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Tequila Camarena - good for the market?


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#1 Kevin K.

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 12:03 PM

I haven't been on the forum much lately but was surprised not to see any mention of the new products from Tequila Camarena, which are getting a huge push in the U.S. market due to being owned/distributed by wine giant E.J. Gallo.

I've only tasted the blanco, which comes nicely packaged and, much more important - at a suggested retail price of $20 for 750 ml. There's a reposado as well for the same price, and I've also seen a 1.5 liter bottle even more aggressively priced. Last shelf talker I saw claims 90 points for the blanco from Beverage Tasting Institute.

I only drink blancos, so can't speak to the repo. My notes: quite pure agave aroma, delicate but good flavors in the style of Espolon/Corazon but noticeably more watery/dilute tasting. Not a sipping Tequila if your regular diet is based on El Tesoro, Casa Noble or other top-shelf blancos, but the value for money is undeniable.

I guess it's too early to call it a trend, but while I'm no fan of Gallo with Camarena at $20 and the far superior Espolon regularly available for around $24 I feel like we're finally seeing some 100% agave blancos at realistic prices. Having lived in Mexico for a couple of years I've long thought that U.S. prices in the mid $40 range, which is more than 300% of Mexico prices, were and are ridiculous. In any case, I predict a lot of Camarena margaritas in the near future.

#2 don Pablo

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:25 PM

Thoughtful post. :t_up: I like the idea of it, but based on a couple of minis of the blanco and repo I bought to sample, I can't drink the stuff. :t_down:

I guess that's not really useful for "tasting notes". At the risk of sounding like an a**, I would just say it tasted really rough (to me, and a couple of my friends). <_< We did not get "dilute" or "delicate" out of our samples. :o

#3 Kevin K.

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:49 PM

I think it'd be a worthwhile "ringer" to insert in a blind tasting. Meanwhile, the marketing machine behind this stuff is something else. Check out the "taco truck" and everything else on their ultra-slick web site:

Camarena Tequila

At least it's not a mixto (though it sells at a mixto price) nor is it another Patron-style $50+ rip-off. I don't think anyone except the bozos at Beverage Tasting Institute are going to call this a 90 point Tequila, but clean and palatable for twenty bucks is something I certainly see a niche for. Makes you wonder if this price level is just a teaser or a positioning move.

#4 *45*

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:14 AM

Camarena's blanco and repo were both in the blind tasting I was a part of this past weekend in Albuquerque at the NMIITT. After all the scores were tallied, we were able to take our sheets back. Once I find out what bottle numbers the Camarena were, I'll post my scores and any notes I may have made.

#5 morse

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:45 AM

Camarena's blanco and repo were both in the blind tasting I was a part of this past weekend in Albuquerque at the NMIITT. After all the scores were tallied, we were able to take our sheets back. Once I find out what bottle numbers the Camarena were, I'll post my scores and any notes I may have made.



#6 morse

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:17 AM

was at a party recently with an open bar - the repo was the only tequila available - did not care for it straight - was okay with a lot of grapefruit juice

#7 Lippy

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:10 PM

Looking VERY forward to your scores and notes, *45*!

#8 *45*

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:32 AM

while I thought he had tasted both camaranea products, it was only the repo. the scoring system we used was the same as one of the two tequila academies (don't remember which one it was). the point system was this;

--------------------------Insufficient-----Sufficient------Superior

Visual Evaluation: --------2-----------------3--------------4
Aroma Evaluation:--------2------------------6-------------10
Flavor Evaluation:---------2------------------4--------------6

and we weren't allowed to write other numbers in. I gave all tequilas that day a 3 for the visual, except one, as the two other people near me had floaties in their sample as well. most of my scores ended up being 7, 11, or 13 out of a possible 20, and there were a few that received a 15 or 17 (more on all of that later). so with all that on the table, I gave Camarena Reposado a 13 with a quick tasting note of "kind of interesting, but slightly funky". I guess that Albertsons has it around here for $11.99 and has a instant coupon for $3 bucks off, so if I can't find any Agavales and needed a cheap puro for mixers, I guess I'd grab this.

