While aficionados tend to prefer blanco tequilas, and imbibers of dark spirits usually gravitate towards añejos, the reposado category is often overlooked. But these light-to-medium aged tequilas offer incredible diversity. They often pair well with food, or serve as the perfect end of the night sipper.

So, we gave 10 repos (both newer products and established ones) to members of our tasting panel in a blind taste test to gather their thoughts. We carefully selected products with a wide range of aromas and flavors, and of course, all needed to be additive free.

As the high scores suggest, all of them are winners, and worth a try.

Here’s what the panel members thought:

Wild Common Reposado

Wild Common Reposado
As an aficionado fan favorite, it is perhaps no surprise that the small batch Wild Common Reposado racked up the highest scores of the tasting, at 90.096 average points. Slightly over proof at 43% abv, tasters found tons of cooked agave, cinnamon, black pepper, and mineral notes with a touch of natural vanilla and caramel from the barrel.

This tequila is made at the beloved Cascahuín distillery (NOM 1123) by Salvador Rosales using a mix of tahona and roller mill extraction, fermented with and without fiber in both stainless steel and cement tanks, and is then distilled in copper pots.

The variety of production processes blended together brings subtle complexity to the aroma and flavor profiles, without having to use additives.

Specific batch: Lote 04

Cazcanes No. 7 Reposado

Cazcanes No. 7 Reposado
Next up was another aficionado-approved brand, Cazcanes, produced at the Tequilera TAP (NOM 1614) distillery in Amatitán, Jalisco. It scored an impressive 88.702 average rating by our panelists. At 40% abv, this reposado still packs a flavor punch. Tasters found light wood, floral, honey, and citrus notes with a spicy finish.

The brand is known for experimenting, and felt that this distillery was a good partner for their additive-free production and special projects. The production process for this reposado is more traditional, but they supply their own natural spring water, instead of using the deep well water that is standard for the distillery.

Agaves are cooked in low-pressure autoclaves, extraction is via roller mill, and fermentation happens in open air stainless steel tanks. Distillation is done in a stainless steel pot still with copper coils. The tequila for this lot (R72304) is aged for an average of 6.4 months in an assortment of used American white oak barrels previously used for bourbon (Jack Daniels, 4 Roses, Clermont, and Jim Beam) with a heavy, medium, and light char levels. It is then aerated just before bottling.

(The lot number is written in red on the front label.)

Campo Azul 1940 Reposado

Campo Azul 1940 Reposado
Racking up an 87.25 average score is a new tequila made at a distillery known for bigger brands, Productos Finos de Agave (NOM 1416). This time the 3rd-generation tequila family wanted to return to its roots and honor the current owner’s father, Don Ricardo Lopez, who was born in 1940.

Agaves are cooked slowly in a brick oven for 30 hours, followed by 24 hours of cooking without steam. They then open the doors and allow the agaves to cool for 18 hours before they are put through a roller mill. After a slow, open-air fermentation, it is then distilled in a stainless steel pot still with a copper coil. This reposado rests for 6 months in fatigued American Oak Barrels that previously contained tequila. To round out the flavor, it is aerated prior to bottling.

It has subtle citrus and grass notes to offset the slightly sweet barrel notes. We found this to be easy to drink, with plenty of the layered agave notes that we love.

“This tequila strikes a harmonious balance between the sweetness of cooked agave and the gentle influence of light barrel aging,” said one taster.

Ocho Tequila Reposado (2023 Potrero Grande)

Ocho Tequila Reposado
It’s no surprise that this very lightly aged, agave-forward repo pleased tasters with its earthiness, honey, citrus, and vegetal notes. It achieved an average score of 87.1 points. Made in Los Altos by the Camarena family, its terroir shines through.

“Nicely balanced, even with almost no color,” one taster commented. This product just goes to show that even a touch of barrel notes can add a nice complexity to an already great blanco, without overwhelming it with barrel flavors.

Anyone who knows Ocho knows that agave is always the star of the show. The barrels used are old and exhausted, imparting a faint touch on the final product. As a result, fans of agave often flock to their products.

Volcan de Mi Tierra X.A

Volcan de Mi Tierra X.A
Despite its “X.A” name, this tequila is actually a mix of aged tequilas (reposado, añejo, and extra añejo) that produces a layered and delicious profile. The average rating clocked in at an above-average 87 points.

Remember, the rules of tequila production state that you must use the category of the least aged component in the blend. Even though this product contains añejo and extra añejo elements, it must be called a reposado.

Tasters found lots of fruit and spice notes, such orange blossom, apple, mango, and cinnamon with a naturally sweet, long finish.

“This tequila boasts one of the most distinctive aromas I’ve encountered, and I found it quite enjoyable,” one taster noted.

The brand used special Grace Casks, which are lightly-toasted American oak barrels made from trees in different plots to give the spirit a unique flavor profile. This practice is usually reserved for the wine industry.

