Behind the scenes of Kendall Jenner’s Eight Reserve by 818 with Valerio Sommella
While we raise our glass, 818 Tequila is raising the bar through their transparent and sustainable process. Cheers!
818 Tequila, an award-winning hand-crafted tequila brand founded by Kendall Jenner, launches Eight Reserve by 818 – an ultra-premium Añejo Reserve.
“You know, at the end of the day, tequila is creating an emotion and a lifestyle and I think that’s one of the most fun parts about our job!” – Kendall Jenner, Founder 818 Tequila.
Unforgettable enticing shape. Distinct elevated pour. Infinite tequila enjoyment.
From its 1% for the Planet giveback to partnering with S.A.C.R.E.D. – a non-profit that supports Mexican communities where heritage agave spirits are made – and working with local, family-owned businesses in Jalisco, Mexico as well as sustainable suppliers, 818 Tequila embodies an emerging consumer ethos.
“The launch of Eight Reserve is a milestone moment for the 818 Tequila brand.
“We are constantly looking to innovate and with this new liquid we are building on what makes 818 Blanco, Reposado and Añejo so beautiful and complex and taking it to the next level!” says Kendall Jenner.
Made for passing hands – the inviting Eight Reserve bottle is just as special as its liquid.
This 750mL handcrafted white ceramic decanter is designed by Italian industrial designer Valerio Sommella and produced by artisans in Pachuca, Mexico with its ‘eight shape’ symbolizing a moment in 818’s history.
“Aged upto 8 years in French and American barrels, the tequila is a masterful Añejo blend that is wonderfully layered – we’re proud to introduce this delicious product!” David Yan González, Director of Tequila Operations at 818 Tequila adds.
The intriguing gripping story of this Añejo Reserve began with an ambitious goal – to become one of the greatest tequilas ever made.
In the heart of Jalisco, Mexico, 818’s Master Tequileros utilized their decades of expertise and passion to traditionally develop Eight Reserve by 818.
What emerged is this painstakingly crafted blend as harmonious as its unique, bringing a level of softness and depth rarely experienced in tequila – resulting in an elegant expression that is incredibly rich and silky smooth.
Light amber infused with copper hues – its true complexity with a magnified agave sweetness fills one’s nose along with the heavenly aroma of vanilla, clove, cinnamon, toasted nuts, honey, orange peel and black cherry.
Upon sipping it, this careful and precise luscious blend then bursts into the mouth with notes of cooked agave, vanilla, cinnamon, dried berries and praline as well as a prolonged aftertaste with fruit and spiced accents.
Fast-forwarding to Milan where Valerio Sommella met one of Jenner’s business partners – this is how the fascinating ‘making’ of the stunning Eight Reserve bottle set in motion.
“The industrial design was in my studio in Milan but when we got to prototyping, the workflow was spread across the globe – from the United States to Mexico, Milan and more.
We had this Añejo Reserve bottle chat where we exchanged a lot of references during the initial phases – vinyl records covers, cartoons, pottery, metal teapots…it was a constant flow of ideas and sketches” says Valerio Sommella.
For Sommella, the challenge was to find a shape that would be technically feasible as well as simply make everyone happy and his aim was to create a strong iconic piece – a bottle that would be instantly recognizable, perceived as precious and to be kept.
“It was a long process and the eclectic shape evolved through constant teamwork.
The choice of ceramic was something that the 818 Tequila team had in mind since the beginning – an exquisite material that would make the Eight Reserve bottles stand out next to others and ultimately, ceramic also was the only technical possibility for this design.
In order to keep it as minimal and clean as possible, we decided to go almost label-less.
We kept only the necessary information on a small sticker on the back – a simple solution that makes this bottle even more unique!
The final sample was then developed in Mexico, where all the bottles are currently being manufactured” he adds.
818 Tequila partnered with a producer in Pachuca, Mexico with over a hundred years of experience in ceramics – and today each and every bottle is crafted by hand by local artisans.
Fabricated through slip casting – these innovative one-of-a-kind Eight Reserve bottles are sustainably made with raw and recycled materials seamlessly combined to make a paste that is then poured into custom plaster molds in the shape of the bottle and meticulously sanded by hand once dried.
They’re fired for 13 hours in a kiln at 1,200 degrees Celsius before being glazed and intricately prepared for the Añejo to go inside.
None of them are the same but each awe-inspiring perfectly imperfect piece has a – magical soul and a spirit that is crafted with all the warmth.
“It’s been incredible to work alongside our team in Mexico to develop Eight Reserve!” says Jenner.
An ultimate expression of the 818 brand – this alluring white ceramic eight bottle with its refreshing natural palette stands out on a shelf and effortlessly fits in anyone’s home.
Its organic ergonomic design makes it easy to pour tequila, pass around the table with family and friends and it goes on to make for a beautiful piece of art after you’ve poured your last luxurious drop.
Made to be enjoyed neat while celebrating life’s special moments – it’s safe to say that Eight Reserve by 818 tastes and feels like no other tequila brand.
“I hope everyone loves it!” Sommella concludes.