Celebrity-owned spirits are often met with cynicism, especially since there are so many of them in market nowadays. They sell though, penetrating the market quite impressively, and ever since Puff Daddy saw some incredible success with Ciroc it seems every month we’re hearing about big names attached to different spirits. Most seem just a quick way to anchor another steady stream of income, but that doesn’t apply to George Clooney and co-ownership of Casamigos Tequila. Of course, none of this speaks for whether or not Casamigos is a Tequila brand that justifies the hype surrounding it, but evidently this isn’t a tacky cash grab by the veteran actor or his partners, co-founder Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman.
Coming from the NOM 1416 distillery in Jalisco, Mexico (where Avion is also produced), Casamigos has, in the past few years, really taken off. It’s the fastest growing ultra-premium Tequila in the States, now with a few awards to boast including accolades like a 5 star rating from BevX Magazine and gold medals from just about every U.S industry events worth mentioning (San Fransisco World Spirits Competition, The New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, and more). So it was only a matter of time before the brand launched in other parts of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji (and surrounding islands), which it did so earlier this year.
This means that all three expressions – Blanco, Reposado and Añejo – are now able to be purchased around Australia, adding greatly to the busy Tequila scene where locals have only now started to move past the cheap stuff and look for small-batch alternatives.
For this edition of On the Shelf, I take a look at Casamigos Blanco, the more basic clear spirit that, like the other two expressions, is made from 100% Blue Weber agave. I would usually go for the lighter more flavoursome aged Añejo, but this Blanco is, to put it simply, excellent. I mean, they would have to be truly confident in the product to present it in such a minimal fashion, right?
The nose of the Blanco has these beautiful aromas of mint and agave, incredibly fresh and surprisingly soft. Those notes don’t really surface until the end though, with the palate instead dominated by pepper, citrus and papaya carried through with a really creamy, endearingly light mouth feel uncharacteristic of your standard blanco. This could be due to the notably long fermentation process which is 8 hours, on top of the 72 hours the agave pinas are roasted in traditional brick ovens. That’s double the industry standard mind you; the patience and care taken to ensure a premium body really shows.
Mint comes back for the finish but its mostly hidden under that lovely citrus which lingers but is not quite as long as your usual Tequila.
Casamigos really does deserve to take off down here the same way it has over in the states. It’s a very approachable, pleasant Tequila that would make a fine addition to any well stocked drinks cabinet across the country. You can grab the Blanco (700ml/40% ABV) for an RRP of $79.99 through Think Spirits and their stockists (Dan Murphy’s, BWS, 1st Choice and Vintage Cellars). For more information on Casamigos, click through to their website HERE.