Código 1530 Tequila Launches In Houston

Perry's Steakhouse's 'Strait Paloma'

Most people who have tried tequila have an “accidental” tequila story. Most of the time, it’s due to overindulgence—after all, it’s easy to have one too many cold margaritas on a hot summer day. Código 1530‘s accidental story is simply that it was never meant to be sold and distributed to the masses.

Houston Food Finder was invited to Perry’s Steakhouse in Memorial City for the launch of Código 1530 in the Houston market and to try the ‘Strait Paloma’ cocktail, which incorporates the blanco version of the tequila.

Código has been made in small batches for generations, with co-founders Federico Vaughan and Ron Snyder only sharing their spirit with friends and family on the golf course and while entertaining guests at home. It’s only within the last few years—and thanks to nonstop encouragement from fans that include Código investor George Strait (affectionately referred to as the “King of Country”) that the owners made their tequilas available to the masses.

“Código” refers to to the codes and practices that should be adhered to when making tequila, and “1530” is the year in which Amatitán, Código’s home city, was founded. Speaking of the codes, Vaughan beamed with pride as he stated that Código only uses the best water and best natural growing agave. Vaughan says the quality is exceptional thanks to making the tequila completely by hand.

Código 1530's Añejo Old-Fashioned
Código 1530’s Añejo Old-Fashioned. Photo by Josh Armendariz

Código 1530 offers five different tequilas — Blanco, Rosa, Reposado, Añejo and Origen — their Extra Añejo spirit.

  • Blanco is the lightest of the five as it’s the only release that hasn’t been barrel aged. It’s the spirit used in the Perry’s Steakhouse “Strait Paloma,” and it’s easy to see why. The gentle spirit melds perfectly with grapefruit and blood orange flavors without overpowering any of the refreshing citruses.
  • Código’s Rosa expression starts out as Blanco and is then aged for one month in a French White Oak barrel used once for aging Napa Cabernet. The short aging process is designed to “enrich the natural agave juice without overpowering the delicate floral notes.” Código recommends using it in a martini.
  • Reposado is the expression that launched the business, as this is what Frederico Vaughan poured for his friends on the golf course. Aged for six months in the same French White Oak barrels, George Strait credits the reposado for turning him from a “shooter into a sipper.” It’s easy to see why: imagine drinking pure spring water with faint agave notes lingering on your palate. This expression was tasted on the rocks, but Código also recommends using it in a margarita.
  • Añejo rests in the same barrels for 18 months similarly to wine, which is designed to give credit to highlight caramel and vanilla flavors. It was awarded “Best in Class” at the 2016 Spirits International Prestige Awards. Tequila purists will feel at home sipping this spirit neat but Código also recommends using it in a Tequila Old-Fashioned. While that’s an interesting shake up on the classic cocktail, we thing it’s best to leave this tequila standing on its own two feet.
Código 1530's 'Origen'
Código 1530’s ‘Origen’ — the top of the line Extra-Añejo tequila. Photo by Josh Armendariz
  • Código considers Origen the crown jewel of their line—but that might be because it’s aged to the point where it fits more of a bourbon profile than a tequila one. Tequila only needs to be aged for three years to be classified as Extra Añejo but Código ages Origen for six years in high-quality French Oak barrels. The aging process increases the oak flavor while toning down agave notes. Many of the guests compared Origen to a complex scotch or cognac, which we agree with.

Código 1530’s tequilas are now available for retail sale around the Houston area and will likely start popping up in area bars as well.

Josh Armendariz is Houston Food Finder’s lead freelance beer and cocktail writer. He can often be found on a stool at your favorite bar, sipping a hoppy craft beer and talking about the Astros with anyone who’ll lend an ear. Follow him on Instagram at @drinkwithjosh.

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