George Clooney's Casamigos unleashes new Cristalino Tequila
Celebrating 10 years of Casamigos, it's time for reposado fans to pay attention
If there's something we love more than George Clooney on the big screen, it's George Clooney with a bottle of tequila in hand.
OK, so the actor (and business partners Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman) may have sold the 4-year-old Casamigos brand to British drinks giant Diageo some six years ago for close to $1 billion, but he'll forever be a hero in our eyes.
Now, the sleek-looking tequila brand is preparing to launch a brand new addition to the Casamigos family - a Cristalino reposado that is already available in the US.
What makes this launch different? Well, cristalino is traditionally filtered añejo - or aged - tequila, often through charcoal.
With the tequila picking up the natural colours and flavours from each barrel during the ageing process, the cristalino process removes the naturally occurring colours which give tequila its distinctive golden hue.
Casamigos, however, are doing things differently.
Taking the unusual step of using reposado tequila - aged in barrels for between two months and a year - the Casamigos site says agave pinas are slow cooked in traditional brick ovens, with the product then double distilled and matured in American oak barrels.
Marking 10 years of Casamigos, the ultra-premium tequila and mezcal brand is offering the new expression in sizes of 375ml, 750 ml and 1-litre, retailing for between $31 and $73 in the US.
Although not an official category of tequila, Cristalino's popularity has exploded in recent years - particularly among bartenders wishing to harness the taste of tequila without the golden colour.
However, it has been said the filtration process can also affect flavour, with many brands introducing additives as a means of restoring vanilla notes.
“Part of the deal was that I would stay on as chairman, as well as George and [third co-founder] Mike Meldman,” says Gerber in a statement, insisting the brand's ethos remains the same despite the sale of Casamigos some six years ago.
“We don’t work with any outside agencies; everything is done in-house. We continue to control the brand.
"Diageo’s role is to help with the manufacturing of the product and everything else is left to us and our team.”
Launched in the US in July, Casamigos' new Cristalino variety is expected to drop in the UK imminently. We'll keep you posted.
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