Life

Celebrity-Owned Tequila Brands, Blind Tasted And Ranked

Celebrity tequila brands, much like celebrity weed, can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, the idea of drinking the same spirits beloved — supposedly — by your favorite celebrity has strange appeal in our fame-focused culture. On the other hand, there is a very vocal contingent of people who think that celebrities have no business being in the tequila game in the first place, and… they make some pretty good points from time to time.

We’re not here to talk about that — who has the time — but wherever you stand on the celebrity tequila debate, there is one thing we can all agree on: if the tequila is well-sourced, affordable, and above all else actually tastes good, it’s worth drinking!

Some celebrity tequila brands are that. Some aren’t. So we decided to parse the good from the bad — taking eight of the most popular brands and putting them to a blind taste test in an attempt to see which tequila reigns supreme. Is this Clooney’s game or Jenner’s? Does Rita Ora have something to say? Michael Jordan has a tequila?!

Today’s Lineup

As with all of our blind taste tests, I received a pour of each bottle one at a time (courtesy of my girlfriend, she’s making me note this for her “records”) and spent some time jotting tasting notes down as I took a few sips before moving on to the next selection. Luckily, this is a good class of booze, so my experience was pleasant all the way through.

For this blind taste test, we went with each brand’s Blanco expression as it’s an expression each brand has in common. Here is this tasting’s class:

  • 818 Tequila Blanco
  • Cincoro Tequila Blanco
  • Villa One Silver
  • Santo Fino Tequila Blanco
  • Teremana Tequila Blanco
  • Prospero Tequila Blanco
  • Lobos 1707 Joven
  • Casamigos Blanco

Let’s drink!

Part 1: The Tasting

Taste 1

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, I’m getting floral notes with the slightest tinge of vanilla. The scent is incredibly inviting. On the palate, this tequila expresses itself with fruity notes of peach that mellow out into a smooth dessert-like chocolatey finish. This is dangerously easy to drink.

I’m starting off with a bang here!

Taste 2

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

Placement might ultimately hurt this one because, to my taste, this is the opposite of number one, and I don’t like it. There is something factory-esque about this tequila. On the nose, I’m getting a chemical tinge with choked-out notes of artichoke. On the palate, I’m getting vegetal notes, asparagus, and a soap-trying-to-pass-as-mint chemical after taste.

I’m not a fan of this one.

Taste 3

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

Wow! We really fell right off a cliff with this taste test. This is not the type of tequila I like. It’s way too artificial and sweet. On the nose, it’s noticeably chocolate-y with caramel, chocolate, and cherry flavor that stains the palate with way too much sweetness.

I can’t even imagine this working in a cocktail. It’s way too distracting.

Taste 4

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

A breath of fresh air, this is incredibly natural tasting. It’s very grassy with a slight chemical burn on the back end. It’s slightly salty with a touch of citrus. It tastes like the sort of tequila you want to utilize in a big batch of frozen margarita. It’s not a sipper, but I can see it working in all sorts of mixed drinks.

Taste 5

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

There is something boring on this one. It’s not bad. It’s not good. It’s just fine. It has a nice lingering burn that reveals layers of spice, clove and cherry, but I feel weird that the after taste of this tequila is better than the actual flavor of it.

Taste 6

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

There is a candy sweetness to this one, but not in an off-putting way like taste three. It has notes of cotton candy under a mostly natural vegetal flavor.

I can see it working great for a margarita or a paloma, but on its own it’s forgettable.

Taste 7

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

Whoa, there is some kind of mistake going on because I can tell that this isn’t a blanco tequila. It’s spicy, earthy, and buttery with strong notes of black pepper. It’s interesting. I like it. But if this ends up being a blanco and not a cristalino that I slipped in by mistake, I’ll really be surprised.

Taste 8

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

This is easily the best tasting sip since taste number one. This jumped out at me after all the so-so flavors of the last few tastes. It’s delicious.

