Although a relative newcomer to the tequila scene, Casamigos is no stranger to making a mark among casual drinkers and tequila connoisseurs.
The brand was founded by George Clooney (yes, the actor George Clooney), Rande Gerber (a nightlife entrepreneur, known more as the significant other of supermodel Cindy Crawford) and property developer Michael Meldman. Originally meant for private consumption between the trio while their Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) vacation homes were being built, the trio tried different tequilas for some time until Clooney came up with the idea to make their own alcoholic drink.
The trio found a distiller in Jalisco, Mexico, willing to create the threesome’s approach to tequila, with a bevy of requirements. Aside from taste, the three hombres asked that the blue agave-derived product “didn't burn going down...We wanted one that we could drink straight or on the rocks. One that we could drink all day and all night, and not be hungover in the morning."
Two years of back-and-forth communication between distiller (Productos Finos de Agave) and the client saw 2,000-odd bottles get passed between the duo, wherein the former raised alarms about its consumption. Even though they were meant for private drinking, the distiller claimed that the vast quantity of bottles consumed could not anymore be labeled as samples – and could draw the observant eye of Mexican authorities. Hence, the public launch of Casamigos (a portmanteau of the Spanish words casa [house] and amigos[friends]) in 2013.
The tequila became a success, and by June 2017, [multinational alcoholic beverages company] Diageo purchased Casamigos for $700 million. Diageo also threw in an additional $300 million over the next decade, based on the brand’s performance.
Casamigos Tequila Prices List
$49.99 - $51.99
$42.99 - $45.99
$39.99 - $41.99
Casamigos Mezcal Joven
$49.99 - $54.99
Much like every tequila producer, Casamigos gets its blue weber agave piñas from the red clay soil and relatively cool climate of Jalisco (Mexico).
However, Casamigos boasts of a brick oven 72-hour slow roasting of the piñas and an 80-hour fermentation process – all considered longer than the normal times needed for the aforementioned methods. Casamigos’ piña roasting is 10 times the average required, and the fermentation is twice as long. The company also claims that they use traditional pot stills (usually stone ovens) and naturally filtered water so that the flavor profile is not changed.
Casamigos also boasts of its processes used to make its mezcal variant. Launched in early 2018 as its first mezcal, Casamigos Mezcal has purely Espadin agave from Oaxaca (Mexico).
The agave is then split, then placed in earthen holes lined with oak wood-fire-heated volcanic rocks for four to six days. Once cooked, the fruits are then crushed to pulps by a stone wheel. After then, the pulp or aguamiel is fermented for two to eight days.
The spirit is also distilled twice and bathed (or rather finished) in mountain spring water wells after 30 days. Also, the bottles have a distinct matte-black exterior finish and handcrafted for instant recognition.
At present, the Casamigos lineup has four drinks – a blanco, a reposado, an añejo, and the aforementioned mezcal.
Newcomers to the Casamigos brand should start with the Blanco version.
Generally aged for a short let (usually two months, in stainless steel tanks) for smoothness, Casamigos Blanco has a creamy nose and a sweet taste. The presence of vanilla, lemon meringue and fresh apple reinforce the smell and palate. Critics may claim that the sweetness is more dominant than the peppery taste of blue agave, but others claim that there is a supreme balance between the two.
Seven months in American white oak casks produces a hint of oakiness in this Casamigos variant, but not enough to render the peppery agave (plus strong hints of caramel, tobacco and cocoa) as second fiddle. A presence of black pepper as a supporting actor refreshes the tongue, too.
The most “aged” of the Casamigos tequilas (at 14 months, in American white oak casks) is the Añejo version. It has a lot of spices and succulents without overwhelming the agave’s peppery palate. Custard, [a little bit of] oak, sweet vanilla, citrus, papaya, mango, toffee penny and dark chocolate all strive to have a voice in your tongue and throat when this añejo is drunk, yet the agave still is this Casamigos’ lead.
Casamigos Mezcal Joven
Casamigos Mezcal could be argued that the smoke from the oak wood fire (used to roast the Espadin agave piñas) may have settled unto the spirit, and competes frequently with the telltale peppery tongue touch of agave. There is also a hint of lemon and vanilla, much like its blanco sibling, but the smoky taste and aforementioned herbs compete aggressively with the agave for top billing.
Casamigos Añejo vs the competition
Casamigos Añejo and 1800 Añejo will definitely compete for a tequila pundit’s liking.
Both have different fruits, confectioneries and spices in their respective tastes, with the 1800 Añejo displaying hints of cinnamon, candied pears, butterscotch and toasted oak (plus a finish of cocoa and banana bread). What could sink Casamigos could be the finish, as there’s a slight lingering bitter feeling in the gullet as the last of the añejogoes down.
Practically the same case can be presented, when comparing the añejosof Casamigos and Patron.
Vanilla, raisins and oak wood are present in the taste, but they do not try to be the lead in the Patron añejo theater. The telltale peppery rush of agave is still in the drink, and is very much the dominant flavor.
Again, what could steer rookie and veteran tequila drinkers towards Patron (instead of Casamigos) is Casamigos’ aforementioned lingering bitterness in the finish. In contrast, Patron goes down the throat smoothly, aided by hints of caramel and ever-so-slight white oak smokiness.
However, when ranged against the Don Julio añejo, Casamigos is nowhere near close.
Don Julio’s añejo is tasteful elegance when it comes to aged-in-oak tequila. From nose to finish, everything is bright, lightly spiced, rich and smooth, with the agave foundation of the Don Julio much evident in taste and finish. Last, the wild honey, butterscotch, lime, orange and grapefruit work hand-in-hand with the agave to create optimum tequila pleasure, from bottle opening to the last vestiges of the liquid going down the throat.
Casamigos Añejo Old Fashioned recipe
The Old Fashioned cocktail normally calls for bourbon or rye whiskey.
However, George Clooney and Rande Gerber claim that Casamigos’ añejo can also be used in the concoction, due to the peppery and sweet palate.
Splash with grape soda
Shake ingredients with ice, and serve on the rocks.
Top with soda.
Garnish with grapefruit slices.