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Casamigos Reposado Tequila

Review: Casamigos Reposado Tequila   90.5/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published January 27, 2015 (Revised July 29, 2017)

Casamigos is a the Tequila Brand previously owned by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. I say previously because according to recent reports (see here) the three friends have just sold the brand to Diageo for an initial payment of $700 million. Additional payments based upon sales over the next decade could bring in an additional $300 million potentially making Casamigos a billion dollar brand. (It is expected that Clooney and his friends Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman will stay with the company after the acquisition possibly playing a role in the marketing of the new Diageo brand.)

According to the Casamigos website this is an ultra premium tequila made in a small batch process from ‘hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico‘. As a Highland Tequila, we can expect Casamigos to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. (This is as opposed to lowland tequila which has stronger earthier flavours of agave and less hot pepper.)

The website goes on to tell us that the piñas of the hand selected agave are roasted in traditional brick ovens for 72 hours prior to their fermentation. During a long 80 hour fermentation, these piñas are exposed a special blend of yeast said to maintain a ‘consistent, refined flavor’. The Casamigos Reposado tequila is rested in American Oak for 7 months before being bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Although the Casamigos website does not specify the exact distillery which produces this agave spirit, I did notice that the identified NOM on the back of the label is 1416. This NOM identifier is required by the Mexican Government to be placed on the label of each bottle of tequila to verify that it is produced legally from agave sourced in the Tequila region of Mexico. Each distillery has its own NOM, and thus we can trace the distillery of origin. In this case it is Productos Finos de Agave who also produce Avion Tequila.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Casamigos Reposado arrives in the clear medium tall bottle shown to the left. The simple beige label tells me the spirit is made from 100 % Agave Azul (Blue Weber Agave) from Jalisco, Mexico. Given that George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman are promoting the spirit as an Ultra Premium Tequila, I was expected more style in the presentation. I understand that the producers are trying to imply hand-craftsmanship suggesting that what is inside the bottle is what is important, and that additional monies spent on a fancy label or fancier bottle will just drive up the cost. However given the celebrity push this product has received which I suspect was already expensive, I was expecting a presentation which exuded a more class.

In the Glass 9/10

I poured out a small sample of the Casamigos Reposado into my glencairn and continued my review with a good look at the spirit before I began to nose it. The tequila has a light straw colour reflecting the 7 months it has rested in American Oak. I gave my glass a light tilt and a slow swirl, and I discovered a light sheen was left on the inside of the glass, the crest of which gave up a multitude of small leggy droplets which ran back down into the spirit at a moderate pace. There is more thickness and colour than I have seen in other Reposado tequilas, this could be due to the use of newer oak barrels in the resting process.

When I brought the glass to my nose, I quickly noticed the sharp peppery note which is typical of highland tequila. I often call this peppery note which is prominent in Highland tequila, “highland squeal” as it comes across to me a squeal of spiciness. Zesty citrus lies alongside the white pepper adding to the spiciness.

There is of course a mild punky/fruity agave aroma running alongside that spiciness. This fruity agave scent tempers the white pepper and prompts closer inspection. A light caramel sweetness is carried by the agave, as is with some vanilla softness, and just a hint of oolong tea and milk chocolate. It could be my imagination, but the light caramel sweetness within aroma seems to carry impressions of cola in its wake. This is a very nice reposado tequila!

In the Mouth 54.5/60

The initial entry is a little soft and buttery with a stronger impression of caramel sweetness than the nose implied. Milk chocolate and a little bit of sea salt seem to ooze from the caramel making this a very interesting tequila to sip. Of course we also taste that squeal of highland white pepper, but the spiciness does not translate into burn across the palate (it does heat the palate with spice). The agave tastes soft and fruity giving me an impression of grilled zucchini and plantain. The flavours are typically highland, albeit with a few new and interesting accents.

As a sipping tequila, the Casamigos Reposado is just fine, but I wanted to try a few cocktails as well. I began with Lexi’s Cocktail, which is basically a Margarita made with both lime and lemon Juice. The cocktail was very agreeable, and I followed it up with what another similar cocktail, except that I added a dollop grapefruit juice to the mix. I was pleased enough with the result to make my new cocktail my featured suggestion down below.

In the Throat 13.5/15

The Casamigos Reposado exits with a light dose of white pepper followed by a caramel chocolate fade. A touch of sea brine adds a welcome new dimension I do not often encounter in tequila.

The Afterburn 9/10

Casamigos Reposado is a smooth tequila spirit with a nice Highland squeal of white pepper counterbalanced by lightly sweet caramel and soft fruity agave flavours. My score of 90.5/100 represents a spirit which has crossed that border where I could recommend it solely as a sipping spirit. And sipping certainly is recommended, but so are a few high-end Margarita Cocktails!

You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Cocktail

Grapefruit juice and tequila are an ideal combination for cocktails. For my recommended cocktail I wanted a nice punch of grapefruit juice within the bar drink, but I also wanted a little bit of the sour tartness of lemon and lime. My final cocktail is constructed in the style of the Margarita, and I decided to call this particular construction, the Valerie Project.

The Valerie Project

2 oz Casamigos Reposado Tequila
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
3/8 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz Orange Curacao
3/8 oz sugar syrup
Ice
Lime slice

Add the first six ingredients to a Metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a Martini Glass
Garnish with a slice of Lemon

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing Tequila.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, (we are probably still cocktail in territory).
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing delicious cocktails!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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