Review: Is the Tequila That LeBron James Helped Build Any Good?
Lobos 1707 marries traditions from both Mexico and Spain
What we’re drinking: Lobos 1707 Tequila, Joven and Reposado
Where it’s from: Lobos 1707 is named after the Spanish word for “wolves.” The brand is led by Founder and Chief Creative Officer Diego Osorio and Chief Executive Officer Dia Simms (formerly with Deleon Tequila and Ciroc Vodka) and, most importantly for this article, features a major investment from NBA icon LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter, along with Anthony Davis, Draymond Green and Rich Paul.
Based on its NOM of 1460, Lobos 1707 is distilled and produced at Compañia Tequilera de Arandas, S.A. de C.V. (which makes a lot of tequila, but that includes Riazul, which we like).
At launch, the company is offering three 100% blue weber agave tequilas (Joven, Reposado, Extra Añejo) and an “Artesanal” Mezcal.
Why we’re drinking this: See: LeBron James. Also, these tequilas are finished in Pedro Ximenez (PX) wine barrels from Spain (though for how long, we know not), which makes the releases more interesting than your average celebrity-backed tequila. As the Wall Street Journal notes, “One of [founder] Osorio’s 16th-century ancestors, with whom he shares a name, sailed from Spain to Mexico with oak barrels that gave the local liquor a smoother finish, a process more typically seen in whiskeys and brandies,” which inspired the sherry barrel finishing here.
(You’ll notice the meeting of Spanish and Mexican culture in the bottle design, which includes the Osorio Family Coat of Arms and the Agave Wind Rose Compass.)
How it tastes: We tried the joven and reposado tequilas, both on their own and in cocktails suggested by the brand.
Lobos 1707 Tequila, Joven: Carbon-filtered, finished in Pedro Ximenez (PX) wine barrels using the solera system method. Bright, floral and grassy agave notes are front and center on the nose, with a pepper-y note on the palate and an almost buttery finish. The brand suggests balsamic tones, but I didn’t pick those up. This feels like a blanco that’s a little richer than the norm.
Lobos 1707 Tequila, Reposado: This spirit rests for over six months in American white oak barrels and is then blended with “a touch of Lobos 1707 Tequila, Extra Añejo” and finished in Pedro Ximenez (PX) wine barrels using the solera system method. Those oak barrels provide some caramel/vanilla notes, which occur on both the nose and the palate. As for the finish? Crème brûlée came to mind. Sweet and memorable.
We haven’t quite found the ideal cocktails for these yet. A ginger-y mule with the joven was good but nothing out of the ordinary; their suggested margarita using the reposado, vanilla extract, Suze and an orange/sugar rim wasn’t terrible, but it was confusing (“margarita” is not what I thought when I drank this). The reposado seems ideal for a drink where the tequila would replace whiskey, or maybe to add some vanilla notes to a batanga; the joven should work fine and add some new texture to your classic tequila cocktails.
Fun fact: James initially tried this on a Mediterranean vacation. Then he tried it again at home to see if he liked it. “If it tastes great in Akron, Ohio, then I know it’s the right thing,” James told the WSJ. “I had to make sure it wasn’t the boat in Italy that was getting me.”
Where to buy it: Lobos 1707 Tequila and Mezcal are currently available at retailers and restaurants throughout NYC, Florida and California and online at ReserveBar for $49-$54 for the joven and reposado expressions. A portion of proceeds will be donated to wolf sanctuaries in Mexico and the United States.
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