There have been a great number of celebrities who have tried their hand at the spirit game, from P. Ditty and Ciroc Vodka to Toby Keith and his Wild Shot Mezcal. Celebrities and spirits often seem like a win-win proposition. Celebrities tend to go out and spend a lot of money on drinking. They not only spend a lot of money on themselves, or have it spent on their behalf, they often influence other people around them by what they are drinking. Spirit producers entering a new product in a crowded category often see the benefit of teaming up with a celebrity to leverage their brand to help sell more product.
When this formula works, it works exceptionally well, but more often than not it ends in failure and lawsuits (like Bruce Willis and Sobieski vodka). The hard truth is that the spirits industry is an extremely tough business that requires a lot more work, money, and patience than most stars want to endure. Some celebrities recognize this fact and either step back and let the spirit companies do the heavy lifting, like Justin Timberlake and 901 Tequila, or the do the exact opposite and put in the hard work on the ground to make a spirit successful, like Dan Aykroyd and his Crystal Head Vodka.
It’s a little surprising to see George Clooney step into the spirits game. Clooney has built his reputation on being understated, and often keeps his personal life and socializing personal. Perhaps this is why he picked some strong partners to enter the spirits game with. For Casamigos Tequila, George Clooney partnered with friend and bar/restauranteur Rande Gerber (who owns The Whiskey NYC, Caliche Rum, and is married to Cindy Crawford) and experienced land developer Mike Meldman, CEO of Discovery Land Company. The team went to Productos Finos de Agave (NOM 1416) in Jesús María, Jalisco who also produces Tequila Avion and Clase Azul (two of our favorite tequilas). They also brought in Serralles USA, the distributor behind Don Q Rum and Caliche Rum. The product Casamigos was named after Clooney’s and Gerber’s houses in Mexico and roughly translates into “House of Friends.”
Casamigos Reposado Tequila (80 proof / 40%, $49.99 NOM 1416) is bright gold in color with a nose that features caramel, fresh agave, and a slight vegetal note along with a very soft and subtle white pepper and oak. The entry is soft, lightly sweet, and delicate with caramel, agave, and light white pepper. The soft white pepper spice really emerges in the midpalate but is well balanced out with the agave and caramel. This spice builds to a slight peak at the end of the midpalate where it’s joined by a very light tough of oak spice. It’s hard to call the spike in pepper a true “pepper kick” – although it intensifies, it’s never very aggressive or overly spicy. The pepper and oak spice linger along with the caramel and agave for a slightly sweet and lightly spicy finish. Casamigos Reposado finish is really nice, something to really sit with and enjoy.
Like George Clooney, Casamigos Reposado Tequila is understated and refined. It’s slightly delicate quality makes it a tequila that should be sipped neat or over the rocks, but it’s really too subtle and delicate to mix with. We’ve been a fan of the spirits coming out of Productos Finos de Agave. They seem to have a really great sense on how to produce a cleaner, lighter, and more delicate tequila. Casamigos Tequila exists in a very similar space as Tequila Avion, but as a much softer and far less spicy alternative. It’s nice to see that Clooney and company decided to keep the price more inline with Avion and resisted the urge to go the super premium pricing route that Clase Azule did. Casamigos Reposado Tequila succeeds at its mission to be an exceptional sipping tequila, and it’s ideal for people who want to be able to sip tequila neat and not be hammered by a pepper kick or feel the burn from more agressive tequilas.
Casamigos Reposado Tequila is currently beginning a 33 state rollout beginning in California and Arizona where BevMo! has it exclusively (as well as on BevMo.com) as well as in Nevada and Texas.