George Clooney + tequila. Do we have your attention yet? The group behind the new Casamigos brand sure hopes so. They released a viral video campaign featuring Clooney, his girlfriend Stacy Keibler, Cindy Crawford, and her husband Rande Gerber, all falling into bed together after a night of drinking. (Clooney and Gerber are behind this brand.)
And the Casamigos website makes claims that caught our attention as well, including “The best tasting, smoothest tequila” and “a tequila that is smooth with no burn.”
So the question we wanted to answer was, “Is Casamigos worth all the hype?”
We initially learned that this tequila was coming to market several months ago, when a store clerk poured us a sample from an unmarked bottle he had stashed behind the counter. He told us it was George Clooney’s new tequila, and solicited our feedback. We couldn’t spend much time with it in the store, so we didn’t rush to judgement, but thought it was something that deserved examination in a better environment, using the proper glassware, and giving it plenty of time.
When we got home, we wanted to learn more about it, so the first thing we did was try to find out the NOM. The NOM is a four-digit number issued by the Mexican government to each legal entity that produces tequila. The NOM must appear on each bottle of tequila, and helps you identify the distillery where it is made. By looking for the NOM, we can start to figure out what a tequila may taste like based on where it was made. Casamigos is made at NOM 1416, which is the same distillery that makes well-known brands Avion (the “Entourage” tequila) and Clase Azul, among many others.
(By the way, if you want to have the ability to quickly look up a tequila and see what else is made in the same place, download the Tequila Matchmaker app for iOS and Android. It’s free and VERY useful. A lot of mass-produced brands that call themselves “artisanal” would rather you not have this information.)
The next thing we examined was price. BevMo in California is charging $45 for the blanco and $46 for the reposado, so it’s competing in a space where Fortaleza Blanco lives. The reposado is more expensive than another one of our favorites, Casa Noble Reposado, which retails for $43.
This price range set our expectations pretty damn high, so we picked up a couple bottles hoping for the best.
Before the blanco opened up we got faint aromas of mint and green agave. After a few minutes, some cinnamon started to come through, but for the most part, the aroma wasn’t very prominent.
Upon visual examination, the tequila clung to the side of the glass like a nice, oily tequila should, but once it hit our mouths it didn’t quite measure up with what we were expecting. It is sweet and slightly watery and lacks the sophistication and complexity of a tequila that commands this price range.
Casamigos Blanco is a relatively simple tequila with mint and cinnamon flavors, and a finish that is remarkably short.
Casamigos Reposado brings all of the characteristics of the blanco, but with a heavy dose of caramel (which smells very good, by the way). It is aged 7 months in American Oak. It has a smoother mouth feel in the front, but has a slightly rougher (or ‘scratchy’) finish.
After spending a couple hours with Casamigos Tequila, we decided that although it was pleasant and sippable, it really didn’t live up to its price tag.
The question now is can its celebrity endorsements keep the brand afloat?
- Grover & Scarlet