Familia Camarena Reposado – You Could Do Much Worse For the Price

Camarena Reposado tequila

Camarena Reposado tequila - retail price only $15.99.

When we heard that winemaking behemoth E. & J. Gallo was getting into the tequila business, our interest was piqued. How would Gallo — best known for its omnipresent, lower-priced tipples approach the over-crowded tequila market? Well, they started on the right foot when they aligned themselves with the Camarena family, which has been making tequila in the highlands of Jalisco for six generations. This gave their brand clout, and they took it one step further by naming their tequila Familia Camarena.

Then they came up with the brilliant idea of sending a Camarena taco truck around to various cities, offering free tacos infused with their tequila. They knew they couldn’t give out free liquor samples, but they could give away liquored up Mexican fare.

Grover and I were in Mexico when the taco truck was launched, so unfortunately we missed it. But, we did drive by two very prominent Camarena billboards on Interstate 80 while driving to and from Lake Tahoe the other weekend.

Grover expressed concern when he saw that the billboards spelled out 100% (as in 100% agave) using a shot of Camarena as a “1” and a salt shaker top and lime as the “0”s.

“Uh-oh, they are advertising this tequila as something you should pound? That’s not a good sign.” he said.

Soon, a BevMo (Beverages & More – Gallo does have a great distribution network) appeared on the horizon and we swerved off the highway to pick up a bottle.

Within minutes we stood in the tequila aisle of BevMo, gaping at the price of the Familia Camarena blanco and reposado – $15.99 for each!

“Wow! They are really aiming to dominate the low end!’ I said. In my mind, I had imagined they’d shoot for the competitive $20-$30 range. After all, their tequila is made in the Highlands (known for sweeter agave and better soil) and has the Camarena name behind it.

We grabbed a bottle of the reposado and took it home to try. It’s a nice, simple bottle and the repo is a light honey color. It’s aged just 60 days in American oak.

The reposado has a pleasing nose of raw apple, butter and vanilla, and does not have the telltale alcohol fumes of some lower-priced tequilas we’ve tried. The taste was an intensification of the nose – slightly sweet, but with a definite burn that ended up in strange places, such as between my upper palate and throat.

Bottom line – it wasn’t something I would sip on, but it wasn’t nearly as unbalanced and astringent as many bargain tequilas. Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to make a mixed drink with it, but I imagine that it would be suitable for a margarita or paloma. If you’ve used it as a mixer, let us know how it went. Otherwise, the salt and lime they advertise may be necessary.

-Taste Tequila

21 Responses to “Familia Camarena Reposado – You Could Do Much Worse For the Price”

  1. Exact same experiance. Definitly not a plesant sipping tequila.

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  2. Definitely mix this one – it’s not for sipping.

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  3. I have been using it for palomas and they come out great!

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  4. Just to let you know most Silver tequilas are the ones that most tequila enthusiasts sip, as they have a more delicate floral palatte and softer sweeter finish as well. It’s no different for Camarena, I bought both and while the Repasado makes a great margarita, the silver can definately be used for sipping or shooting, its head and shoulders different.

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  5. very good in margaritas!!!

    I am from Mexico and I love this tequila is too dangerous travel to Mexico so I can’t get my favorite brand for now (herradura) I don’t like jose cuervo or hornitos to strong and better sweet, this tequila is soft, sweet but perfect, and the price is very good.

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  6. I tried samples of both the silver and the reposado the other night. I didn’t like either one. They both had a smell and taste of rubber – like a rubber band.

    I’m sure mixing would take that edge off a bit, but there are much better options for the price.

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  7. The Camarena Silver is AMAZING. Reposado is a mixing tequila, as they all are. If you are going to sip it, I havent had a better tequila than the Camarena Silver.

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  8. Not bad at all for the price, better than Tenampa Azul in my opinion, which is in the same price range. Not completely unsippable, either.

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  9. Not bad for the price at all… went down better then patron silver in my opinion.

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  10. um, blanco/silver is for mixin’, reposado (or especially anejo) is more for sippin’ cause it’s been aged/mellowed in an oak barrel. Maybe you should learn somethin’ bout tequila before ya go reviewing it – ya’ll got it wrong! I find the Camarena silver and reposado very pleasant for the $$, it’s my go-to. I sip ‘em both but I’d only mix the silver to get a little extra bite to cut through the mix.

