Country king George Strait fills us in on Código 1530’s hand-selected special ‘Origen’ expression and the potential for making music in the months to come.
When huge celebrities align themselves with liquor brands, the results can be, uh, mixed. I won’t even bother to name some of the folks who’ve slapped their likeness or surname on a cheap Rosé or a lesser bourbon and tried to pass it off as premium.
Now, the tequila promoted by country music king, George Strait? Different story altogether. He’s backed the brand as a co-investor since 2017, but his involvement grew from a personal passion for what was in the bottles, not what was on them. From C&I’s first-ever post about Código 1530:
The name is taken from the codes and customs — los códigos — of tequila production and the Jerusalem cross on the 1530 coat of arms of Jalisco state — tequila’s birthplace. Instead of alcohol yeast, Código 1530 uses yeast from a family bakery in Amatitán — Código 1530’s home. The spirit is then aged in French white oak Napa Valley cabernet barrels. That’s not all that distinguishes Código 1530 from other high-end tequilas. … Although the brand offers the standard aging styles of blanco, reposado, and añejo, the tequila operation also offers a pink-hued rosa and its Origen (an extra añejo aged for six years), giving the latter characteristics usually found in elegantly aged whiskeys and cognacs.
Strait and his family developed a taste for the stuff before he became involved in getting it out to the larger world – annual trips to Mexico introduced them to it. What was once a privately enjoyed, carefully crafted, nameless line became massively public, eventually, when the artist and his co-investors brought it to all 50 states and many countries. It wasn't long before one of Mexico’s best-kept spirits secrets became an award-winning brand. And this past year, Strait was fortunate enough to hand-select Código’s sixth flavor expression: the limited-edition extra-añejo George Strait Origen.
In the exchange below, Strait tells us about how he made his pick for the six-year-aged limited-edition while he was at the distillery in Amatitán, Mexico, filming a music video for his ode to Código. He also hints at when he might get back in the studio to make more music. Strait’s voice is as smooth and enjoyable as a top-shelf tequila, so we were excited to hear more about this latest personal expression.
C&I: Código was an inspired business venture for you and your partners, but at this point, can you speak to what it has meant to you personally, between first launching and now getting to the point of having a longer-aged special edition to offer?
George Strait: Well, thanks for saying that. You never know how these kinds of things are going to turn out. We knew we had a very special product and just needed to give it some exposure. Código 1530 has a great team behind it doing just that. I’m very proud to see how far we’ve come in just three or four years. We will continue to have other aged offerings as time goes on, obviously. It’s like fine wine, it seems.
C&I: You hand-selected the new limited-edition Origen at the distillery. What was that experience like, and what were you looking for in particular when you sampled?
Strait: I’d decided to make a music video for my song "Código" and I wanted to do it down in Mexico at our distillery. So, while we were there, we decided to do a little sampling. These particular barrel batches we sampled already had a rich, smooth taste for not yet having aged as long as we typically do for our extra añejo. So, we flagged them and let them age a little longer, knowing they'd be perfect when we were ready to bottle. They were.
C&I: On what kinds of occasions – special or otherwise – do you most enjoy the tequilas? Do you most often sip them “strait,” or do you have a favorite current mixed cocktail you keep returning to?
Strait: Most all special occasions go well with Código 1530, whether it’s just a shot to put an exclamation mark on it, or you’re relaxing with it straight up on ice, like me. I’ve tried all of the mixed drinks and they’re excellent, but I prefer it straight.
C&I: After your vinyl set released in 2019 and a long, drawn-out pandemic, I know your fans are likely clamoring for some new music. Anything to report on what you might be working on?
Strait: Nothing to report right now, unfortunately. Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to be careful. My guys and I haven’t been together since last March. We’re all hopeful 2021 will bring back some normalcy and we can make more music. I’ve got a few things I want to record [this] year. Not enough for a record, but I’m working on that. I really don’t want to go into the studio and have to wear a mask. Not a good vibe for a record.
Find out more about the limited-edition George Strait Origen expression at codigo1530.com.