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512 Tequila vs 818: Which is Better? (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Lydia Martin

512 tequila and 818 have attracted so much attention because of the trademark infringement claim of 512 against Kendall Jenner’s 818.

In this in-depth 512 tequila vs 818 review, we will compare the two tequilas to see which one is better. Read on. 

818 & 512 Tequila In-Depth Comparison

818 & 512 Tequila on desk 

818 and 512 tequila are rival competitors not just in trademark but in tasting notes and history.

The two tequilas are unique because their brand names came from area codes connected to the company. 

While 818 and 512 tequila share a similar distillery, they do not have the same owners. 818 is owned by Kendall Jenner, while Scott Willis owns 512 tequila. 

Moreover, they have different production processes that result in different tasting notes.  

Main Differences 

Main Differences 

Origin & History

The two tequila brand names are unique and sentimental because it pays homage to something connected to their brand.

512 tequila was first launched in 2012, and the brand name “512” is the local area code for Austin, where its headquarters is located. 

On the other hand, it seems like 818 is very sentimental with its brand name because “818” is the area code for Los Angeles San Fernando Valley, where Jenner grew up.

The brand first released 818 tequila in 2021, but in just a year, it gathered 16 awards already [1]. 

Read: Is Adictivo Tequila Any Good?

Production & Maturation Process

Production & Maturation Process

512 tequila uses the blue agave from central lowlands in Jalisco, Mexico, and volcanic spring water for distillation. 

The distillery uses horno stone ovens to roast the agaves and shredder/roller maceration to extract the juices. It is then fermented and triple distilled in pot stills and undergoes 24-hour charcoal filtration before maturation. 

Meanwhile, 818 uses 7-year-old agaves for the tequila, and the distillery cooks it for 40 hours.

The distillery uses large stone tahonas to extract the juice, and the liquid undergoes 70 hours of fermentation before distillation twice. 

Age Statement

512 tequila has three tequila types: Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo.

Blanco is directly bottled after charcoal filtration; Reposado is rested for six months in wood barrels, while Añejo is matured longer than 12 months. 

818 tequila has the same types. However, the Blanco is rested in oak barrels for additional vanilla notes.

Reposado is matured in American and French oak barrels for at least two months, while Añejo is aged longer than one year. 

Read: What’s The Worst Tequila?

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

512 Tequila

  • Palate: Vanilla, alcohol, sweet agave, caramel, orange peel, mint, fruit, citrus
  • Nose: Caramel, sweet agave, vanilla, white pepper
  • Color: Clear to light amber
  • Finish: Smooth, long, mild intensity, peppery with a touch of tannin dryness, and sweet finish

818 Tequila

818 Tequila on table with cocktail

  • Palate: Sweet agave, tropical and citrus fruits, vanilla, caramel, and herbal notes
  • Nose: Lemongrass, chamomile, mild floral elements, fruit accents, caramel, orange peel
  • Color: Clear to light amber
  • Finish: Ultra smooth, crisp, bright, with notes of almond, toasted coconut, pecan pie, and key lime

Ownership & Distillery

Ownership & Distillery

Based on the NOM [2] label of both spirits, 512 tequila and 818 share the same distillery: La Cofradia (NOM 1137). However, they do not share the same production process. 

In addition, 512 tequila is owned by Scott Willis, an entrepreneur, while 818 tequila is owned by Kendall Jenner, a model and reality TV star.  

Price & Value

Both tequila brands are good value for money; however, 512 tequilas are cheaper than 818 tequilas.

In addition, given the price point of 512, it has a unique production process than 818. 

512 Tequila vs 818 Lawsuit: Logo & Color Scheme

512 Tequila vs 818 Lawsuit: Logo & Color Scheme

512 tequila is suing 818 for trademark infringement because the logo and color used for their branding are almost similar – area code as brand name, yellow box label, and bold black font. 

Another lawsuit in 2021 claimed that a mobile app game, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” promotes 818 tequila but uses a 512 tequila image.  

As of this writing, there are no updates about this lawsuit yet.

512 & 818 Tequila Price Comparison Chart

Brand Size Alcohol Content Average Price
512 Tequila Anejo 750 ml 40% Around $40.99
Tequila 512 Reposado 750 ml 40% Around $34.99
1 L 40% Around $39.19
Tequila 512 Blanco 375 ml 40% Around $21.44
750 ml 40% Around $31.99
818 Tequila Añejo 750 ml 40% Around $64.99
818 Tequila Reposado 750 ml 40% Around $54.99
818 Tequila Blanco 750 ml 40% Around $45.99

*Average prices are based on Drizly. Prices may vary in local liquor shops.

FAQs 

Which is smoother, 512 Tequila or 818?

512 tequila is smoother than 818. 512 tequila is distilled thrice and has a sweet flavor profile, high fruity notes, grass, mint, and vanilla, making it smoother than 818. 

Is 512 tequila sweeter than 818?

No, 818 is sweeter than 512 tequila. The 818 tequila markets newer generations who are more likely to enjoy the tequila’s overly sweet flavor profile than the traditional taste of 512.

Final Verdict 

It was a close fight between 512 and 818. However, 512 got the upper hand. 512 has the right balance of flavor profile, enough sweetness, and a great price.

It is smoother and easier to drink as a shooter or mix in margaritas. 

On the other hand, if you have a soft spot for drinking sweet tequila, you can try 818. It may be more expensive compared to 512, but it’s still worth a try. 

References:

  1. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/818-tequila-is-the-best-selling-new-tequila-of-2021-in-the-united-states-301446525.html 
  2. https://www.ul.com/news/meeting-official-norms-mexico-nom-compliance-sell-products

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