Donkey Piss Tequila: What's In a Name?

Donkey Piss Tequila: What's In a Name?

Bottom Line: the name is the name - one will follow one’s own counsel on the name on the bottle without help from us. But with respect to the tequila, we call it competent and even appealing to those who like a little wood char on the finish. We particularly like it for margaritas and served in macho settings.

Now for the details.

Let’s address the most obvious issue right up front: Donkey Piss? They really named their tequila Donkey Piss? In thinking through this, the name is baffling to us. While there are lots of colorful tequila names on the market (Fat Ass comes to mind) there’s something less playful here then the sultry or the comedic. It’s like naming something “Vile Juice” or “Repulsive Reposado.” Why do that? Particularly if you’re proud of the quality? After all, the full name is Donkey Piss Ultra Premium Tequila. Is this reverse psychology? Can one really imagine going to an upscale bar, dressed up, with a fine date on the arm, and saying, “We’d like two margaritas, shaken on ice please, and served up with a twist… and please use your Donkey Piss tequila.” Or if you’re celebrating a promotion at the bar with your friends and colleagues can you imagine saying, “Bartender, this is a party… take this Patron away and bring out the Donkey Piss!!”

The marketing provides a tale about a Juan Jose Garcia Gomez who sets out seeking a legendary cache of buried gold with his donkey Dolito. After some time, Dolito eventually stomps and pisses on a mound washing the dirt away from a bottle that ultimately reveals the buried gold. Gomez promptly uses it to found his tequila. To honor Dolito, he names it not Dolito Tequila or Fortunate Gold Tequila but rather Donkey Piss. *sigh*

Instead, we have to guess that it’s evoking some kind of machismo. That rugby players or similar take shots of it - perhaps garnished with the sweat of a willing coed’s navel - and shake their jowls and howl upon swallowing. If so, why does one submit for a review or other critical assessment? Surely the name speaks for itself in that kind of scenario. Are we to assess it purely for its heat and appeal with navel perspiration?

The bottle itself doesn’t shy from this image. We get a smirking donkey on the front (fortunately we’re preserved from seeing the donkey’s member on the bottle despite its association with its piss) with rear donkey on the back of the bottle and an admonition “Don’t be an ass.” The website suggests you “get pissed with Donkey Piss.”

Well, we can say this is not your mother’s sipping tequila.

In any event, we have a bottle of Donkey Piss Reposado to taste. Attempting to cover both ends of the spectrum we brought in Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado (not the Especial Gold, which is a mixto, but the 100% agave version), thinking this would be a familiar shooting tequila. Then we also tested against the Gran Centenario Reposado, which to our mind has always been one of the better and reasonably priced reposados on the market. Will the Piss prevail? Here are our unbridled, unrestrained results in several different styles:


Jose Cuervo Tradicional

Gran Centenario

Donkey Piss


So here we are with just the spirit and a glass; we drop a little ice in at a certain point to see how things change.

A burn relative to the centenario… much lighter agave. Almost no color. Not as good. Finishes a bit harsh. Disconcerting. Ice improves things quite a bit… palatable on a little ice but not really a sipper.

Clear loser. No question but this is the lesser of the 3 tequilas.

Butter and agave; light and sweet… smooth profile. Goes down with little needle and just a touch of warmth. Not scorching or burning… but warming.

Disputed winner. Most approved of the lighter, warming touch.


Smells light and a little citrus. Thick oily mouthfeel with a brash, bitter aftertaste. There’s no burn at all and goes down smooth, viscous, and oily. Sticks to the tongue. Char barrel lovers will like the bitter, asphalt finish. Others will not. Ice improves quite a bit… gets rid of the asphalt finish.

A minority opinion preferred the charred, viscous, lingering taste.


Absolute fresh, classic version: 1½oz of tequila, ½oz of fresh lime juice; ½oz of agave syrup; shaken on ice.  

It’s drinkable. Just your standard, decent margarita.

Bad… not as good. There’s a funk that developed here. A kind of off-chocolate aroma.

Clear loser. Don’t know what happened here… something about the Centenario hates lime and sugar .

This mixed quite nicely and made an interesting drink. It has some character, particularly with the char finish. The agave somewhat fades.

Clear winner. The margarita components tame those elements that we found disconcerting in a neat preparation.

Tequila Sunrise

Again, the classic version: juice from ½ of a fresh orange; 1½oz of tequila; a float of authentic grenadine (we use Stirrings).

Lovely drink… little tequila. With all fresh ingredients tastes very, very nice. No complaints. Has the most agave of the three.

There is no tequila taste here. So smooth it vanishes. This is good if you’re drinking pitcher after pitcher.

Disputed winner. In this drink, the tequila vanishes completely and had the widest appeal.

Tequila comes out better but has an odd corkboard flavor. Distinctive but not exactly right. This has an audience… but it will be niche.

Minority opinion found this a more compelling taste than the scarily easy-drinking Centenario.

Mexican Coffee

5oz fresh brewed coffee, ½oz of Kahlua, 1½ tequila; top with whipped cream.

Here, the tequila largely vanishes but leaves a faint taste of alcohol. Okay.

The tequila only vanishes.

Again, the tequila vanishes… yet it’s still a starkly different drink than the Cuervo. And a bit better… the corkboard does indeed go well with coffee.

Clear winner: the odd flavors and lingering feel seem to work well with fruit and coffee.


What did we learn?

First, despite any stuffy complaints we have about the name, we will stand by the notion that Donkey Piss is a highly competent tequila. While it doesn’t serve especially well as a sipping tequila, it has a distinctive flair that works quite well for a certain audience in common cocktail settings. In particular, margaritas - that most popular of all Mexican cocktails - is a particular recommendation of ours. Bachelor parties (bachelorette parties?), weekend warrior sports teams celebrations, biker rallies… these are probably all events that would serve Donkey Piss with some pride.

[Disclosures: we received a bottle of Donkey Piss free of charge to review; all other products mentioned were purchased ourselves.]

 by Neal MacDonald, Editor

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