I’ve been interested in exploring more tequilas, but before I branch out, I want to cover all the basic, popular options. I’ve reviewed Casamigos and Don Julio before, but I want to drink them side by side to see which is better.
We’re going to discuss the differences in taste, flavor, and production. Is one better than the other? Are Don Julio and Casamigos flavored with additives? Let’s find out.
I’m not going to go too in depth on the history of these two brands as I covered them in detail in other reviews, but let’s talk a bit about their founding.
Don Julio began distilling Tequila in 1942 at the age of 17 (hence Don Julio 1942). It wasn’t until 1985, though, that the Don Julio brand came to life. Don Julio’s sons created Don Julio – the tequila – for his 60th birthday. Don Julio is currently owned by Diageo.
Casamigos, as many people are aware, was founded by George Clooney as a tequila for his family and friends to drink. Well, that’s at least what they tell us. in 2017, Diageo bought Casamigos for $1 Billion.
When it comes to Tequila production, there aren’t as many variables as whiskey, at least in my opinion. Tequila must be produced in a very specific region of Mexico (Jalisco), and it must be made from 100% Blue Weber Agave.
One notable thing is that tequila can use additives. Up to 1% of the total liquid can be additives such as glycerin, sugar-based syrups, oak extract, vanilla flavoring, colorings, etc.
Does Don Julio use Additives?
Yes, Don Julio does use additives in their tequila. While companies don’t have to be forthcoming with whether or not they use additives, it is apparent with the tequilas taste.
Does Casamigos use Additives?
Yes, the tequilas in Casamigos’ lineup use additives.
Don Julio vs Casamigos Flavor Profile
Alright, both Don Julio and Casamigos use additives. Can we tell by tasting it? Is there a difference in taste between the two? Let’s find out.
Don Julio Blanco
Nose: Vanilla, leather, agave syrup, lime
Palate: Vanilla and pepper with some citrus fruit.
Finish: citrus and pepper, slightly vegetal at the end.
Nose: Strong vanilla icing, very vegetal, orange citrus, some dust.
Palate: Vanilla extract, vanilla syrup, orange, vegetal, light oak.
Finish: Vanilla and green pepper with a bit of oak.
Which is Better?
In my opinion, Don Julio is better than Casamigos.
Don Julio is brighter and fresher than Casamigos. While both use additives, it’s way more apparent with Casamigos. Casamigos also has an almost syrupy quality to it, and the vanilla is just too strong.
You should drink what you like, but if you’re looking for a cleaner/more traditional tequila taste, Don Julio is a better way to go than Casamigos.
With that said, I’d recommend going in a different direction all together and find a tequila that doesn’t use additives. The most popular option would be Patron!
If you don’t care at all about drinking authentic tequila and you like the sweet, vanilla flavors of additives, then, by all means, keep drinking tequila with additives – there’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to experience a more authentic and traditional tequila, find one that doesn’t use additives.
I’m no tequila aficionado, but as a man of whiskey and bourbon, I certainly favor real whiskey and don’t hold the same level of respect and appreciation for flavored whiskeys. For that reason, I’m going to do my best to stick to additive-free tequila.