Yes, this exclusive Mexican tequila really does cost $30,000 a bottle. Although you can get cheaper varieties from Clase Azul, from $100 all the way up to the most expensive in the world. Baroque Access finds out what makes it so special
Clase Azul is drunk at exclusive parties and events around the world, including movie premieres, celebrity parties and even the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards. When it was originally launched in 1997 by Mexican local Arturo Lomeli it wasn’t a quality brand. But Lomeli went back to study his masters in luxury marketing, and with his specialist degree, he learned about the value of crafting a top quality product that he bottled in an extremely beautiful, unique packaging.
Today, Clase Azul tequilas come in exquisitely handcrafted ceramic decanters that resemble restaurant-sized pepper grinders. But that’s where the similarity ends. These are exclusively sculpted and hand-painted, rare masterpieces in their own right. These days, Clase Azul is synonymous with superb quality and cachet, from the exquisite nectar inside the beautiful bottles to the artworks that are the bottles themselves.
The first high-end Clase Azul tequila was launched in 2007, a dark amber-colored tequila called Clase Azul Ultra that was sold for $1,200 per bottle. What started out as a novelty became a high-end product that was sought-after the world over. That was the start. Of course, timing did have a part in this. Americans were starting to acquire a taste for premium tequila, and he was offering just that. Since then, premium alcohol products such as Clase Azul have become very popular and are, in fact, what US customers look for when purchasing a tequila brand.
So it should come as no surprise that a $30,000 price tag has been affixed to one of the Clase Azul tequilas. Of course, in this case, it isn’t just the nectar inside, but the bottle itself that is causing such a stir. The Clase Azul spirit was created to celebrate the brand’s 15th anniversary, and the ceramic bottle in which it is encased is extremely exclusive, each hand-painted with platinum and featuring a silver agave medallion and label applied using the aforesaid 24-karat gold.
Although Clase Azul is produced in Mexico, it is exclusively sold to the US and European markets, as well as some very privileged US visitors to Cancun and Los Cabos beach resorts. Apparently, in 2016, the company sold 234,000 bottles of tequila within the US, an increase of 46% from the previous year.
Clase Azul tequila is so pure and luxurious that it is never mixed into a cocktail or drunk as a shot. It’s meant to be savored, to be tasted and enjoyed neat, like a good whisky. The brand has become legendary for its superior quality and rich flavor profile. The result is a tequila that is literally in a class of its own. Exclusive tequilas from Clase Azul are only produced in numbered batches of 100 bottles, and these are sought-after by collectors. Each of these bottles contains tequila that has been aged for five years in special sherry wood casks imported from Spain. And each decanter is a masterpiece, with its own unique character.