Espolon Tequila selection

Espolon Tequila Blanco Review

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

Tequila’s never really been my go-to drink of choice. Outside of taking shots, I’ve always chosen to go with other spirits – for mixers or drinks on the rocks. I even prefer a daquiri to a margarita. However, I know there are so many people out there who appreciate good tequila, so I’m gonna try to like it. The best way to do that is to drink it. Hence why I’m here writing a Espolon Tequila review.

We’ll discuss the history, distilling process, tasting notes, price and more of a bottle of Espolon Blanco in hopes of giving you an idea of whether its worth buying. Well, that and in the hopes of furthering my appreciation for this Mexican spirit.

Espolon Tequila Review

Espolon Tequila History

Cirilo Oropeza spent much of his life in the spirits industry, starting with a rum distillery in 1965. It was 30 years later that Cirilo met an entrepreneur and had a means to begin distilling his own tequila. Production began on their distillery, Casa San Nicolas in Los Altos, Jalisco, and by 1998, Espolon Tequila was hitting the shelves.

In Spanish, espolon translates to “spur” as in that of a rooster spur – a bone like claw for protection and fighting. The rooster is also a national symbol for Mexican pride. It’s easy to see where Espolon markets the idea behind a rooster spur. Their large label depicts a skeleton riding a rooster into battle.

The Campari Group purchased Espolon in 2009. Present day, it’s still under the wing of the large Italian beverage company.

Distilling Process

Like all tequila, Espolon begins with 100% blue weber agave. Once you’ve harvested your agave, it’s time to cook it. A traditional process uses brick ovens to cook the agave, but Espolon uses stainless steel autoclaves. This allows for more control and precision over the cooking process.

During the fermentation process, they actually play classical music. While this is likely more superstition or dogma, and less science, Cirilo believed the yeast performed better due to the vibrations from the music.

Espolon Tequila is then distilled in either a pot still or a column still. The pot still allows for of an earthy profile while column stills bring out a lighter side. The distilled tequila is then blended to their standards. Espolon Blanco Tequila is unaged, so it’s ready to be bottled after being cut to 80 proof.

Espolon Tequila Tasting Notes

Now that we’ve covered some of the history and distillation process, we can answer the real questions you have. Is Espolon Tequila Blanco good? What does it taste like? Let’s pour ourselves a glass and find out.

Nose: earthy, lemon, and light pepper aromas.

Taste: Very light and smooth. lemon and vanilla with some herbal tones. It lacks much of that true agave/tequila flavoring.

Finish: A light tingle of black pepper sits at the back of the throat.

Espolon Tequila Blanco Taste Summary

It tastes as if it’s tequila flavored but not true tequila. The sweet and pungent agave notes are light and sit in the background. If you’re someone who loves tequila for its flavor, this is probably not for you. If you love tequila because the effect it has on you and not for the taste, this may be a winner.

You’re not going to sip this tequila, and it’s not made or priced for that either. It’s light, easy, and smooth, but lacks much character and flavor.

Espolon Tequila Price

Price plays a huge role in tequila, its value, and how its drunken. One of the major reasons Espolon Blanco is so popular is because of its price. As a note, I source prices from various locations of Total Wine all across the US to get an average price point.

  • Espolon Blanco Tequila 750ml: $19-24

Most liquor stores sell Espolon Blanco right around the $20 mark which is a perfect price point for what it’s made for. There’s no need to use your aged or expensive bottles on making a fruity mixed drink or margarita, a cheap tequila such as this will do the job.

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Espolon Tequila Value

In this section, we compare the price and taste to determine if Esplolon is worth buying and in what setting. I’d consider Espolon Blanco to be the perfect partying tequila, especially for younger people. If you’re planning on ripping shots and making mixed drinks, you want cheap tequila that doesn’t taste cheap.

Espolon Tequila is exactly that. It’s cheap and while it doesn’t have much flavor or strong flavors, it doesn’t have that awful, bitter sweet punch of cheap, crappy tequila.

Espolon Tequila Blanco and aged

How To Drink Espolon Blanco

I’ve alluded to some general ideas of how to drink Espolon Tequila, but here are some of the best (specific) options for you.

Shots, Shots, Shots!

There’s nothing worse, I think, than cheap tasting tequila. Nice tequila can also get expensive, though. If you’re looking for cheap tequila to take shots of, there isn’t anything better than Espolon. Up until now, Patron was my go to tequila shot, but not anymore.


I put this on here simply because you can’t beat a margarita. However, I think it’s important to have a little tequila flavoring in a margarita and Espolon is kind of covered up in this setting. El Padrino has a much stronger, and just as clean, agave profile, so I’d recommend it over Espolon for a marg.


A paloma is tequila with grapefruit juice, soda, and lime juice. The strong agave flavors of tequila along with the intense bitterness of grapefruit can be overwhelming. I personally have shied away from palomas for this reason, but find it be quite good with Espolon Blanco.

Coronarita or Corona Sunrise

Grab a Corona or Coronita and make yourself a Corona Sunrise or Coronarita. Check out 52 Brews post on the Mexican beer to learn how to make these drinks!

Summary of Espolon Tequila Review

I like Espolon Tequila Blanco, plain and simple. It’s not something you are going to pour neat or over rocks and enjoy, but that’s okay. It’s not meant to be. It’s cheap, but it remains smooth and easy. That’s not something you can say about many $20 tequilas. The knock to Espolon is that the flavors are very muted. If you’re looking for a strong agave and classical tequila flavor, this isn’t it. I’m not looking for that with a $20 bottle, so I’m a fan.

I’d recommend Espolon Blanco to anyone looking for a party tequila – something to take shots of and make mixed drinks with. It works in a margarita, but I’d pick something a little more potent like El Padrino for that.

If you’re looking for a good sipping tequila, check out our review on Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s tequila Teremana Anejo.


Below are frequently asked questions regarding Espolon Tequila. Many of these are answered in the article above.

Is Espolon Quality Tequila?

Espolon Tequila Blanco isn’t the fanciest or nicest tequila on the market. It is, however, one of the easiest tequilas to drink for its $20 price point. Espolon also offers an aged selection of reposado and anejo tequilas.

Is Espolon Better Than Jose Cuervo?

Yes. Espolon is higher quality than Jose Cuervo. Jose Cuervo does have a stronger flavor, but Espolon is more smooth.

Is Espolon a Sipping Tequila?

Nothing is stopping you from sipping Espolon Blanco, but that’s not really what it’s made for. It’s an easy shot and works perfect in a paloma. If you’re looking to sip Espolon Tequila, I’d try their reposado or anejo tequilas. Blanco is the best for taking shots or mixing at parties.

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One Comment

  1. Jose Cuervo in my opinion is one of the worst tequilas on the market. I’m sure it’s not made with 100% pure agave. It’s a mixto tequila, meaning you are not getting 100% of what most tequila drinkers are looking for, blue agave. To put it simply, it doesn’t taste very good at all. And to make matters worse you are only getting 35-40 % alcohol. Always look for the “100% blue agave” designation.

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