Ole Smoky Distillery, Gatlinburg, Tenn., announced they have closed upon a merger agreement with Tanteo Spirits LLC, one of the fastest growing ultra-premium tequila companies. This transaction marks the Tennessee-based distillery’s entry into the fast-growing tequila market, as it moves to diversify its portfolio across other high-growth spirits categories.

Founded in 2007, Tanteo’s namesake brand is renowned as the original spicy tequila made with real-pepper infusions. Distilled in partnership with the cooperatively owned Distilladora Juanacatlan, in 2022, the company sold more than 70,000 cases driven by consumer demand for versatile, ultra-premium tequila and its unique, high-quality infused products.

Inspired by the spicy Margarita, Tanteo manufactures four distinct infused tequilas ― spicy Jalapeño, extra-spicy Habanero, smoky Chipotle, and seasonal Navidad ― alongside its ultra-premium Blanco offering and the premium Espero brand. Most recently, Tanteo received several recognitions from the ASCOT Awards, including a Double Platinum Award, 2023 White Spirit of the Year, and Best Tequila for Tanteo Blanco and a Gold Award for Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila.  

Tanteo CEO Neil Grosscup and management will remain with the company, collaborating closely with the Ole Smoky team to further build on the brand’s success. Through this merger, the combined company will leverage Ole Smoky’s infrastructure and its sales and distribution network to significantly accelerate Tanteo’s growth.

“Tanteo was created to perfect the spicy Margarita through its artisanal infusion process, use of real peppers, and commitment to doing things the right way,” said Neil Grosscup, CEO of Tanteo, in a statement. “We are thrilled to join the Ole Smoky team and look forward to taking the brand to new heights while maintaining the high standards that our loyal consumers expect.” 

Robert Hall, CEO of Ole Smoky, added: “Ole Smoky continues to be one of the fastest growing spirits brands in the country. The addition of Tanteo to our portfolio further exemplifies the quality and reputation that we pride ourselves on, and we are excited to leverage our resources to introduce the Tanteo brand to even more consumers across the country.”