The Patrón Spirits Company—producer of high-quality tequila—has managed to place its brand as a symbol of exceptionalism. The label has benefited from the growing demand for Mexico’s most famous spirit. Their premium line Roca Patron—a series of luxury tequilas produced using the Tahona method for crushing the agave—has received a praiseworthy reception from the specialized press since its launch in March of 2015. Patrón now introduces a new limited edition of a delicate blend aged for seven years under the moniker Patron Añejo 7 Años.
This batch, limited to 700 cases, is derived from two completely different methods of tequila production. First, the company took tequila produced by the Tahona method, which uses a single circular stone to crush the cooked agave pinecones, and their juices and fibers are included in the fermentation process. This is a slow process that preserves the purity and identity of the original tequila.
The second tequila blend was obtained from a more common method used by the tequila industry, in general, in which the agave pinecones are squeezed by rolls that separate the fiber and the juice. Both processed materials were separately fermented in pine barrels. They were later distilled in small copper stills. The two spirits were finally mixed for aging in toasted oak barrels brought from France.
The complex process of aging tequila takes place in Jalisco, a state in Mexico’s west coast. High temperatures and humidity conditions can damage the maturing process if the period lasts longer than two years. In this case, the special conditions offered by the toasted oak barrels and the conditioned tanks allowed an unprecedented aging pattern, which gives the spirit a unique personality.
The original idea for this special batch of approximately 30 barrels was to age the blend just one year to avoid damaging its balance of flavors. But year after year, master distiller Francisco Alcaraz, decided to continue the aging process as he detected the distinctive evolution this special batch offered.
The result is this unique limited edition, which, by chance, became the longest aged tequila produced in the Patrón Hacienda. This tequila boasts a strong presence on the palate but is not aggressive. Its flavor is clearly defined by toasted wood, dried fruits, and a spiciness that reminds us of black pepper. Also on the palate, you’ll find citrus overtones and a subtle sweetness reminiscent of caramel or honey. When we think of aged tequila, we expect a very strong drink. But in this case, what we find is a delightfully mild experience that showcases the complexity of flavors and provides a spicy finish that reveals its origin. An invitation to review some of the best tequila labels. ■