Drinking Tequila with Casa Dragones’ Bertha Gonzalez Nieves

Casa Dragones is almost certainly a tequila brand you have never tried or likely even seen. That’s a sad thing, because it is one of the best silver tequilas on earth.

Casa Dragones is the proud bearer of a number of unique traits. It is the brainchild of Bob Pittman, a founder of the MTV network. It is a joven tequila — blanco in appearance but made up of both unaged and aged tequilas, then filtered to clear, giving it a substantial complexity. It is a lowland tequila, rare in an age where most tequila makers boast about their mountain agaves. It is column distilled, not pot distilled. It is made by the only female Maestra Taquilera ever to be certified in Mexico. Only 24,000 bottles will be produced this year, each at a cost of $275 per bottle.

Said Maestra, Bertha Gonzalez Nieves, explained all of this to me on a recent trip to San Francisco. A former cultural ambassador from Mexico to Japan and ten year veteran of Cuervo, Nieves doesn’t look like the typical Maestro Taquilero I meet with — usually grumpy old men who’d rather be back in the agave fields than on the road meeting with bloggers — but she understands tequila to a surprising depth. In between discussions about the origins of Casa Dragones (born at a New York City party where she and Pittman met) and who the Dragones actually were (left as an exercise for the reader), we enjoyed a fabulous shot of this unique “sipping tequila.”

The tequila is simply superb. Again, there is only one variety — and there will only ever be one — and the nose at first hints at nothing special. Lemon and orange peel mingle with what come across as somewhat boozy vodka notes. Breath deep and you get a sense of nuttiness, but little else. I wasn’t expecting a lot… and then I took a sip.

Casa Dragones slips across the tongue with beautiful citrus notes, building warmth as it segues into vanilla and cocoa notes, driven clearly by the extra anejo tequila that makes up the blend. It gets sweeter as you sip, showing coffee character and more of a dessert-like body, a surprise that makes you reconsider the crystal clear color of what you’re sipping. And yes, you’re sipping, not gulping. The finish is warm but has no bite, a smooth operator through and through. This tequila may indeed be a Johnny come lately, a stunt driven by a millionaire who wants a tequila to call his own — and a price tag to match — but damn if he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing.

80 proof. Tasted bottle #655 of lot #3.

A+ / $275 / casadragones.com

bertha nieves of casa dragones Drinking Tequila with Casa Dragones Bertha Gonzalez Nieves

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9 Responses to Drinking Tequila with Casa Dragones’ Bertha Gonzalez Nieves

  1. Hey Drinkhacker! i think it would be REALLY cool if you were somehow able to allow filtering based on your ratings. the filtering based on type of alcohol is very nice but if i were able to JUST look at things with rating A, A+, B, etc. that would greatly improve the experience and usefulness of all of the time and effort spent on your behalf

    Thanks for the nice review

  2. Max – how are you with WordPress database design?

  3. Max — I think I have a system that will work, but going back through 1089 reviews and categorizing will take some time… Note the new categories for ratings.

  4. Thanks, I really like the new category listings.

  5. Sounds too good to be true.
    The new A+ tags AND the fact that someone whose image is reminiscent of Charlie Sheen had actual taste.

  6. Pingback: Drinking Tequila with Casa Dragones’ Bertha Gonzalez Nieves – CASA DRAGONES

  7. Yeah, I’m as stumped as you Chris.

  8. Pingback: Review: Sino Tequila » Drinkhacker.com

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