Clase Azul : The Tequila That Costs Up To $30,000 A Bottle

LONDON (CNNMoney) — Luxury tequila is having a moment right now. And Mexico’s Clase Azul tequila brand is capitalizing on the craze.

Clase Azul — which sells bottles ranging from $100 to $30,000 each — has been served at some highly exclusive affairs, including movie premieres, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and celebrity parties.

The label has come a long way since it launched in 1997. Mexican founder Arturo Lomeli admits his first tequila was low-cost, “terrible” and packaged with a tacky sombrero and mustache.

Lomeli decided to go back to school to get a master’s degree in luxury marketing to elevate his brand. He quickly learned about the value of crafting a higher quality product in unique packaging

Clase Azul tequilas are now sold in hand-sculpted, hand-painted ceramic decanters that are shaped like massive restaurant-style pepper grinders.

“We started thinking in terms of exclusivity, in terms of giving the best that we can to those who can really appreciate it,” he said.

Lomeli said he first became known as a high-end tequila craftsman in 2007 when he launched a $1,200 bottle of dark amber Clase Azul Ultra. It was simply intended to cause a stir on the tequila scene, rather than become an enduring product.

“We didn’t imagine that we were going to be in the business of selling super expensive bottles regularly,” he said.

Lomeli considers himself lucky that he launched his luxury spirits as Americans were getting a taste for premium tequila.