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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs takes on Clooney — in tequila

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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs takes on Clooney — in tequila

Post by Nicky80 on Sat Nov 15 2014, 20:13

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs takes on Clooney — in Tequila

The bottle: DeLeon Platinum tequila, $60
The back story: While many celebrities have entered the booze biz — Justin Timberlake, George Clooney and even Elvis Presley come to mind — Sean “Diddy” Combs is one of the few who’s had success at it. His partnership with Ciroc vodka has resulted in that brand going from 50,000 cases a year in sales to 2 million. Now, he’s at it again, with a tequila — specifically, DeLeon tequila, a high-end sipper, packaged in an elegant, perfume-style bottle that was launched by mortgage lender-turned spirits entrepreneur Brent Hocking in 2009, but never really got significant buzz beyond a small circle. Combs counted himself a DeLeon fan — “You could tell it had a richness to it,” he told MarketWatch earlier this week — so he just decided to buy the whole bottle, so to speak, in a joint venture with spirits giant Diageo. (The purchase price wasn't disclosed.) As Combs added: “I didn’t think I would have been able to make a great tequila from scratch.” And DeLeon “was already at the tipping point…bartenders were raving about it.”

Of course, if you’re Diddy, you don’t go into a venture without putting your own stamp on it. Combs has expanded the DeLeon line — adding some lower-priced (though not low-priced, we might add) expressions. That includes the base level Platinum, an un-aged or “blanco” tequila that the brand touts is “slow-fermented” and only twice distilled (most tequilas go through additional distillations), so that you get the maximum flavor of the agave, the plant that’s used in crafting Mexico’s signature spirit. Having the more affordable option was important, Combs explained, because it allows him to compete head-to-head with an established name in high-end tequila whose base level product is similarly priced. “I want to go after Patron,” Combs said without hesitation.

What we think about it: Like Combs, we were already fans of DeLeon, though we admit we forgot the brand was still around. Now we’re fans again: The Platinum has a curious combination of character and smoothness, with flavors both sweet and woodsy (that’s what we mean by “character”), but it still goes down very easily (that’s what we mean by “smoothness”). And while we normally think of aged tequilas as the true sippers, this one might have us changing our opinion. Of course, it’s competing in an increasingly crowded tequila space. But we definitely give the edge to DeLeon in one respect — it’s more interesting on the tongue than Casamigos, the brand that George Clooney helped create.
How to enjoy it: While it may be tempting to make a high-priced margarita with DeLeon, this is a tequila that’s best enjoyed solo and neat. Still, Combs does suggest a happy middle ground: He occasionally enjoys DeLeon chilled and mixed with a little fresh lime juice, though he conceded to us: “Maybe that’s a little taboo for a straight tequila drinker.”

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Casamigos with Mr Clooney

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