Patrón Añejo Tequila
Review: Patrón Añejo Tequila 89/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on July 17, 2012
Patron Tequila is a pure 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The agave is 6 to 7 years old when harvested, and the heart of the plant or the piña is all that is used. These piñas are cut and slowly steamed in traditional masonry ovens for 79 hours, and then shredded placed into a traditional stone pit. Here they are broken into finer pieces with large stone milling wheels called “Tahonas”. The resulting juice is then fermented for 72 hours in a wooden fermentation vat, and distilled twice in copper pot stills.
Patrón Añejo Tequila is a blend of aged tequilas which all have been matured in small white oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
To the left is a J-peg photo of Patrón Añejo Tequila provided to me by Diamond Estates Wine and Spirits. The bottle is similar in shape to many of the Tequila bottles I have seen. I like that the bottle is sealed with a nice cork which gives me that nice satisfying ‘pop’ when I open it. Each bottle of the Añejo Tequila is hand numbered and (according to the Patron website) produced from recycled glass. One small niggle I have with the presentation is that the gold lettering is perhaps a little difficult to read against the backdrop of amber coloured spirit. A little more contrast would be helpful.
In the Glass 9/10
I poured out a sample of the Patrón Silver Tequila into my glencairn glass and began with a good look at the tequila spirit before I began to nose it. It is a yellow/amber coloured spirit showing the colour drawn from the oak barrels which housed it for more than 12 months. I gave the glass a light tilt and a slow swirl and discovered that a light sheen of tequila on the inside of the glass was slowly giving up some small droopy legs which fall easily back into the spirit.
When I brought the glass to my nose, light scents of caramel, sawdust, sandalwood and mildly punky agave were rising from the glass. The tequila is noticeably fuller and oakier than the previously reviewed Patrón Reposado which needed more coaxing to release the oaky scent of sandalwood. Scents of honey and vanilla find their way into the breezes, and the fully decanted glass reveals ‘earthy’ smells of broiled zucchini and oven baked squash. Things are very similar to the Reposado, but just a little firmer and well rounded in the Patrón Añejo Tequila.
In the Mouth 54/60
The Patrón Añejo Tequila is a smoother more relaxed expression of earthy agave than either the Patrón Silver or the Patrón Reposado. The initial flavour impressions I received as the spirit crossed my palate were nice imprints of sandalwood and punky agave fruit. As well I tasted bits of caramel, some honeycomb and deeper in I found hints of leather and perhaps even a little smoky dry fruit. A nice spicy black pepper trailed these initial flavour impressions yet remained connected to them. The light honeycomb and mild oakiness seemed to sooth the peppery nature of the tequila, and I found myself sipping a second glass rather easily. Although this tequila carries its share of spicy pepper, the overall flavour is not intense. Rather it seems spirited, but quietly confident (if that paradox makes any sense).
I mixed what has become my favourite Tequila cocktail for Añejo Tequila, The Maximiliano Tequila. The result was a nice sipping cocktail; although I admit, you must like the heat that a highland tequila generates to appreciate the cocktail. Next I constructed myself a Royal Alexandra Margarita. This cocktail was excellent, and in fact I would recommend this latter cocktail more highly when mixing with the Patrón Añejo Tequila. I believe this is because the spicy pepper of this Highland tequila is well suited to join with the lime citrus of a Margarita.
In the Throat 13/15
The Añejo Tequila leaves the palate with a flash of peppery heat and a fade of lightly sweet honeycomb and fruity agave. The finish kicks the tonsils a little; but overall, I found the exit to be quite appealing.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
I have now examined each of the Patrón Silvera, Reposado and Añejo Tequilas. The progression through this family of spirits was quite revealing. The Patrón Tequilas are all excellent examples of the highland agave style. They carry a sharp burst of pepper augmented by softer fruitier agave flavours. As I progressed up the ladder from the Silvera to the Reposado, and then to the Añejo I was aware of a noticeable increase in smoothness (and more balanced flavour) as I progressed. The subject of this review, the Patrón Anejo sits at the top of this ladder and is a wonderful example of the both the Highland and the Añejo style of tequila.
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
The Tequila Sunrise is a simple bar drink made in a ice filled glass with orange juice, silver tequila and grenadine. I recently began to experiment with the juice from blood oranges in the recipe, and then I went even further and used Patrón Añejo Tequila instead of a regular Silver Tequila. My new recipe, the Scarlet Ruse, tastes a little different; but it is just as delicious.
The Scarlet Ruse
1 3/4 oz Patrón Añejo Tequila
1 3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Juice of Blood Orange
3/4 oz Grenadine
Build over ice in an Old-Fashioned Glass
Note: This cocktail continues my series of Tequila cocktails named after the Travis McGee novels of American author John D. MacDonald. I have always like the Travis McGee novels, and the titles of these novels just seem to me to be particularly well suited to be also the names of great cocktails.
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing Tequila. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, (we are probably still cocktail in territory).
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing delicious cocktails!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)