This reposado is unusual in that it hopes to span both the nightclub and aficionado crowds, with its fancy bottle and additive-free juice. Tasters dinged it a little on the price point, but the quality still shined through.

Volcan de Mi Tierra Reposado

Volcan de Mi Tierra Reposado
Volcan’s core line reposado came in close behind, scoring 85.8 average points. Aged 5 months in a combination of American and European oak barrels with a medium toast. Tasters noted that it was “the darkest of the 10 samples” with a caramel nose, aromas of stewed fruits and baking spices. It has a nice sweetness on entry, and a few tasters mentioned it was reminiscent of bourbon.

Vanilla, caramel, leather, cinnamon, clove, butterscotch, chocolate, orange peel, and nutmeg were detected by several of the tasters.

The tequila has “a dark golden hue” and “agave with every sip” commented one taster. “It almost drinks like an añejo.”

As a reminder, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes at the Volcan distillery (NOM 1523), a process that involves both tahona and roller mill extraction, use of agaves from the Los Altos and Tequila Valley regions, cooking in both brick ovens and roller mills, and fermenting with multiple yeast strains in stainless steel and wood tanks.

Their ever-expanding barrel room is just below their single-brand distillery, and every drop of liquid made there is used exclusively for Volcan de Mi Tierra.

Cierto Private Collection Reposado

Cierto Private Collection Reposado
Made at the La Tequileña distillery (NOM 1146) in the town of Tequila, this premium brand is trying to introduce complex, natural tequila to the higher-end consumer. It achieved an above average score of 85.192.

This repo is aged 11 months in French Limousine Oak – just one barrel type in 1146’s expansive barrel collection.

Tasters noted warm wood notes of leather, tobacco, and pepper with a pleasant lingering finish. Some also detected a malolactic note, which is often present in some of the distillery’s blanco profiles.

It has “sweet, buttery cooked agave, barrel spices, and light caramel,” one taster noted. Cierto is a fairly new-to-market brand although it has been in the making for some time. This high-end bottle came in a bit lower for value.

Cambio Reposado

Cambio Tequila Reposado
This is a relatively new brand that takes slow-and-low to another level, starting with fermentation, which is done for longer and at low temperatures (20 degrees C for 2 weeks, followed by a secondary malolactic fermentation lasting 3 days!), which is chiefly responsible for its unique aroma and flavor characteristics which brings a lot of layered complexity.

The score average was 85.048.

Agaves are cooked slowly in brick ovens, and pass through the tahona before entering wood fermentation tanks. Even their distillation process is slowed down compared to what is typical within the industry.

Their reposado is aged for 30 days in white burgundy and white Bordeaux barrels, and then placed in used French Oak Chardonnay barrels from Sonoma for 5 months.

Tasters appreciated the long finish that the higher 46% ABV brought, and commented that the aroma and flavor was nicely balanced with fruit, cinnamon, caramel, and slight licorice, especially in the aroma.

La Gritona Reposado

La Gritona Reposado
Average score: 84.423. Made entirely by women, this well-priced repo stands out for fruit, mineral and brine notes. One taster commented on its mild malolactic flavor, which can be a divisive element, and may explain why it scored a little lower than others. However, each batch is unique as the distillery is committed to letting nature shape its profile.

It is cooked in a brick oven for 24 hours, crushed and then left to ferment for over a week. After distillation the final product is then aged 6 months in reused American whiskey barrels.

“A very light color with an aroma that is earthy and vegetal,” one taster commented.

Siempre Reposado (1414)

Siempre Reposado (NOM 1414)
This Los Altos tequila made by Sergio Cruz features NOM 1414’s famous “Mozart” method using both champagne yeast and rum yeast in open air tanks. Traditional production methods, such as slow cooking for 30 hours in brick ovens, and distillation in 100% copper pots went into this batch (lote 2).

It is then uniquely aged for 4 months in a stainless steel tank, lined with deeply-charred American Oak slats around the edges of the tank’s interior. This non-traditional aging process may be the source of the common aromas and flavors found by the raters: raisin, clove, cinnamon with a hint of black licorice.

It earned an average of 83.7 points among this group of tasters. However, of all of the tequilas in this lineup, it finished in first place when it came to value, which is an indication that this is a solid bang-for-the-buck tequila.

As one taster noted, “This reposado doesn’t hold back—it’s big and bold, bursting with intense flavors. I can imagine sipping it outdoors by a crackling fire.”

Siempre’s new home at NOM 1414 is giving them the opportunity to experiment with each batch, which pays tribute to the fact that consistency doesn’t have to be more important than the craft or honoring a natural process.

As the divergent tasting notes display, the reposado category offers a taste profile for every type of palate, whether the drinker prefers lightly aged tequila or something closer to an añejo.

And given that all these products were within a 6-point range, it’s clear that there’s some healthy competition out there. So, next time you’re shopping for a great sipper, consider adding one of these repos to your bar.