Tequila: what does the NOM mean and why is it important?

Tequila: what does the NOM mean and why is it important?

Searching for a NOM on will reveal where the tequila was made and what other brands were also made at that distillery.

Photo: Nasim Didar / Pexels

Tequila is one of the most popular Mexican alcoholic beverages in the world. It is a drink with Denomination of Origin (DOT) in order to protect its title, origin and prestige. There are different elements that you must observe in a bottle in order to verify that it is an authentic tequila, and one of them is the NOM.

The United States, a great lover of tequila, is the country where the drink is exported the most, followed by Germany, Spain, Canada, France and Latvia. According to data from the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) in 2020, Mexico exported 254.2 million liters of tequila to the United States.

An authentic tequila must be produced in Mexico as indicated by its DOT. This covers all the municipalities of the state of Jalisco, in addition to certain regions of Nayarit, Michoacán, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas. Any other distilled tequilana weber blue variety agave beverage made in other areas is not legally tequila.

What is the NOM and why is it important?

The NOM (Official Mexican Standard) password consisting of four digits is a unique password issued for each company that produces tequila. It means that the bottle is authentic tequila produced in Mexico. In number it can be on the front or the back of the bottle.

With the NOM number you can know which producer your tequila comes from. NOMs can be shared. The brands that share NOM are produced by the same distillery.

Some NOMs are associated with dozens of brands of tequila. While some NOMs are unique to a brand, which indicates that the distillery is exclusively dedicated to the production of said tequila.

The Patron Tequila with the NOM 1492 is the only Hacienda Patron brand. The NOM 1122 of Tequila Cuervo is associated with two dozen brands.

Vine Pair notes that beverage professionals are often wary of products made in mega distilleries that have many brands, as these giant operations often use flavor additives and diffusers in their tequilas to create differences between the brands they produce.

It also points out that distilleries with so many brands of tequila are unlikely to pay as much attention to detail as an artisanal distillery small or family-owned that only produces a single brand.

Searching for a NOM online on sites like Tequila Matchmaker or from some brands like Patron will instantly reveal where the tequila was made and what other brands of tequila were also made at that distillery.

10 facts on the bottle that help you recognize authentic tequila

1. Type: Silver, Gold, Añejo, Extra-Añejo or Ultra-Añejo

2. Official password NOM (Official Mexican Standard) and authorized product number (4 digits)

3. Net content expressed in liters or milliliters

4. Name of the producer or company name and address of the producer and bottler

5. Beverage abuse warning label

6. The word TEQUILA

7. Registered Trademark

8. Category: (TEQUILA OR 100% AGAVE TEQUILA)

9. Percentage of alcohol by volume “Alc. Vol. ” (from 35% Alc. Vol. to 55% Alc. Vol.)

10. Text “MADE IN MEXICO” (in capital letters)

11. Lot number

Agave Spirits, Agave Eau de Vie, Agave Liquor and other similar beverages are not tequila.

You can consult the list of certified brands that is published on the website http://www.crt.org.mx, to avoid buying an apocryphal (false) or non-certified product.

The Certification Body of the Tequila Regulatory Council is the only Conformity Assessment Body accredited to certify compliance with the Tequila NOM.

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