When is a bottle of tequila not a bottle of tequila?  When it's a work of art.

1800 Tequila has recently begun an “Essential Artists” campaign.  1800's website lists 9 different artists who are taking part in the campaign, each of whom has a distinct style.  The normal writing that appears on the face of the pyramidal tequila bottle is off  on the sides and the outside back wall of the bottle contains the picture which is seen clearly when viewed from the front of the bottle.

The bottle I received had a wonderful picture on it by Glenn Barr, an artist from Detroit.  In this instance certainly Barr's work resembles, if you can picture it, sort of a pop art representation of a “B” movie.  It features a woman in the grasp of a man who was attempting to kiss her.  Placed over a yellow background with blue water droplets (I'm going to call them water droplets anyway, they were the right shape an color), the picture seems full of desire.

Actually, the whole thing was full of tequila, 100 percent agave 80 proof tequila.  As I stated when I reviewed a bottle of 1800 tequila a few months back, I am not a tequila aficionado, I do know however what I like.  The other bottle I reviewed was an 1800 Select Silver and 100 proof, I quite enjoyed it but remarked that no matter what the press material said it wasn't a James Bond kind of tequila (and, please note, despite his being all flawed and angry in Quantum of Solace he still didn't go for tequila).

With some of the 1800 Select Silver still present in my liquor cabinet, and this new bottle of 1800 Silver present, it seemed like the perfect time for a blind taste test.

Two equal measures of 1800 were poured and I left the room so that an impartial observer could ensure that I wouldn't be able to determine which glass contained which tequila on sight.  I sat, cleared my palate, and took an ever-so-delicate sip from the first glass.  I noted that it burned slightly, but had a nice, semi-smoky taste.  After a drink of some water, I took up the second glass.  I instantly noticed that it burned the nostrils slightly more and, upon drinking it burned the throat slightly more as well.  The taste was quite similar, there was just more of it.

After going back and forth with a few more sips from each glass, I noted that while I enjoyed both, I would opt for the first glass's tequila over the second's.  The tequila selected, I learned was from the 1800 Essential Artists bottle, not the Select Silver.  I assume that the reason the Select Silver burned more is it's higher alcohol content.

Of course, the preceeding two paragraphs are a hugely unscientific, unrefined attempt attempt at choosing a bottle of tequila, but, then again, if you're looking for a nice looking bottle of tequila and it's in the correct price range, the 1800 Essential Artists bottle does look far better than the Select Silver.

The pieces of art on the bottles all have something to recommend them, from mythical looking figures to the pop-esque bottle I received to more abstract ones, and each bottle is individually numbered, with 1800 designs of each bottle being produced.

The 1800 website currently also allows one to design a bottle online, and, if one is so inclined they can even then download the appropriate templates, put a little more effort into designing a bottle, and actual order – for the bargain price of $225 – a bottle with their own artwork.  It may be an expensive holiday gift, but it could be a pretty cool one too.  It does however take 2-3 weeks to produce the bottle, so get those orders in soon.

An 1800 Essential Artists bottle of tequila costs far less than that price, and may actually be nicer to look at than anything I might design, so I'll probably just stick with that, but it's nice to know that the option is there.