Tequila is an agave-based spirit that that must be produced within five specific states in Mexico, solely from blue Weber agave. This agave is harvested after 7-10 years, cleaned of spines, roasted, mashed, fermented, and finally distilled. By contrast, Mezcal is the name for agave-based spirits produced from other types of agave, or from agave grown outside of the approved Tequila zones. Mezcal can also be blended with up to 49% non-agave materials.
As such, all tequilas are mezcals, but not all mezcals are tequilas. Both categories can be produced in a variety of styles: Blanco or Silver (unaged), Oro or Gold (blended with caramel or aged tequila), Reposado (aged for 2-12 months), Anejo (aged for 12-36 months) and Extra Anejo (aged for more than 36 months).
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