#9 QuintoSol

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 09:42 AM

I am surprised how heavily weighted Aroma is... I would put more weight on flavor.

#10 *45*

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 04:25 PM

I am surprised how heavily weighted Aroma is... I would put more weight on flavor.


I feel that aroma and taste should have the same scoring, but if your palate gets blown, then your left with what you can smell.

#11 QuintoSol

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:32 PM

I feel that aroma and taste should have the same scoring, but if your palate gets blown, then your left with what you can smell.


Khrys- You know that I respect your tasting skills... BUT if I were to use this scoring [whatever academy came up with it???] on a particular bottle I took to the most excellent PV78's tasting extravaganza... that bottle would score a 10 on aroma, a 3 on visual... and a ZERO on flavor... it would garnish a "respectable" 13, when in fact it was swill... I seem to recall you spat that stuff; it was that bad.

Salud!

#12 *45*

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 01:58 AM

Khrys- You know that I respect your tasting skills... BUT if I were to use this scoring [whatever academy came up with it???] on a particular bottle I took to the most excellent PV78's tasting extravaganza... that bottle would score a 10 on aroma, a 3 on visual... and a ZERO on flavor... it would garnish a "respectable" 13, when in fact it was swill... I seem to recall you spat that stuff; it was that bad.

Salud!



Gracias A! btw, I did spit the Camarena too :D i'm just saying that for $9 the Camarena repo is a decent cheap puro for making cheap cocktails. i would not recommend it for sipping - same as the bottle you mentioned. :)

#13 QuintoSol

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 09:30 PM

K- I think we both share the same idea. Still- to me, it boils down to how a product tastes... I would guess: flavor (50%), aroma (35%) and visual characteristics (15%)... on a 20 point scale, the swill I had would score a 7 for aroma (it smelled so nice), 3 for visual, and a zero for flavor... final score 10/20.

The Camarena would score as follows: Flavor (5/10), Aroma (4/7), Visual (3/3)... total score: 12/20... yes, Camarena would beat the "other" splittable tequila... :)

Now- I just don't see how a rating system can have eight or so respected "judges" score Camarena higher than 7 Leguas repo????

#14 *45*

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:03 AM

K- I think we both share the same idea. Still- to me, it boils down to how a product tastes... I would guess: flavor (50%), aroma (35%) and visual characteristics (15%)... on a 20 point scale, the swill I had would score a 7 for aroma (it smelled so nice), 3 for visual, and a zero for flavor... final score 10/20.

The Camarena would score as follows: Flavor (5/10), Aroma (4/7), Visual (3/3)... total score: 12/20... yes, Camarena would beat the "other" splittable tequila... :)

Now- I just don't see how a rating system can have eight or so respected "judges" score Camarena higher than 7 Leguas repo????


actually, there were 5 judges that did score Camarena repo higher than 7 Leguas. without spending a good amount of time with each product and being allowed to swallow all the flavors and see how it develops as each sip goes, iit's hard to give a proper score, also when you only have 3 "points" to choose from for each evaluation, and you have tasted some of the most amazing tequilas produced in the last 25+ years, it is rare, for me, to come across a current production tequila that will get the highest score possible for its nose and taste.

and yes I do agree with you too. for me its about the taste, and the finish! Posted Image

#15 Jaberiman

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:05 PM

Im going back through the archives and i saw this. I tried a bottle of the camarena repo myself, and i can say it was very funky and definately unsippable. The notes i kept getting were a strange popcorn taste, as well as a manipulated butter carmel flavor as well. Microwave popcorn in a baaad way. Is the the product that felipe camarena was working on for so long building a new distillery? I hope not!

#16 ballard

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

No, the Camarena tequila is not in any way connected with Felipe or Carlos Camarena.

Felipe's new product, from the new distillery, using the "Frankenstein" for crushing the agave, is called G4. I believe its now being sold in Mexico, but don't believe it's being imported to the US yet.

#17 vanguero

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

No, the Camarena tequila is not in any way connected with Felipe or Carlos Camarena.