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  11. Wow all this time I been sipping blanco tequilas I got it wrong?
    Who is this Willbill who knows best?
    Let me see if I got it right
    1 blanco ONLY TO MAKE DRINKS
    2 Reposado ONLY FOR INFUSING TACOS
    3 aÑejo ONLY FOR COOKING
    4 Extra Añejo ONLY FOR GIFTS
    5 Joven ONLY FOR FIRST AID KITS
    6 Mezcal ONLY FOR YOUR GAS TANK

    THINKS BILL YOU KNOW EVERYTHING!!

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  12. Sorry taste tequila I guess living in Mexico, personally knowing almost every tequila maker, and your multiple certifications mean nothing. You should take the billwill certification

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  13. Today, before reading this review, I picked up the Reposado on a whim, specifically for mixing. It was priced the same as the silver. I thought it was excellent (IMHO) in a Margarita with real Key Lime juice and a little orange juice and Cointreau. I will try it tomorrow with Grand Marnier. Maybe all of the extras subdued the defects? Still tasted good to me.

    Maybe I’ll be called a fool or worse by some (or most) of you but I love a well-aged Añejo for sipping. Are you folks telling me that my taste buds have been duped?

    (Yes, I really did eat white bread and mayo as a child.) So I need help!

    No, I am not trying to be facetious. I am more than open to being educated.

    Comments on Añejo for sipping vs. silver sippers? This is a totally new concept to me.

    I am not new to Tequilas, switched over maybe 15 years or so ago. But I had nobody to advise me.

    Like I said, please educate me. Reviews from pros are good, but reviews from customers are better. I notice some comments from at least a couple of Mexicans who should have knowledge on the subject – better still.

    Please understand that I am not a Tequila snob, my son bought me Patron Silver for Christmas 3 years in a row before I told him I wasn’t wild about Patron. (Of course, literally a matter of taste.)

    My favorite Añejo (a gift) is not even available in the U.S.

    Thank you all in advance. I will take any criticism meant sincerely as informative.

    Bottom line, I liked this in a Margarita. Worse yet, although not an Añejo, I could sip this if I had to.

    Attack me at will.

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  14. Moi – you cracked me up. Loved the post. I sip the anejo and mix with silver also. So I guess that’s two of us who do it wrong. I tried a bottle of the reposado last month and enjoyed it. Went to a different store today and they only had the silver. Having a little sip now and can say it’s not bad. Bought the Silver because I’m making Margatinis tonight. Have to say I prefer the anejo for my sipping pleasures. This silver will be just fine for mixed. If your son still likes to buy you tequila for Christmas suggest the Don Julio 1942 Anejo. I only open it up for special friends and occasions. It’s that yummy. Be sure to serve in the biggest brandy or red wine glass you have. Shot glasses are for shots not sipping. Have a great weekend.

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  15. This is my go to tequila and is excellent in all mixed drinks, strawberry my favorite:)

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  16. I used it for mango margaritas and it was really good. Haven’t taken it straight yet, and don’t really want to due to these previous comments lol

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  17. I have been buying this Camarena Repo for quite awhile now, but ONLY for my margaritas. I haven’t even tasted it neat, not interested really. The largest bottle is only 20.99 so it’s perfect for cranking out margaritas. Everyone loves them. I was using my top quality Blanco’s every now and then on margaritas then tried this Repo, which made it tastier, smoother and more flavorful. I don’t use a mix, so the repo flavor works well with my simple, basic margaritas. It mixes beautifully, is 100% Agave, and inexpensive. It’s the way to go for mixed drinks using Repo. -Long Island Lou

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  18. Needed tequila reposado for my carne asada marinate and sent significant other to buy some for me. Went for cheapest one since alcohol would cook out anyway. Taste was not too overpowering for marinate but as a ‘drinking’ tequila I prefer patron much better. Not sure what to do with rest of bottle. Will use for marinate again or use as mixer tequila. Gallo should stick with producing wine…. Salud!

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