The El Bandido Yankee Tequila Company launched in mid-2021, offering a blanco and reposado available regionally (namely in Illinois, Texas, and Michigan). Founded by former NFL player James Robert Morris and NHL Hall of Fame hockey player Chris Chelios, it’s another semi-celebrity tequila that aims to produce a high-end, 100% agave spirit which is — as all tequila should be — all natural and additive free.
This blanco is unaged and presents largely as expected, with a fresh, green, and herbal nose that offers a powerful but fully approachable lemon pepper character. The palate is soft and quite simple, a lightly peppery and mildly sweet offering that feels just about perfect for sipping neat. The lemon notes persist, pairing well with the sweeter side of the tequila, leading the way to notes of toasted marshmallow and vanilla on the fresh yet fairly short finish.
Easy to drink to a fault, El Bandido Yankee’s blanco may not be dripping with complexity — and saddled with awful branding — but it’s surprisingly hard to put down. I’d have no qualms using this as a go-to margarita base — or sipping it solo when the mood for a fresh, crisp blanco strikes.