Bertha González Nieves discovered her love for the spirits world when, at age 22, she was selected to represent Mexico in a television program ran by the Japanese government. It was through this opportunity that Bertha realized the incredible way tequila embodied Mexico as the social fabric, the culture, and the life. She fell in love with the craft, deciding then and there that she wanted to dedicate her career to the tequila industry.
Looking for a way to get her foot in the door, Bertha landed a job with the Beckmann family, owners of Grupo Cuervo. For more than a decade she engaged with the Jose Cuervo brand, maintaining five different positions as she learned the foundation of the breadth and what could be done in the tequila category. After her 10th year, she felt the tug of the entrepreneurial spirit urging her to break away from Gupo Cuervo and create her own company. Thus, in 2008, Casa Dragones was born.
The first bottle brought to market was the “Casa Dragones Joven.” This spirit exists to prove that tequila can compete with other sipping spirits like cognac and whiskey, and can also pair well with dishes outside of Mexican cuisine. French, Italian, and Japanese foods are now viable contenders to pair with tequila thanks to the Joven. By pioneering this new space, Bertha hopes to push the tequila production conversation forward, allowing others to follow in her contemporary footsteps.
Bertha accredits the beautiful quality of her liquor to sourcing, cultivation, and water. There are five states where you can harvest blue weber agave in Mexico: Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Guanajuanto, and Tamaulipas. Casa Dragones is focused in Tequila, Jalisco where the Tequila Volcano causes the soil to be semi-arid and semi-humid, filled with obsidian rock, and volcanic matter. Every bottle of Casa Dragones is 40% tequila 60% water. Using natural aquifers straight from the volcano, Bertha and her team are able to tweak the water, giving it the right mineral profile to harmonize their tequila. This culmination of details is what maintains the premium status of Casa Dragrones’.
The demand for a new tequila arose once consumers started looking for a bottle with more flexibility. The Joven is not meant to be served on the rocks, kept in the freezer, or made into a margarita. This is where inspiration for the “Blanco” bottle arose. The Blanco expression celebrates the agave in a herbaceous, green, and pure tribute. This liquor is minimal, yet bursting with character. When creating the Blanco, Bertha hoped to create a tequila that will have the same relationship with chefs as it does with mixologists. A liquor that can hold its own meat and also perform well in a signature cocktail.
The final bottle created by Casa Dragones is the 3rd barrel aged expression. This tequila is known as the “Añejo.” After extensive traveling, Bertha and her team discovered a soulful wood in Bordeaux, France. By combining that with an American oak from Pennsylvania, Casa Dragones was able to achieve a dry, complex, and beautiful result of an aged tequila. The wood undergoes a char treatment, but the color of the Añejo is a natural reaction that occurs within the bounds of the barrel.
Nosing the Three Bottles
While nosing the Joven, incredible grassy tones and fruity notes are identified, almost reminisce of fermented cane. The deep green nose can be attributed to the floral and citrus in the blanco tequila balanced with the sweetness and spice of the aged. This is a love affair of the two styles, where neither is overwhelming the overall experience.
When nosing the Blanco, the immediate reaction is more subtle than the Joven. A dry, mineral note first hits the pallet followed by suggestions of marigold.
Nosing the Añejo inspires notes of cedar and sap, hinting at the life in the wood instead of the flavors that were burned out of the wood. Just as the two preceding the Añejo, this expression is different than your typical aged liquor.
Where to Find Casa Dragones
New York, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. If you cannot find Casa Dragones in your state, email “[email protected]” and Bertha will make sure to take care of it.
I have a cocktail I adore called the Micheloma by Pablo Pasti.
If You Were a Cocktail Ingredient, What Would You Be?
Cocktail with Anyone, Past or Present
The recent elections have really left a mark on me. I would love to have a drink with Kamala Harris and I want to ask her what are we going to do for females in the beverage industry.
Controversial Opinion in the Spirits/Cocktail Space
I do believe that I am trying to prove my case that tequila pairs well with French, Italian, and Japanese cuisine. I am going to prove that everyday of the week.