sauternes barrels, each imparting a character unique to the barrels used.

Excellia Reposado Tequila (Mexico; PM Spirits, New York, NY); 91 points. Burnished gold in the glass, look for a zesty, savory scent layered with vanilla sweetness. The palate opens with more vanilla, reserving the savory notes for the exit: bell pepper, oregano, black pepper. Aged six to 12 months in former Cognac and Grand Cru Sauternes barrels. abv: 40%