What does NOM mean on a tequila bottle?


word a day NOM

What is a NOM? Here is a quote from: Official Mexican Standard for Tequila NOM-006-SCFI-2005 Alcoholic Beverages – Tequila – Specifications:

This NOM applies to all processes and activities related to the supply of agave, production, bottling, marketing, information and business practices linked to the distilled alcoholic beverage known as Tequila, pursuant to the specifications of this NOM. Said beverage is subject to the process detailed below, using Agave of the species tequilana weber blue variety, grown in the federal states and municipalities indicated in the Declaration.

Furthermore, this NOM establishes the technical specifications and legal requirements for the protection of the Appellation of Origin of “Tequila,” in accordance with the current General Declaration of Protection of the Appellation of Origin of “Tequila,” the Law, the Industrial Property Law, the Federal Consumer Protection Law and other related legal provisions.

NOM is DOC, AOC or Apellation

NOM is DOC, AOC or Apellation


But seriously, what does all of that mean?  The NOM is a little number on the back of every 100% agave bottle of tequila.  If you are drinking a mixto, close your computer right now and ask yourself,

“Why don’t I have any standards? Why am I human garbage?”

See the NOM pictured below:

this is where you find the NOM

this is where you find the NOM

The NOM is the Norma Oficial Mexicana or, in English, the Normative Number.  It is a seal guaranteeing that this tequila or mezcal is made to government standards.  Read all of those rules here and learn which tequilas are made at the same distillery on tequila.net .

The NOM rules are basically a book report on how to make tequila and the NOM number names the tequila’s distillery.

The number designates the owner of the distillery and each brand leaving that distillery, will bear that number. The NOM is a little number that graces all of Mexico’s agave bottles that decided to pay taxes or legally be recognized as tequila. The NOM is the best friend of the realist and the worst enemy of the marketer.  The NOM defines tequila:

let's define tequila together!

let’s define tequila together!

This does not mean that every tequila brand from the listed NOM is the same distillate or the same agave harvested from the same farm; but it could. At the least, NOMs produce tequilas that are quite similar and when a brand moves to a new distillery, the flavor changes.  There can be many exceptions to expected rules in tequila:

wait, put the what now in the where?

wait, put the what now in the where?

A famous example of this is how Patron is made at 5 or so different distilleries these days.  The brand originated at NOM —,the distillery where 7 Leguas is made now.  Tequila nerds often point this out in discussing a more authentic brand, but in reality it’s a completely different brand. As for Patron, I dare you to do a blind taste with it VS other blancos. If you are a Patron fan, you might find that it’s lighter than you’d remember. If you are a Patron hater, I’d first point out, you have 5 or so distilleries to narrow your hatred down too, and that Patron is likely both better and more expensive than you remember.  Also, remember, tequila isn’t always what it appears to be.  You need to ask the hard questions.

photo 2 (1)

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1 Response to What does NOM mean on a tequila bottle?

  1. Pingback: The New Cocktail Vernacular, The Acronym Suite is over, the “New Vodkas” are next |

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