A Taste of San Miguel de Allende – Tasting Casa Dragones with Founder & CEO Bertha González Nieves

Tasting at Casa Dragones HQ in San Miguel de Allende during the World’s 50 Best Bars (North America) Celebration

Recently, I was invited to attend the World’s 50 Best Bars ceremony in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, an incredibly beautiful colonial town founded in the early 1500s. The streets of the city were swamped with bartenders (and a few journalists like myself) from all over North America hosting pop-ups and enjoying time with their peers from other great bars.

One of the best pop-ups was an all day affair at Casa Dragones HQ with drinks from a lot of our New York and Mexico City friends (Dante, Employee’s Only, The Dead Rabbit, Overstory, and Licoreria Limantour among others). It was full-on and…enthusiastically celebratory. Thankfully, I was invited back the next day for a formal tasting of Casa Dragones with the founder and CEO Bertha González Nieves, the “First Lady of Tequila.”



A portfolio tasting to write (at) home about

The idea behind Casa Dragones is simple: tequila is food-friendly and should be viewed like wine, whiskey, & cognac. When Bertha González Nieves founded the company she made it her mission to have Dragones in the world’s great restaurants, neat at the table—not only relegated to the cocktail list.

She explained that to produce a tequila worthy of that consideration is as difficult as it is in other categories, and while you may not think about tequila in the same breath as wine and whiskey, you should.

Casa Dragones Tequila Technique

Like wine, well-made tequila starts with dedicated growers working on exceptional soils. The Dragones agave fields sit in the nutrient-rich volcano-influenced soils of the Eje Volcánico Transversal (a chain of active and inactive volcanos that run down the spine of the country, known in English as the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt). The ancient eruptions filled the soil with potassium, silica, and obsidian all which encourage the growth of excellent agave. Some of the obsidian has been collected and turned into tiles that cover the walls at Dragones HQ.

While hand selecting and harvesting the most well-ripened agave plants, the Dragones team extracts natural spring water from underground aquifers emanating from the headwaters on the Volcano de Tequila. The water gathers even more minerals from the volcano’s soils before it is purified and starts the distillation process.

This à la minute process at Dragones has been recognized by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) as the most sustainable and efficient in the industry. They use less water, less energy, and less agave per liter than the traditional methods used by many tequila producers.

The Tasting at Casa Dragones HQ

It never hurts to conduct a tasting in a gorgeous room, and the bar room at Casa Dragones in San Miguel de Allende is one of a kind (and bookable if you ever visit).

We carry two of the four offerings, but if you are interested email people@communitywineandspirits.com and we can order them directly for you.


This Joven (Spanish for “young”) was the initial release from Dragones and isn’t as young as it might sound. This 100% Weber Silver Agave is aged for five years in a blend of new and used American Oak.

The result is a tequila that tastes like orange peel perfume. There’s tuberose, orange blossom, vanilla, and spiced pear that play off the grassiness and stoniness on the palate.


The blanco is a very crisp tequila and just as good on its own as with a twist of bitter citrus to balance it.

It’s herbaceous and fresh with citrus overtones and hints of nutty green apple on the finish.

 Shop the Blanco here.


The Añejo from Dragones is fun. They source barrels from the French cooperage that makes barrels for Petrus, and the result is much more subdued than the very popular limousin oak from the region.

It has a gorgeous palate that feels more like a barrel aged eau de vieux full of cherry pits and plums than a tequila—and that’s not a bad thing. It’s delicious in its own right and should be enjoyed as such.

Shop here.


This is a special Reposado, as it’s the first tequila to use 100% Mizunara (a porous Japanese oak species typically used for whiskey making). Bertha said that securing these oak barrels was the hardest thing she’s done since starting the company. They are made by the only independent Mizunara cask producer and must be meticulously maintained.

The result is worth it and tastes of perfectly made butterscotch, coffee, and grassy pears. A tequila that can stand in for (or with) dessert.