Felipe's new product, from the new distillery, using the "Frankenstein" for crushing the agave, is called G4. I believe its now being sold in Mexico, but don't believe it's being imported to the US yet.


ok anyone got info on other products whose makers are related to Felipe or Carlos Camarena - Don Alejo according to Pocotequila are cousins....

#18 Jaberiman

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

Should i pick up that $30 don alejo repo i keep eyeing?
THANK GOD camarena is not a camarena product. Why is it called camarena? Sucks to have your name on that. Cant wait to try the G4 i have heard many people talk about it on here

#19 vanguero

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Should i pick up that $30 don alejo repo i keep eyeing?
THANK GOD camarena is not a camarena product. Why is it called camarena? Sucks to have your name on that. Cant wait to try the G4 i have heard many people talk about it on here


can´t go wrong if it´s a NOM1079

#20 Jaberiman

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

Yeah but what about those aha yetos?

#21 *45*

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:41 AM

There's not an puro from 1079 that I'd turn down, in fact Don Alejo was the first deal/treasure bottle that I came across when I really started getting in to tequila. I've got a open bottle of the blanco that's very mezcalish - lots of earth agave and smoke...YUM!

There are many tequila producers that are extended of the Camarena family. Carlos once said that his grandfather built La Alteña around the same time that one of his family members built Tequila Supremo NOM 1456. Even though they had the exact same production process, La Alteña was a more respected producer. The difference? The water.

A friend took a visit to Supremo last year and had picks of vintage Camarema bottles from a long long time ago. After seeing that, i quit hating that they were using that name. Still don't like the tequila, but wouldn't turn it down if it was the only tequila at a party.

#22 Jaberiman

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

There's not an puro from 1079 that I'd turn down, in fact Don Alejo was the first deal/treasure bottle that I came across when I really started getting in to tequila. I've got a open bottle of the blanco that's very mezcalish - lots of earth agave and smoke...YUM!

There are many tequila producers that are extended of the Camarena family. Carlos once said that his grandfather built La Alteña around the same time that one of his family members built Tequila Supremo NOM 1456. Even though they had the exact same production process, La Alteña was a more respected producer. The difference? The water.

A friend took a visit to Supremo last year and had picks of vintage Camarema bottles from a long long time ago. After seeing that, i quit hating that they were using that name. Still don't like the tequila, but wouldn't turn it down if it was the only tequila at a party.


True. Maybe the camarena blanco is better than the repo i havent tried it. Vintage bottles you say? What were those about? Thanks

#23 *45*

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:58 PM

the vintage Camarena bottles were in a display case, and he took a couple of pics.

#24 vanguero

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:06 AM

There's not an puro from 1079 that I'd turn down, in fact Don Alejo was the first deal/treasure bottle that I came across when I really started getting in to tequila. I've got a open bottle of the blanco that's very mezcalish - lots of earth agave and smoke...YUM!

There are many tequila producers that are extended of the Camarena family. Carlos once said that his grandfather built La Alteña around the same time that one of his family members built Tequila Supremo NOM 1456. Even though they had the exact same production process, La Alteña was a more respected producer. The difference? The water.

A friend took a visit to Supremo last year and had picks of vintage Camarema bottles from a long long time ago. After seeing that, i quit hating that they were using that name. Still don't like the tequila, but wouldn't turn it down if it was the only tequila at a party.


I don´t mind the La Cava de Don Agustin lineup as a bargain brand from NOM1456 :red_smile:

#25 SeattleJuan

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:17 PM

Since this topic was first posted the Camarena Tequila from NOM 1456 has moved recently to NOM 1596 Casa Tequilera Herencia de los Altos, where it is the sole tequila made. The new distillery uses only a diffuser to produce. No idea what the thought process was there. 



#26 Wichie13

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 10:32 PM

Surprised I never weighted in on this one... when price comes up I laugh. Ill trade any day. :) even with the exchange rate.

 

I bought a bottle once and drank it straight but didn't blow me away. Better than JC gold for sure. A decent mixer at the time. Sorry to hear then have gone to a diffuser if that's the case. :(

 

More is not always better...



#27 bullitt

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 09:29 PM

So is this the "Don't call it a comeback" spot?