Humito smoked tequila is the first of its kind, bringing a new kind of flavor to the age-old spirit. The brand replicates artisanal methods from more than 200 years ago, using Mexican mesquite wood to bring out a taste and aroma that speaks to tequila as it was first made in the 17th century.
Humito smoked tequila – Photo used with permission from Localite LA Public Relations
Behind Humito is Maestro Dobel, famed for “breaking the rules of tequila-making and creating the first aged clear tequila. And behind Maestro Dobel is Juan-Domingo “Dobel” Beckmann, the eleventh-generation leader of Jose Cuervo tequilas.
Beckmann took the time to discuss what went into conceptualizing and creating Humito, as well as how he plans to keep up with the ever-changing tequila business moving forward.
What gave you the idea for Humito smoked tequila?
We wanted to create the world’s first smoked silver tequila to replicate the original taste profile and artisanal methods seen back in the 17th century. However, we didn’t want to replicate the same flavor or process of mezcal. To call a tequila by its name, it has to use 100% blue agave that comes from five particular regions – Jalisco being one of them – which are different than the regions of mezcal. That is very important. Also, Maestro Dobel has always tried to break the rules when it comes to tequila-making, while still respecting our family tradition of creating tequila. We created the first aged clear tequila, and are innovating once again to create this world’s first smoked silver tequila.
Why use smoked tequila instead of standard tequila?
I wanted to encourage people to sip tequila and give bartenders something new and interesting to play with. This tequila is meant to be savored, yet also brings a new dimension to classic cocktails like the Negroni and Old Fashioned. We wanted to create a tequila that would stand alone and be more versatile.
Were you playing around with any other concepts/flavors before arriving at Humito?
No, I knew I wanted to use Mexican mesquite wood to bring out the smokiness similar to a single-malt scotch. Humito, which is Spanish for “little smoke”, was really the essence of my vision for bringing the 17th-century tequila-making techniques back to life.
How did you arrive at a design for your bottle?
Because of the 17th-century techniques used, we wanted the branding and packaging to reflect an old-world design as well. We decided on a vintage laboratory style bottle with apothecary lettering. Each bottle is individually labeled and numbered making the bottle a testament to our artistry and craft.
Where can people find Humito right now?
Currently Humito is available for purchase in 19 states, but you will find Humito being poured at top-tier restaurants, luxury resorts, and the best cocktail bars globally.
Your family is essentially synonymous with tequila…how has the industry changed in your time working with Jose Cuervo and Maestro Dobel?
We’ve seen a rise in upscale cocktail lounges and modern mixology, so there seems to be a growing interest in more unique spirits. Through innovation and our secrets that we’ve kept protected through 11 generations, our tequila legacy really inspires discerning drinkers.