Notes of grass and roasted agave greet the nose leading to flavors of asparagus and marshmallow that dance on the palate and settle into a floral aftertaste with hints of roasted nut and vanilla. It’s a really evolving journey of flavors.

Part 2: The Ranking

8. Villa One Silver — Taste 3

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

ABV: 40%

Average price: $46

The Tequila:

Villa One was founded by Nick Jonas and designer John Varvatos and is produced at NOM 1472, Fabrica de Tequilas Finos, using a mix of highland and lowland agave harvested in Jalisco. This tequila was designed to be pleasing to the palate and it is, but I’m not getting any of the complex character that comes out of a well-crafted tequila.

The Bottom Line:

My main issue with this one is that it’s just way too sweet. It doesn’t taste bad by any means (see tasting notes) but it tastes f*cked with in a way that I can’t get behind. People who have never tasted tequila will like it, it leans on the sweeter side but it is by far the most off-putting bottle in this celebrity lineup.

7. Cincoro Tequila Blanco — Taste 2

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

ABV: 40%

Average price: $86

The Tequila:

The pricing on this tequila is absolutely absurd and if this was a ranking based on value, this would easily take the bottom spot. The brand is a collaboration between Michael Jordan, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens, and Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck. It’s made using a blend of valley and highland agave produced by Destiladora del Valle de Tequila — a distillery that produces over 149 brands.

Considering the bottle was commissioned from Mark Smith, Vice President of Innovation Special Projects at Nike, you have to wonder how much you’re paying to offset the cost of this bottle design? This tall and ridiculously shaped bottle is an accident waiting to happen. When the bottle falls, shatters, and cuts your foot, send that medical bill to MJ. I’m sure he’s making a killing on this.

The Bottom Line:

It’s rich expensive tequila for rich expensive people who have no idea what good tequila tastes like. This is for people who just see a high price tag and blindly buy.

6. Prospero Tequila Blanco — Taste 6

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

ABV: 40%

Average price: $34

The Tequila:

Prospero is a partnership between British pop star Rita Ora, who serves as the brand’s Chief Creative Partner, and one of Mexico’s most well-respected distillers, Stella Anguiano. The brand’s blanco expression is highly rated at both Distiller and the Ultimate Spirits Challenge and has received a gold medal at the 2020 World Tequila Awards. But it didn’t really make a dent here when compared to the rest of the class.

The Bottom Line:

Overall, its neutral flavor just didn’t do it any favors. I imagine it works great when mixed in a cocktail. But as a standalone, it’s far too neutral to break into the top ranks. It’s a solid blanco tequila. But in this price range, there are better bottles to be had from much smaller distilleries that focus more deeply on craft.

5. Teremana Tequila Blanco — Taste 5

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

ABV: 40%

Average price: $23

The Tequila:

Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s tequila brand is made in small batches at Destilería Teremana de Agave, which is a new facility built explicitly for producing Teremana. That makes this a passion project for Johnson and not just another white-labeled tequila on the shelf.

The Bottom Line:

I’m a little surprised that Teremana landed in the middle of this ranking since, generally, I don’t consider myself a fan of this brand. That’s why we do these fun blind taste tests — to leave our biases at the door and focus on the flavors. It’s affordable, so if you’re a huge fan of Dwayne Johnson and you want to drink his tequila, go for it, indulge that curiosity.

This is easily worth its price. It’s far from the best tequila I’ve ever tasted but there is very little to complain about. It’s a perfectly drinkable tequila.

4. Santo Fino Tequila Blanco — Taste 4

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

ABV: 40%

Average price: $44

The Tequila:

Santo Fino is owned by Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar and produced at Tequila El Viejito in Totolan, Jalisco.

The Bottom Line:

This was the biggest surprise of the night for me. I fully expected it to be the worst-tasting brand in this lineup. Don’t ever doubt the power of Fieri. The dude knows and lives for flavor. So even though the bottle design is hideous, and Hagar and Fieri felt the need to include a picture of themselves on the bottle tag… this one delivers. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Santo Fino is in the lock case with the more expensive tequilas because it actually tastes good, not just because it’s backed by two huge celebrities.

