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Kevin Hart has a tequila! Is that even surprising anymore at this point? Celebrities f*cking love tequila, they can’t get enough of it. Nick Jonas has a brand, Michael Jordan, Rita Ora, Guy Fieri, LeBron James, George Clooney (he sold it), Kendall Jenner, tequila is the hot vanity project for the Hollywood crowd and we haven’t even named half of the celebrity tequila owners. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul get a shout-out for drawing outside of the lines and doing mezcal, and doing it well. Respect.
Among the legions of famous tequila-brand owners, probably most importantly to Kevin Hart is that his longtime friend, The Rock, has a tequila (and it’s pretty solid). So if you were Kevin Hart and you had a whole bunch of time and endless disposable income, wouldn’t you want one too?
Enter Gran Coramino, a reposado cristalino tequila. To Harts’ credit, he went all out. He choose a relatively new, but popular, expression and focused his efforts on perfecting that rather than dropping a full line, scored an awesome swirling bottle design, did the wistful contemplative photo shoot in Mexico that celebrities love to do — on the website is a photo where Hart, back turned to the camera, inspects a glass of Gran Coramino in an agave field lit by the setting sun — and he teamed up with an absolute heavyweight in the tequila industry, Juan Domingo Beckman, to put it all together.
Beckman is an 11th-generation tequila maker and the current CEO of Jose Cuervo. Hart enlisted the family who essentially created the tequila industry, and while Jose Cuervo isn’t exactly the most beloved brand by tequila snobs (it’s only the best-selling brand in the world), it is as legit as legit gets, and the brand is responsible for many a great bottle of tequila in its more high-end offerings.
So where does Gran Coramino stand, does it join the illustrious ranks of bottles like the Reserva de Familia Line, or hit the bottom shelf with the Especial Series and more middling offerings? We tasted a bottle to find out.
Gran Coramino Reposado Cristalino
Gran Coramino doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to process. The tequila is made from blue agave piñas harvested at peak maturity (the brand doesn’t specify what this means, are we talking 7, 8, 9, or 10 years?) from Beckmann’s family farms, roasted in traditional stone ovens, extracted using roller mill extraction and double-distilled in copper pot stills. Gran Coramino hails from NOM 1122, Casa Cuervo, home of 1800, Gran Centenario and Maestro Dobel, the brand that this tequila reminds me most of.
The tequila is rested in Eastern European oak barrels, Gran Coramino doesn’t disclose approximately how long the tequila is rested for but considering it’s a Reposado it would need to be anywhere between two and twelve months. As a final touch, the tequila is finished in Cabernet Sauvignon casks from Napa Valley and slow-filtered to remove the color and get into that ultra smooth crystal clear Cristalino state.
On the nose, I’m getting strong wafts of vanilla and cracked black pepper jumping from the glass. Once this tequila hits the palate it’s even less subtle, hitting you with a heavily perfumed flavor with notes of earthy caramelized honey and cooked agave. On the backend is a pronounced oak flavor with a slight dark berry finish and it leaves you with a noticeable burn on the tongue and throat. This cristalino isn’t so much smooth, as it is sweet.
The big draw of cristalino is that it’s so smooth it’s almost dangerously easy to drink, Gran Coramino doesn’t get that across, instead using sweetness to invite you in. It works, kind of… but it also feels like a trick. According to the website, Hart’s favorite pour is in a glass over rocks so I gave that a try and it did a lot to corral the flavors together more harmoniously, and water down the burning sensation. This is the way we suggest you drink it, or even in a Cadillac Margarita.
The Bottom Line:
You’re going to have to be a pretty big Kevin Hart fan to seek this tequila out. It’s not nearly as luxurious as it would like to be, lacking that smooth supple mouthfeel that cristalino needs in order to justify its inflated price tag. Maybe Gran Coramino can remedy that simply by letting this one age in the barrel a little longer (maybe even to an añejo state?). To compare it to other Cuervo products, it’s way above the Especial and Tradicional series, but not close to the level of the fantastic Familia de Reserva line.
Overall, it’s neither bad. It’s fine, if a little overpriced. All in all, I would say it’s better than the Rock’s brand. And maybe that was the end goal all along.