Oakland based specialty El Rey tequila took home first place in the Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine competition. Marking themselves as a brand to watch out for.

For this competition, 14 pre-selected judges sampled 22 different tequilas, and a total of 39 expressions comprised of blanco, reposado, anejo and extra anejo. Blind samples were numbered, categorized by expression, and judged on four categories: aroma, flavor, finish and value–for a total score of 100.

Judges have several weeks to taste and evaluate each expression. Individual tabulation and scoring is stored through the noteworthy Tequila Matchmaker mobile app. Tequila Matchmaker founder Grover Sanschagrin keeps track of all tabulations for the final results.

El Rey was the clear contender in the Blanco category, surpassing other popular brands like Fortaleza by several points. Their Reposado also took number one, showing that their traditional expressions hold up to well established and respected brands.

Launched in 2006, El Rey was inspired by a revelatory glass of traditionally made tequila from a cantina in Sayuaho, Mexico. It took six years to recreate the smooth, richly nuanced taste of that transcendent first sip, but the hard work paid off. In 2017 El Rey won it’s first Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Today, El Rey is delighting both connoisseurs and the newly initiated with its refined yet approachable taste. Their line of flavored tequilas offers a tantalizing detour from the traditional agave expressions, while still using their award winning Blanco as the base.

Sold at select BevMo and Total Wines & More locations, it is also a favorite of discerning stockists and mixologists who appreciate the way El Rey reimagines tequila’s classic flavor for the modern palette.

See a video of the competition below:


And more about El Rey at


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