3. Lobos 1707 Joven — Taste 7

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

ABV: 40%

Average price: $43

The Tequila:

Lobos 1707 was founded by Diego Osorio and lists LeBron James as an early backer. James, Osorio, and CEO Dia Simms refer to themselves as the “wolf pack,” which we’re going to call cute… for now.

Lobos 1707 is also a joven tequila and not blanco. A joven tequila is sometimes known as a “gold” tequila, which is a blanco with colorings and flavors added. But sometimes (as is the case for this tequila) it’s a tequila that features a base of un-aged blanco tequila mixed with aged tequilas — in this case Lobos Reposado — that give it a sort of golden hue and a more complex flavor profile.

Lobos’ joven doesn’t have any of that golden hue — likely because it’s carbon-filtered before being finished in PX wine barrels.

The Bottom Line:

Some tequila drinkers will argue that a joven tequila doesn’t belong on a blanco taste test and they’re kind of right. But Lobos 1707 keeps things on the natural side and I think we can make an exception in this case.

Plus, as I mentioned in the tasting notes, I didn’t know this was a joven until I tasted it blind and it stuck out like a sore thumb. Sorry. It snuck its way into this ranking. But considering Lobos 1707 doesn’t have a blanco in the first place, the joven is as close as you’re going to get.

Overall, this one has a lot of character and it’s perfect for slow sipping in the evening.

2. Casamigos Blanco — Taste 8

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

ABV: 40%

Average price: $49

The Tequila:

Casamigos — founded by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Feldman in 2013 (and now owned by Diageo after a $1 billion dollar deal) — was, for a time, the best celebrity tequila brand on the shelf. It’s a brand that proved by making the right moves and linking up with the right people, a celebrity tequila brand could actually work.

Before the brand was bought by Diageo, it was produced at NOM 1416 Productos Finos de Agave in Jalisco. Now, it’s produced at Diageo’s NOM 1609 in Jalisco.

The Bottom Line:

Casamigos, to this day, is still beloved. But it’s not the best tequila brand with a celebrities name on the label. I’m sorry to say that too because Casamigos is good. It was a real toss-up in my mind between the top two choices on this list.

This is more natural and grassy flavor works better in a margarita than our top choice. But in terms of flavor, this tequila is the second-best celebrity-backed brand on store shelves.

1. 818 Tequila Blanco — Taste 1

Celebrity Tequila Taste Test
Dane Rivera

ABV: 40%

Average price: $45

The Tequila:

The brand was originally produced at La Cofradia distillery, home to 63 other brands. Now, it’s produced at Mieles Campos Azules as the sole brand at that distillery.

The Bottom Line:

I’ve written a lot about Kendall Jenner’s brand 818, and mostly I think the hate this brand gets is from snobby tequila gatekeepers who hate Kendall Jenner simply because she’s Kendall Jenner. I get it, I’m no fan of the Kardashian or Jenner family as an “entity” either. I’ve never even watched a single episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. But I am a fan of good tequila and 818 is that. There’s no question about it.

If you don’t believe me, buy a bottle and do your own blind taste test at home with friends. Jaws will drop and faces will fill red with embarrassment when everyone realizes that Jenner, and whatever team she assembled, knows what the f*ck they’re doing.

Today, this was simply the best celebrity tequila brand. No doubt about it.

Part 3: Final Thoughts

I do really like Casamigos for a margarita. It leans on the more vegetal side and, personally, that’s more my thing (or so I tell myself). But when buying a celebrity tequila, have to ask yourself: “For the price, is there a better-crafted bottle of tequila with a more expressive character?” There often is and looking for it is wise. But none of these are hate-worthy either, so if you want to try them — have at it!

Bottom Line:

Celebrity tequila isn’t bad. Far from it, in fact. But it’s also far from being the best your money can buy.

×