LeBron-Backed Lobos 1707 Tequila Is Coming to Canada — Here’s What You Need To Know

Diego Osorio was walking to a meeting in Madison Square Park in New York City when his phone started ringing. “Yo, it’s LeBron James,” came the voice on the other end of the line. “Do you remember me?” Of course Osorio remembered. He was only the most famous NBA superstar in the world, and the greatest basketball player since Michael Jordan. “I heard you’re making a tequila,” LeBron said. “Is it any good?”

Osorio’s tequila, Lobos 1707, is indeed very good. The top-shelf product was something of a passion project for the Spanish actor, documentarian, investor and entrepreneur, and he had dedicated himself full-time to making his first-ever spirit as excellent as possible. Availing himself of the expertise of master distillers from Spain and Mexico, and following in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather, Osorio had developed a tequila worthy of the vaunted family history — and he knew it. “I think it’s pretty fucking good,” he told LeBron. It was enough to convince him. LeBron got on board as an early investor in the brand, and made Osorio a promise: “With this, we’re taking over the world.”

Lobos 1707 product shot in post

As Osorio recounts this story to me recently in the private VIP dining room of the Harbour 60 restaurant in downtown Toronto, he can’t help but laugh, as if this whole crazy experience were still a lark. He’s guiding me through a tasting of Lobos and its variations — Joven, Reposado, Extra Anejo, all magnificent, smooth-drinking, and packed with agave flavour. Down the hall, investors, friends, and members of the media are enjoying a cocktail party to celebrate the launch of Lobos 1707 here in Canada, where it is arriving in LCBO locations across Ontario.

The launch was nothing short of star-studded. LeBron himself, in town to play the Raptors with the Lakers the following evening, dropped by with his teammates Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony. Drake walked in, blinged out, to share a glass of Lobos with LeBron and then Diego. LeBron made the rounds, chatting with attendees and cheersing fans. “Toronto has always shown me so much love, it’s crazy,” LeBron said while making a toast to the crowd.

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After debuting to huge success in the United States, this splashy international premiere feels like the first step to making LeBron’s prophecy of world domination come true. Things are happening for the brand. Buzz is building. They’ve got hype, momentum. But they’ve still got so much more room to grow.

“I think we’re looking at tequila now the way we were looking at vodka back in 2008,” Osorio explains. “The market seemed saturated, but then something like Ciroc came in, and it blew up.” (The CEO of Lobos, helpfully, is the former CEO of Ciroc.) “Titos did 11 million cases of vodka last year in the US alone. 11 million. That’s about 300 million bottles — a bottle per American! That’s insanity. So if you see the trajectory of what vodka has done since then, I would not be surprised with tequila if you see the same thing.”

Lobos 1707 product shot in post

As for moving to Canada specifically, Osorio says it was “a natural fit.” The market here seemed prime for a top-shelf spirit of this calibre, and Canadian consumers, he feels, are already “so savvy” when it comes to tequilas, there’s no doubt they’ll understand what Lobos is doing. The plan is to begin with Ontario and the LCBO, “and if things go well, expand from there,” he says.

“I think the ceiling for tequila in Canada is absolutely huge,” he enthuses. “We’re only getting started.”