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Rated B- Rated B+ Reviews Tequila

Review: Camarena Tequila

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This tequila is just arriving in the U.S., but the family behind it (Familia Camarena, natch) claims six generations of tequila-making experience. Farmed in the Los Altos Highlands region of Jalisco, this 100% agave spirit arrives in two varieties to start (sorry, no anejo), both big bargains.

Both 80 proof.

Camarena Silver is intensely peppery on the nose, with hints of petrol and mint. The body is smoother than the nose hints at, with black pepper, agave, and a bit of lemon citrus. The finish is unfortunately a little watery, alas, which limits its utility as a sipper and largely positions it for margarita makings. B- / $20

Camarena Reposado is rested for two months in both new and used oak barrels, giving it a far different character than the Silver, despite an extremely pale yellow color that would indicate otherwise. (It’s perhaps the lightest color reposado I’ve ever seen.) It’s got more bite in the body, but it is successfully mellowed by vanilla and some sweetness, then the agave vegetal character kicks in and lingers on the finish. Not at all watery like the Silver, it has more complexity and is worth experiencing on its own. B+ / $20

tequilacamarena.com

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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20 Comments

  1. Edoc May 27, 2010

    That reposado sounds like a pretty good deal for the $$.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous September 11, 2010

    Loved the reposado one was great

    Reply
  3. Spike October 10, 2010

    You can get it as low as $14.60 at Safeway in California, so it’s an excellent deal. The competition in this space is Azul, which runs about $16 in some stores. I find the blanco decent for margaritas.

    Reply
  4. Wookieknuckle October 27, 2010

    Found this on sale for $17 so I decided to try it. Normally, I go with Lunazul for my bargin 100% agave tequila. I think I’m going to switch to Camarena, i really liked the reposado. Great tequila, great price!

    Reply
  5. Edoc May 1, 2011

    I just picked this up– the reposado– for $20. I’ll give it a whirl this week.

    Reply
  6. Michael St Cloud May 4, 2011

    I had this tequila during the sampling phase and I thought it was the best
    tequila I’ve ever had…I drank the whole bottle in one seating…I’d highly Recommend it…

    Reply
  7. Edoc May 5, 2011

    Michael, are you referring to the blanco or reposado (or both)?

    Reply
  8. Michael St Cloud May 5, 2011

    I had the reposado

    Reply
  9. Edoc May 8, 2011

    The Camarena reposado is very nice. It’s one of the better affordable 100% agave tequilas. A nearby store is selling 1.75L of this for $33.99 for either the blanco or reposado, an outstanding value.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous June 9, 2011

    Just tried it, and I thought it was lousy.

    Reply
  11. John June 17, 2011

    Spike, the Camarena reposado was better than the Tenampa Azul reposado in my opinion. This one just arrived in NW Indiana recently, both sell for around $20 here. I think I’ve just found my new go-to tequila for mixing margaritas, and it is pretty sippable as well.

    Reply
  12. TUL October 7, 2011

    Found this at my local store for just under $17/750ml. Bought both the Silver and the Repasado (same price) and prefer the Repasado mixed as well as straight. The Repo was smoother and finished with a touch of wood. The silver was just a bit harsh, but still had good flavor.
    Excellent values!

    Reply
  13. Carol December 26, 2011

    Received a bottle of Camarena for my birthday. Found it harsh and had a headache the entire day following the margarita’s . A week later my daughter had a margarita and had a headache from it also. Usually that happens after drinking cheap booze. I won’t purchase it..

    Reply
  14. Zero October 13, 2012

    FYI for all the people who’ve had headaches, it’s not the tequila’s fault, it’s the sugar in your mixed drinks. If you want a terrible tequila/mixto, get Jose Cuervo Especial, 50% sugar = 100% headaches. I rarely drink margaritas, more of a sipper, I never get headaches.

    Reply
  15. Tequilon November 26, 2012

    Exactly, its the stuff you mix the tequila with. Have been drinking this one since it came out in san diego, which is like a year, never ANY headache whatsoever. This is the best deal for a 100% agave tequila out there, no doubt!

    Reply
  16. anon July 26, 2014

    This tequila has a delightful flavor, and is a great for the money. We can usually get a pint for about $8. We typically have shots of the Repasado, although it is good mixed too.

    Reply
  17. sedigive April 2, 2016

    I am a Tequila common sewer, and the Camarena Resposado is one of the most enjoyable Tequila’s I have ever had. The funny thing is after two shots, my clothing stayed on?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Null April 2, 2016

      Best comment of all time.

  18. Beth Smith October 19, 2016

    The resposado is amazing, the woody vanilla undertone is fabulous.

    Reply
  19. JohnnyHandsome December 2, 2016

    The Resposado is really good. Has a hint of sweetness initially, and a nice bite as it goes down. Great for margaritas. I suggest not using any of the pre-made mixers because they are loaded with sugar. Make them fresh and let the natural mild sweetness of the Resposado shine. Thank me later…lol

    Reply

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