We’ve reviewed a number of celebrity endorsed spirits here at Thirty One Whiskey, and today we’re looking at a brand that comes from the world of basketball: LeBron James’ Lobos Tequila. Much like King James himself, I’m also from the city of Akron, Ohio. So when a hometown hero (and, you know, one of the biggest superstars in the world) launched this new line of tequila, I knew I had to try a bottle.
Lobos 1707 is an independent spirits producer based in Mexico founded in 2020 by Diego Osorio, who partnered with Dia Simms as CEO and LeBron James as a primary investor. Brought together with James by a mutual friend and financial advisor, Osorio has worked to create a tequila that is inspired by his great-great-grandfather.
That spirit of togetherness is what LeBron claims the brand is all about: “Lobos 1707 is about bringing people together and creating a community that everyone can be part of. It starts with an incredible tequila, but our Pack includes everyone who touches our brand and hopes to inspire change, create unity, and celebrate individuality.”
The process used to finish their tequila pays homage to the process of Osorio’s great-great-grandfather transporting tequila from Mexico back to his native Spain in sherry wine barrels. He found that this final aging in “sherry-bathed oak created a smooth and elegant Tequila unlike any other”. This lore from 1707 fuels the process to create Lobos tequila with distillers from both Mexico and Spain.
- Learn More: What Is Tequila?
As you’d expect from a good tequila, this spirit starts with 100% blue weber agave plants that are grown and harvested in the Mexican state of Jalisco. These plants are grown for 6 years before being harvested by hand by local jimadors.
Once harvested, the leaves are shorn from the hard inner core, or pinas, of the agave. This core is then roasted for several hours in stainless steel vats, converting the fibers in the core into a sweet liquid that will be fermented and twice distilled to create a blanco tequila that will serve as the foundation for the joven, repasado, and extra anjeo varieties of Lobos 1707.
This particular tequila is then aged in Pedro Ximenez (PX) wine barrels from Spain. While a traditional blanco tequila can be rested in a barrel for up to 2 months, this aging process includes a slight blending with residual sherry from the barrels that results in a joven tequila.
I really enjoy the aesthetic of this tall, slender, rectangular bottle. There is a slight inward taper as you move from the base towards the middle followed by a flaring of the bottle as it gets towards the neck. The top of the bottle is just a little bit bigger than the base, like an imposing linebacker (or a towering basketball star). There is a short shoulder and stout neck topped with a synthetic and wood stopper.
The bottle is clear glass which, combined with the single miniscule label, helps to show off the spirit inside. In this case, because the joven tequila is a blend, the spirit is not completely clear — something interesting and unique for this bottle. The label is only on the bottom half of the bottle, printed on heavy stock, and only has the Lobos logo and basic information about the spirit.
Embossed in the glass near the top of the bottle is the Osorio family crest as a nod to the lineage of the process. On the back near the bottom is a compass rose, which is intended to represent the blending of the tequila from Mexico and the sherry from Spain.
I love the smell of this tequila. You get rich earthy notes to start, which are eventually swirled with a sweet citrusy aroma. This is everything I would expect from a good tequila. One note: this spirit is not quite clear — there is a slight cloudiness that comes from the PX barrels, which is what you’d expect from this type of product.
The flavor comes across with more intensity than the aroma alone. The first thing I notice is a sweet earthy flavor, which reminds me of freshly cut grass. This is followed by a mild lemon note that seems to be mixed with some other dried fruits — which would make sense from the time spent aging in the sherry barrels. On the finish, there’s a bit of that black pepper spice you expect from a good tequila, but without any of the bitterness or burning you sometimes see from lower quality spirits.
I could drink this all day on ice, with nothing else. The ice seems to open up a world of complex yet mild botanical flavors consisting of fir, sage, and bay leaf. The dried fruit is more at the forefront, along with the still-present earthiness and slight lemon.
I appreciate that the spirit tastes much more layered and nuanced on ice. The botanicals were not present when I tried this neat, and the notes from the sherry were very faint. I love the fact that adding ice seems to open up and shuffle flavors around.
Drinking this on ice is incredibly smooth and quite enjoyable.
A good margarita can combine the flavors of the tequila, triple-sec, and lime into a bright, shiny, and slightly sour cocktail. A great margarita can do that while still allowing the tequila to take center stage. In this case, we have something that is definitely a cut above the norm, but doesn’t quite sink the three pointer from half court.
Many of the flavors that we’ve talked about above are still present, but you do have to search for them. The flavor components from the tequila are more subtle and muted compared to the mixers, making them easy to miss. If anything, the rich earthy flavor is the most pronounced flavor from the tequila.
I wish more of the herbal notes that we tasted on ice came through in this margarita. That said, it’s not bad — it’s still definitely an above average cocktail. I would just drink it on ice and skip the cocktail.
I am usually skeptical about celebrity cocktails, and I think I have good reason to be (see JAJA Blanco Tequila). But in this case, we have a spirit created with care by someone with family legacy of great tequila, who happened to pick up one of the most well-known athletes in the world as an investor and spokesperson. LeBron is a supporter and a promoter here, boosting an otherwise solid product rather than being the sole reason behind its existence.
The vision of Lobos 1707 is to build a brand that is the collective strength of the individuals – the “pack” if you will. I would say that this product is a testament to that vision.
|Lobos Joven Tequila|
Produced By: LobosProduction Location: Jalisco, Mexico
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $44.99 / 750 ml
Product Website: Product Website
Overall Rating: 5/5
As far as joven tequila goes, this one might need to take over LeBron’s nickname of king.