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Tequila: Know Your NOMs

In a story for Details.com, I wrote about the NOM identifier on every bottle of 100% agave tequila. This number allows you to cross-reference where your tequila was probably made and see what else was made there. 

Details

I simplified the law for the audience, but the NOM number is a little more confusing than it appears. We always think of the NOM as corresponding to the Distillery where the tequila was made, but in reality it corresponds to the Producer of the tequila - and that Producer will usually operate one distillery. So, most of the time, the NOM number does correspond to a particular distillery, but not always.

If my understanding of the law is correct:

  • The NOM corresponds to the Producer of the Tequila
  • The Producer may have more than one distillery.
  • This is the case for Cuervo, for example, as they operate at least 2 distilleries, yet all Cuervo products carry the same NOM.
  • The Producer doesn't have to be the distiller, they could merely be the blender or bottler, but as far as I can tell this isn't often the case. 
  • Distilleries can only have one Producer (NOM) associated with them (with what appears to be one exception, see below). This would make sense, because when brands change distilleries, their NOM number changes. Brands like Partida, Cabo Wabo, and Chamucos have all changed distilleries/NOMs. 
  • What appears to be an exception is that there are two NOMs for the distillery where they make El Tesoro and also Charbay and Ocho. 

I'd like to get a little bit deeper in my understanding of the law on this, but that will have to wait for another day. 

Anyway, check out the story!

 

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