- Kendall Jenner announced her 818 tequila brand in February.
- George Clooney and Rande Gerber founded their Casamigos tequila brand in 2013.
- I tasted the blanco variety of the two side by side and found that 818 tastes more like vanilla and Casamigos tastes more like agave.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Critics accused the model of cultural appropriation, saying she shouldn’t be making and profiting off of tequila since she isn’t Mexican. Many also called out the stereotypes displayed in her ad campaign, though the video was nearly identical to that of several other celebrities.
Nick Jonas’ Villa One launched in 2019. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson launched Teremana in 2020. Michael Jordan created Cincoro tequila with a team in 2019. Rita Ora, rapper E-40, Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar, AC/DC, Justin Timberlake, and Sean “Diddy” Combs are all involved in tequila businesses.
Possibly the most well-known of all celebrity tequilas, though, is George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s Casamigos. The duo sold Casamigos to Diageo for $US1 ($AU1) billion in 2017.
Though it’s a celebrity brand, it’s fairly reasonable in price at $US45 ($AU61) for blanco, $US50 ($AU68) for reposado, and $US55 ($AU75) for añejo at an online retailer. Jenner’s 818 tequila is priced at $US45 ($AU61), $US59 ($AU80), and $US69 ($AU94), respectively.
“What was really important for George and I was that we have the best tequila, but we make it affordable for everyone,” Gerber previously told Insider.
I don’t often spend a lot on alcohol, and I certainly am not someone who keeps a fully-stocked bar cart at home, but I do enjoy tequila, and Casamigos is something I splurge on.
Typically I’d order it on the rocks if I’m at a bar or restaurant (especially if someone else is buying), and when I’m looking to stock my own home it makes me feel like I’m spending on quality without breaking the bank.
I thought that after trying it I might come out of this with a new favorite, or at least understand all the praise it’s been getting.
After sampling each tequila plain at room temperature, plain with ice, with lime and ice, and with grapefruit and ice, I unsurprisingly got different tasting notes each time.
The biggest flavor difference I noticed right away was that 818 had an obvious vanilla aroma, which isn’t listed in the aroma notes. It did carry over into the taste, as promised. Though it was listed on the site, I was not expecting this distinct of a vanilla flavor. It was so blatant that it almost felt as though the spirit had been infused.
When I tried 818 alone, cold, and with both citruses, the vanilla flavor still took over any of the other tasting notes listed. It reminded me more of Jordan’s $US130 ($AU177) añejo the way it took on the flavored sweetness.
Lime cut the potency of the vanilla, but it didn’t make it disappear. Grapefruit surprisingly complemented the flavors, though it tasted more like a dessert than a tequila cocktail, in my opinion.
I moved on to the familiar Casamigos and noticed the more agave-forward flavor profile. I didn’t taste any of the listed vanilla at all. It was more of a natural nectar sweetness than a flavored or aged sweetness. In this case, lime and grapefruit both brought out the fresh qualities of the spirit and highlighted its smooth finish.
But I think the clear vanilla of 818 is a bit less versatile when it comes to mixers and cocktails than the freshness of Casamigos is. You’d need to select flavors that match vanilla, which would undoubtedly yield a delicious cocktail.
When I go for a margarita I’m looking for salty and tingly, which isn’t something I got from 818.
If you’re someone who enjoys the flavors of vanilla, then 818 is worth a try. But if sweet isn’t your thing, I’d say to skip Jenner’s brand and try out Casamigos next time you’re in the liquor store or at the bar.