ATOTONILCO, Jalisco, Mexico – It’s no accident that people recognize Patrón as the world’s highest-quality ultra-premium tequila. Every step in producing this fine spirit – from harvesting the Weber Blue agave in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, to the centuries-old distillation process, to the individual labeling, packaging, and inspection of each bottle – is done with the careful precision and care that can be accomplished only by hand.
It starts with the agave. Patrón’s characteristic smoothness and layers of flavor stem from using the finest, highest-quality Weber Blue agave that grows in the rich volcanic soils in the hillsides of this region. These agave plants, which take an average of eight years to mature and develop the right sugar levels needed to produce Patrón, are hand cultivated in the fields by skilled workers called “jimadors” and then transported to Patrón’s distillery, Hacienda del Patrón, in the small town of Atotonilco.
After arriving at the distillery, the hearts of the agave plant, called piñas, are loaded by hand into small masonry ovens. This time-honored method of cooking agave (a process not found in most modern industrial tequila distilleries) slow-roasts small batches for 79 hours. When the sweet, rich agave emerges from the ovens it is macerated, fermented and distilled using two uniquely separate processes, the centuries-old tahona process and the more modern roller mill process, which both produce distinctive tequilas that are ultimately blended together to create Patrón.
In the tahona process, a large volcanic stone wheel slowly crushes the shredded cooked agave, which is then placed (agave juice and agave fiber both) into pine wood casks for fermentation. Hand-made copper pot stills then take over the next step, distillation. In this process, the fermented “mosto” is distilled once with the agave fiber, then distilled again without, before it is fine filtered and balanced to produce the final tequila.
Concurrently on the other side of the distillery, cooked agave in the roller mill process is shredded and the agave juice is placed in pine wood casks for fermentation (without the agave fibers). Like the tahona process, the next step after fermentation is double distillation in copper pot stills, but again without the agave fiber.
The two finished tequilas – from the tahona side and the roller mill side – are then carefully blended together to create the final product, Patrón tequila. Every batch of this fine spirit is personally tasted and approved by Patrón’s master distiller, Francisco Alcaraz, who developed this unique and meticulous recipe and process.
“Our passion for excellence, quality and perfection guides everything we do. Though Patrón has grown, our careful, time-consuming process has never changed,” says Alcaraz. “Instead of building bigger stone ovens, or bigger fermenters and pot stills, we’ve actually replicated the original small batch process many times over, essentially creating a dozen little distilleries under our one roof. That’s how we’ve been able to maintain our consistent high quality.”
Patrón’s careful attention to detail and high level of craftsmanship carries through into the bottling and packaging room as well. Over 60 hands touch and inspect each bottle as it moves from person to person, each labeling, numbering, and wrapping the bottles. A piece of art unto themselves, bottles with even the slightest imperfection are taken off the production line immediately. Each bottle is then hand-polished, and a ribbon is hand-tied around the neck.
Every drop in every bottle of Patrón sold around the world is produced and packaged in this scenic village in Mexico.
The Patrón portfolio includes:
Gran Patrón Burdeos (80 proof)
Limited-production Gran Patrón Burdeos starts with hand selecting the most exceptional agave plants from the harvest. After distillation, this añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of 12 months. It is then distilled again before it is racked in vintage Bordeaux barrels, adding the distinctive flavors of vanilla, raisins and dried fruit found in the finest Bordeaux wine. Gran Patrón Burdeos is beautifully packaged in a crystal bottle placed inside a handsome rounded display case that accentuates the dark color of the añejo tequila.
Gran Patrón Piedra (80 proof)
This extraordinary limited-production extra añejo tequila is crafted entirely from the tahona process, and then meticulously aged for more than three years in new American and French oak barrels for a deep mahogany color and sweet, subtle aroma of fruit, fresh mushroom, light citrus, and toasted French oak. The distinctive Gran Patrón Piedra bottle, which was inspired by the tahona stone, is numbered and packaged in an elegant box that converts into a beautiful display case.
Gran Patrón Platinum (80 proof)
Like Gran Patrón Burdeos, Gran Patrón Platinum starts with the finest agave from the harvest, meticulously removing any leftover sprouts to eliminate any bitterness before baking. This ultra-smooth silver tequila is triple distilled, aged for a limited time, and then blended to create the finest sipping tequila in the world. The Gran Patrón Platinum etched crystal bottle comes in an elegant black presentation case.
Patrón Silver (80 proof)
Patrón Silver is a crystal clear, pure ultra-premium tequila. This soft and light tequila is characterized by a fresh, smooth taste, without the flavor of oak. Delicious neat or on the rocks, or in a margarita, Patrón Silver is also highly versatile, making it the perfect spirit for any number of mixed cocktails.
Patrón Añejo (80 proof)
Patrón Añejo is a delicate blend of uniquely aged tequilas, all aged in small white oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months. Similar to winemaking, each vintage of Patrón Añejo is carefully blended to produce a smooth and distinctive-tasting tequila.
Patrón Reposado (80 proof)
Aged in oak barrels for at least two months, Patrón Reposado is blended to combine the fresh clean taste of Patrón Silver with a hint of the oak flavor found in Patrón Añejo. Excellent as a sipping tequila, Patrón Reposado is also a key ingredient in an ultra-premium margarita or most any cocktail.
Patrón XO Cafe (70 proof)
Patrón XO Cafe is an extraordinary blend of ultra-premium tequila and the pure, natural essence of fine coffee. The taste is dry, not sweet as with most low-proof coffee liqueurs. Patrón XO Cafe is excellent for sipping, as a cocktail ingredient or as a unique and delicious dessert topping.
Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa (60 proof)
Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa combines high-quality Patrón Silver tequila with the extraordinary essence of fine coffee and Criollo chocolate from Mexico to create a unique and enjoyable ultra-premium coffee liqueur. Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa marries the smooth, dry taste of Patrón XO Cafe with the decadence of rich chocolate and light tequila.
Patrón Citrónge (80 proof)
Patrón Citrónge is a premium reserve, extra fine orange liqueur. With no artificial flavors or chemical enhancers, Patrón Citrónge is excellent enjoyed straight, in a cocktail or a gourmet cooking recipe. Also, together with Patrón tequila, it’s the perfect ingredient for an authentic margarita.
Patrón is produced and marketed by Patrón Spirits International. The company’s portfolio also includes the Pyrat line of fine Caribbean rums (Pyrat XO Reserve and Pyrat Cask 1623), and Ultimat ultra-premium Polish vodka. For more information, please visit www.patronspirits.com.