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Former Bacardi CEO Mike Dolan Unveils Super-Premium Tequila Mijenta

September 1, 2020

Former Bacardi CEO Mike Dolan is launching a new super-premium Tequila label. Mijenta, whose name is derived from the Spanish for “my people,” is made by Maestra Tequilera Ana Maria Romero—a 25-year industry veteran—using fully mature Blue Weber agave grown in red clay soil. Mijenta debuts with a Blanco ($50 a 750-ml.), while a Reposado—aged for six months in oak casks—is scheduled for later this year. Two additional expressions are also planned. Mijenta’s initial target markets include the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Australia. With Tequila enjoying rapid growth—up 46% in IRI channels in the four weeks ended August 9—Mijenta is aiming to capture a slice of the luxury segment dominated by Bacardi’s Patrón. Shanken News Daily spoke with Dolan ahead of the launch.

SND: How do you approach launching a brand during a pandemic?

Dolan: This is a great opportunity. Weak brands are going to get washed out in the cleansing of the economy, and people are going to look for things that have more authenticity. We will pursue e-commerce strongly from the very beginning. Then 30, 60, 90 days later, we’ll do more of a traditional rollout with distributors, retailers and bars as they come back. We’ll be in the key locations in the U.S., Europe, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia.

SND: What types of accounts are you mainly partnering with?

Dolan: We’re putting an emphasis on people who are likeminded and share the same values. This is a brand with a very strong ethos, and the liquid is fantastic. Ana has put her heart and soul into this thing. The packaging is beautiful. So we’re going to partner only with the best distributors, bars, restaurants and retailers. We’re positioning the brand with appreciation for the culinary aspect: the materials out of which it’s made, how everything was picked, the attention to detail.

SND: Tastings and events are usually a big part of a brand’s launch. How are you getting liquid to lips?

Dolan: We’re going to do a lot of virtual tastings with Ana, who will talk through the various flavor profiles. Then we’ll follow up those virtual events with live in-person tastings as soon as people are able to start moving around the world again.

SND: How many cases are you aiming for with this brand?

Dolan: Mijenta will find its own level. We’re going to stay true to being a super-premium Tequila, and it begins in the fields. Not every field produces the quality of agave that we need, and we’re not going to cut any corners. It really is a unique proposition, not only the quality of the product, but the support for the community and the commitment to sustainability as well. It’s an entire package and we’ll see how big a resonance we get with the consumer we’re targeting. Then we’ll go back and say, how much of this can we produce to the standards that we have set for ourselves?

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