What Is A NOM, And Why Does It Matter?

Have you ever thought what those numbers on your bottle of Tequila mean? Or how many Tequila brands are out there? Well, no worries, we are here to answer all those questions.

Tequila isn’t the notorious frat house party fuel that’s best washed down with fruit juice or a cheap beer anymore. After all, Tequila has such a rich history that it wouldn’t be wrong to call it the spirit of Mexico. Even though this drink is only produced in Mexico, there are over 1500 brands available, including those bottled both within and outside the country.

Tequila’s elevation in the United States is apparent, thanks to its

· Increased celebrity intrigue,

· Expanding popularity among American customers,

· And production volume.

While the growing number of tequila brands on the market ensures that our demands are met, it also means that selecting good Tequila requires more insight than ever. Fortunately, there is one definite technique to find the perfect bottle among the limitless sea of tequilas.

What is NOM?

NOM stands for Norma Oficial Mexicana, but they’re more commonly referred to as NORMAS in the business. The NORMAS reflect the legal criteria that tequila producers must follow when creating our beloved drink. NOM is a four-digit number representing the distillery where the Tequila is produced.

Some distilleries produce only one brand, while others produce several. These digits represent the distillery where the liquid was made. Because every tequila company is obligated to disclose its NOM on the back of its bottles, these numbers can be used to determine the validity and class of tequilas. It’s always better to opt for quality!

On behalf of the Mexican government, the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) assigns NOMs to each bottle so that Tequila connoisseurs can be sure it was created in Mexico.

Why Is NOM Important?

NOM is a method to get a closer look at that beautiful, crystalline bottle of Tequila. According to the global education ambassador for Volcán de Mi Tierra tequila, Adriana Baca, more than 1,400 registered tequila brands are on the market. Still, only around 140 approved tequila distilleries in Mexico.

Tequila quality indicators include,

· Ingredients,

· Environmental condition,

· Fermenting and distillation procedures used to manufacture

When it comes to Tequila, a NOM can be a sign of quality. It is a means to evaluate how much effort and care went into each bottle. It means it has met all of the Mexican government’s requirements and criteria.

Tequila consumers are often cautious of tequilas produced by mega-distilleries, as these massive operations frequently use flavor additives and diffusers in their tequilas to differentiate their brands — and are not obligated to declare this information on their labels.

Even if several bottles have the same NOM, this does not guarantee that they taste well. This means that they were all created in the same building with the same machines, but the agaves and flavors used were different.

Consumers may be startled to hear that Espolon shares a NOM (1440) with Cabo Wabo (initially founded by Sammy Hagar), a famous tequila from the 1990s. And that Herradura and El Jimador (1119) are distilled at the same site (Campari Mexico). If you search for Jose Cuervo’s NOM (1122), you’ll find its other 17 brands related to it, which could be a clue to either keep an eye out for it or avoid it if you’re not a fan.


According to Mexican law, Tequila must contain at least 51 percent sugars from Blue Agave, with the rest made up of a neutral spirit from cane sugar juice. Tequila must be aged at least 14-21 days, be created entirely of natural ingredients, and have a minimum alcohol content of 38%.

According to Mexican law, Tequila can be bottled with an ABV of 35% to 55%. However, it is commonly sold around 35 to 38 percent. A minimum of 40% is required in the US market, 43% in South Africa, and 37.5% in Europe.

Although NOMs serve as signs about which bottles to avoid, they can also be a beacon for discovery. Finally, these four digits allow us to discover a little bit more about where our Tequila comes from, as well as determine which Tequila is finest for our palates. If you don’t like it, explore what other brands have that NOM, and you can avoid them.

Aceves Spirits have three generations of tequila experience and are ready to help you build your private tequila brand from the ground up.

To learn more, contact us today.