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Don Julio is an instantly recognizable name in the world of tequila. From the blanco to Don Julio 1942’s iconic bottle, the brand is, for many, a standard bearer for reliable, high-end tequila. But before there was Don Julio the tequila, there was Don Julio González the man. He was a pioneer in the earliest days of premium, luxury tequila and inspired an industry. That inspiration, it seems, also trickled through the family. Enter LALO, a tequila brand led by Don Julio’s grandson, maestro tequilero Eduardo “Lalo” González.
González is a third generation tequilero. He shares a name with his father, who LALO is named after. Unlike many of the brands, celebrity-backed and otherwise, that have flooded shelves since George Clooney and company sold Casamigos for $1 billion in 2017, LALO is focused on one goal: making the perfect blanco tequila—and only blanco tequila.
ABV: 40 percent (80 proof)
Where it’s available: Find a bottle via LALO’s store tracker
How LALO Tequila Is Made
LALO’s focus on solely making blanco tequila is part of the brand’s mission to make a spirit that represents the truest flavors of highlands agaves from Jalisco. Thus, it never sees the inside of a barrel and is additive free. All of the flavor comes from manipulating the most bare list of ingredients: fully ripe blue Weber agave, yeast (specifically, a proprietary strain of Champagne yeast), and water.
The heart of the agave, the piñas, are steamed for 20 to 32 hours and rested for up to 18 hours. After the addition of water, it’s fermented for three to four days before it’s ready for two distillations. Finally, it’s chill filtered to remove any remaining oils and fats and then oxygenated to stabilize the spirit.
What LALO Tequila Tastes Like
Flowery cooked agave and vanilla are the first aromas off a neat pour. There’s also some underlying pepperiness and vegetal notes. On first sip, those flavors pull through along with some fruity citrus. It has a small amount of bitterness at the end that adds some complexity. The latter, plus LALO’s strong flavors, helps it to stand out in popular tequila cocktails like a margarita or paloma. That said, it’s also nice on the rocks or with a splash of soda water.
Why You Should Add LALO Tequila To Your Bar Cart
Liquor brands with a strong legacy behind them don’t always have the flavor profile to match. That’s not the case with LALO, and at this price point it’ll easily become your go-to blanco no matter how you like to sip your tequila. Plus, it’ll look good among your other bottles every second it’s not being used. The distinctive rectangular bottle has a clean look that catches the eye and invites conversation about the story behind the minimalist label.