When the King of Country tells you to sip tequila, you mustn't argue.
Though I consider myself a fringe country fan, I'm not dumb enough to turn down an invite to mingle with George Strait and learn more about what he's doing with his days now that he's stopped touring. Turns out when he's not doing structured tours, he's drinking Tequila Codigo 1530.
As a brand partner and investor in Codigo 1530, Strait's signed on to the not-so-arduous task of getting people to try tequila. Owned by CEO Federico Vaughan, who along with his family helped turn Los Cabos into the tourist hot spot it is today, and co-founder and executive chairman Ron Snyder (formerly CEO of Crocs Footwear), Codigo 1530 is slowly being launched across the U.S.
In San Antonio, the tequila can already be found at Los Barrios, JW Marriott, Peggy's on the Green, Casa Rio and soon Bohanan's.
As the story goes Vaughan and Snyder have been enjoying the tequila, five varieties, for just over a decade. Vaughan would take flip-top glass bottles of the tequila labeled with a demure white sticker and a hand-written designation of either blanco, reposado or añejo to the course for leisurely sipping on the golf course. When Strait purchased a home in the same community, the mutual friendship over golf blossomed over more tequila. Ahuevo.
"We kept asking why we couldn't buy this stuff in the states," Snyder said.
For Strait, who was used to chasing the agave spirit with lime and salt, sipping Codigo was easy because of the quality. Though the tequila was distilled and manufactured for decades prior to Vaughan and Snyder getting their hands on it. Vaughan's wife served as his connection to the jimadores and tequila makers in Amaititán, Jalisco (a short drive east from Tequila, Jalisco). After sourcing bottles of the stuff for years on end, the guys decided to commercialize their beverage of choice. Named codigo after old customs and codes, and bearing the year Amaititán was recognized by the Spanish, Codigo 1530 is — brace yourself — pretty damn good.
During Tuesday night's San Antonio/Boerne launch inside Cordillera Ranch's country chic Clubhouse, Snyder, Vaughan, Strait and other brand members invited a select group to sample the wares: the blanco ($49), reposado ($69), añejo ($119) and extra añejo ($249). The blanco, used in the evening's Paloma, lacked that signature methanol kick-to-the-back-of-the-throat most silvers have, while the reposado contained a mild boldness. The añejo, aged in oak barrels out of Napa for 18 months, was awarded Platinum Best of Class in 2016's Sip Awards, and deserves a crystal clear block of ice, if that. The extra añejo, aged six years, comes bearing heavy caramel notes and a general smoothness one would hope for in a $250 bottle.
For his part, Strait is hoping to bring attention to the brand. If I'm allowed one song pun, you won't want to give this tequila away.
"I told these guys, 'Listen, I don't need another job, but I really do believe in this tequila, I think it's going to be a great success. I think people are going to love it,'" Strait said. "We just have to get people to try it, that's what I'm trying to do. If we get people to try it, they're going to love it."
Bottles in the area are limited, but Spec's is licensed to carry Codigo 1530 through Glazer's.