A couple of months ago, we received the three Tequila bottles that you see in the above photo. Casamigos Tequila is the brand. George Clooney and Rande Gerber are its founders. For those of you that aren’t familiar with these men, one (Clooney) is an actor / writer / director / producer, and the other (Gerber) is a former model / bar and restaurant owner / husband to Cindy Crawford. Here’s the story (as told by Rande Gerber via a 2013 Bloomberg interview) of how these two fine gentleman, who just happen to be very close friends, got into the Tequila business:
Since it’s launch in 2013, the Casamigos brand has been selling extremely well, so much so that in 2016, they formed their own company to handle the importing, marketing, and selling rather than go through the usual channels. Here’s what former Seagrams executive and current booze industry consultant Arthur Shapiro had to say about the Casamigos brand in his book, Inside The Bottle:
Casamigos for George Clooney will succeed because of his commitment to the brand, his following, and his extremely positive public image. But just as important, if not more so, is that the product is excellent tequila, and his message to the consumer resonates – “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It”. He’s involved with the product, and is leveraging his fame among early adopters and opinion leaders.
Now that you know a bit about the brand and how well it’s doing in the marketplace, let’s get on with the review to see if Casamigos is all Hollywood hype or an Academy Awards Best Picture winner…
- Appearance: Crystal clear and colorless.
- Aroma: Very light alcohol vapors at first, followed immediately by some black pepper, fennel, eucalyptus, lime zest, and fresh cut grass.
- Taste: Lightly oily mouthfeel. Starts off slow with some herbal notes up front. Mildly spiced at mid-palate with some tingly pepperiness (more like fresh jalapeno, as opposed to black or white pepper). Citrus and some mild sweetness make an appearance at the end to offset some of the herbally pepperiness.
- Age: 2 months in American Oak.
- ABV: 40%
The Verdict: Very light and easy drinking with absolutely no harshness. While I enjoyed this on its own, I’m guessing that this would make a really nice cocktail. Especially one with minimal ingredients so that the subtle flavors don’t get completely lost in the finished drink. How do you say Mizuwari in Spanish?
- Appearance: Very pale golden color with a slight pinkish hue.
- Aroma: Soft and creamy on the nose with vanilla, nougat, powdered sugar, eucalyptus, and a hint of Connecticut shade cigar wrapper.
- Taste: Slightly more viscous than the Blanco. Still has that traditional Tequila flavor, but this time around, it has all of that creaminess that I picked up in the nose, i.e. vanilla, creamed corn, and a hint of powdered sugar sweetness. A subtle smokiness shows up in the finish.
- Age: 7 months in American Oak
- ABV: 40%
The Verdict: This Reposado is definitely more of a straight sipper thanks to all of those sweet barrel notes that come through. Once again, this has no harshness, but it does have a bit more flavor variability from start to finish when compared to the straight ahead Tequila vibe of the Blanco.
- Appearance: Pale rose gold color.
- Aroma: Much richer on the nose than the other two. The agave notes that I picked up in the Blanco and the Reposado fade into the background this time around. I’m getting more of those tobacco notes along with some honey sweetness. Also picking up some vanilla and Orange Creamsicle.
- Taste: This is completely different from the other two expressions. It almost has a Scotch-like quality to it (think Dalwhinnie 15 or Balvenie GoldenCask 14). Very creamy with lots of vanilla and sweet tobacco. This is definitely something to drink on its own. The flavors go from vanilla sweetness, to lightly peppery in the middle, to all of it coming together at the finish with some sweet tobacco and honey lingering in the aftertaste.
- Age: 14 months in American Oak
- ABV: 40%
The Verdict: While there’s no denying that this is a really enjoyable sipper of a spirit, my problem with Anejo Tequila in general is that all that time spent in the barrel really diminishes a lot of the flavors that I seek when my Tequila cravings kick into gear, i.e. the peppery bite and agave flavors that make this spirit so uniquely delicious. That being said, this was really nice and I’d love to try it as a whisky substitute in a cocktail. I’m thinking this would make a great Old Fashioned, or maybe even a Sazerac.
So there you have it! A review of three very different Tequila expressions from Casamigos. Limpd didn’t chime in on the tasting notes this time around because he isn’t much of a Tequila drinker, so I decided to fly solo on this review. While he may not be much of a Tequila drinker, I think that these three spirits, thanks to their easy going nature, might just win him over. Especially the Anejo, which I’m guessing would be right in his wheelhouse.
Now if someone had me at gun point and forced me to pick a winner, kind of like that scene in Steven Soderbergh’s (FYI, he’s also in the booze business) Out of Sight where Karen Sisco has Jack Foley at gunpoint…
… I would have to go with the Blanco because it has all of the aromas and flavors that I’m looking for when it’s time to drink Tequila. The Reposado is a close second as it bridges the gap between the peppery, agave flavors of the Blanco and the rich creaminess of the Anejo. This of course doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the Anejo, which is delicious stuff for sure, but to me it was closer to a Rum or a Whisky, which isn’t what I want when I’m looking to drink Tequila. Now if they ever decided to bottle a higher octane version of the Anejo, it might knock the Blanco down a rung or two.