Casamigos reposado tequila is a bright and fresh agave-based spirit that tastes more like an añejo than a reposado. Flavors of tropical fruit, vanilla and oak dominate on the palate.
Classification: reposado tequila
Distillery: Diageo Mexico Operaciones S.A. de C.V.
Cask: American white oak ex-bourbon
Still Type: stainless steel pot still (copper coil)
Released: 2013, ongoing
Aged: 7 months
Awards: Spirits Brand of the Year 2020, Market Watch Magazine
- Bright, clean oak, tropical fruit and agave notes with a short-to-medium finish
- Tastes more like an añejo than a reposado
- Comparable tequilas can be found for $10 to $20 less.
- The longer it sits, the less complex it gets.
- Hard-core tequila fans may not be impressed by the vanilla overtones and general “sweetness.”
Color: Pale amber, with medium viscosity
Nose: Oak-forward with a hint of tropical fruit, vanilla and a clean agave note toward the end
Palate: Upfront, it offers a bright agave fruit-and-grass note with the spice of oak on the tip of the tongue. Midpalate, it’s medium-bodied, and the flavor expands to include pineapple. On the back of the palate, it’s mild and oaky with a soft pepper-agave exit.
Finish: Short-to-medium finish with notes of oak, agave, white pepper and a hint of tobacco leaf toward the end
This 100% blue Weber spirit is an entry into the premium category of tequila, introduced by actor George Clooney and hospitality guru (and Cindy Crawford’s husband) Rande Gerber in 2013. The two were among the first to embrace the concept of celebrities as stewards of a spirits brand, rather than simply the financial backing or a famous face. In June 2017, it was announced that Diageo would take over the brand and move its production to Diageo’s own distillery, although the celebrity duo would stay on as faces of the brand.
You can shoot a reposado, but really, why would you? If you’re paying extra for the extra aging, you’re really doing it for the flavor, and the spirit is best either sipped neat or used to add complexity to a cocktail. Since the sale of Casamigos to Diageo, there are claims among reviewers and bloggers that the recipe has changed dramatically and that, in general, the shift has not been an improvement. That said, the current reposado is enjoyable.
With only seven months of barrel-aging, the spirit is already approaching the elegance and oak dominance common to many older añejo tequilas. It falls decidedly on the sweeter side of agave, with fruit notes emphasized rather than grassy or medicinal flavors, but it sips easily and cleanly. Comparing it side-by-side with the reposado from competing brand Don Julio, it’s distinctly different, with the vanilla notes coming to the fore, whereas the Don Julio emphasizes unguent grass notes. The spirit slides easily into a Margarita, of course, but it’s also good in a Negroni riff, perhaps joined by a touch of mezcal also, where tequila’s extra body can hold up against the aperitifs.
Celebrity tequilas are having a bit of a rough moment, so they bear a little extra inspection. According to Diageo, the production process is still on the up-and-up, with the piña baked in ovens for 72 hours and the agave shredded under a mill. The liquid is then fermented for 80 hours with a proprietary blend of yeast strains. The longer the tequila sits while sipping, the less complex it gets, with a shift to a more medicinal agave-like flavor, which could mean any noticeable additives are dissipating. It’s also notable that these days there’s a lot of competition from lower-priced but well-made labels, such as Espolón and Olmeca Altos. And agave purists will miss the distinct agave notes on the nose and palate.
Diageo bought the brand from Clooney and Gerber for an estimated $1 billion, something which Gerber says “is something we could never have imagined.”
The bottom line: Casamigos reposado is the top entry in the brand’s portfolio, with more character than can generally be expected from a mere seven months in the barrel.