Patrón Tequila is one of the finest Ultra-Premium Tequila brands on the market. Currently, their product portfolio counts more than 35 different products. Many of them are rare, long-aged, limited edition Tequilas. But the brand is not only famous for the Tequila alone. The iconic hand-blown bottles are just as popular.
Like all Tequilas, Patrón is made from the heart (piña) of the Blue Weber Agave. And if you want to visit them and see their production, you can do so in their Hacienda Patrón. This exclusive place is located in the Atotonilco el Alto in the highlands of Jalisco. Let's have a closer look at the brand, their different types of Tequila, and the other products sold by the brand.
History of Patrón
When looking at the brand's name, one can already guess what their creators were after. Patrón literally translates to "boss". And as a boss, you want to control the market and not just be part of it. However, the beginnings of Patrón weren't all that boss-like. So let's see how it began and how the brand grew into what it is today.
It all began in 1989 when John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley decided to create their own Tequila. DeJoria, a self-made billionaire and founder of Paul Mitchell hair brand, and Crowley saw a gap in the American Tequila market. Because, back at the time, it was almost impossible to get high-quality Tequila in the States.
In collaboration with freelance distilling consultant Francisco Alcaraz, they created their first batches in the historic Siete Leguas distillery. With the help of this family-run distillery, the first batch of Tequila hit the market in the same year. But distribution wasn't as easy.
DeJoria didn't have the time to focus on Patrón, so Crowley had to do most of the distribution. After modest success with their first partner, Jim Beam, Crowley moved to Seagram as their distributor. It was due to that move that DeJoria and Crowley met Ed Brown. Brown worked at Seagram and was part of the team collaborating with Patrón and is responsible for a great deal of Patrón's success.
It wasn't long until Ed Brown got promoted and took care of Seagram's Asian Pacific market. Meanwhile, Seagram wanted to industrialize the production of Patrón. Something Crowley and DeJoria weren't thrilled about. Eventually, they sued Seagram, claiming the new production methods couldn't produce the same quality product. Within a short time, their freelance distiller Alcaraz was able to prove this statement, and Crowley won the case.
At this stage, Patrón was still a small brand, not even selling 100,000 cases per year. But this should change soon. Despite the disputes with Seagram, the connection to Brown never broke off, and when he heard that Patrón was looking for a CEO, he put himself forward.
The rise of Patrón
When Ed Brown took over as CEO of Patrón, DeJoria and Crowley were already selling 120,000 cases of Tequila per year. A massive success for the brand but peanuts for Brown, who handled way bigger brands before. Plus, at this stage, Patrón was in somewhat of a deadlock. Relatively low volume and high production cost caused by producing in an external distillery limited the possibilities. Therefore, Brown knew they needed to manufacture their Tequila in their own distillery.
So Brown took matters into his own hands and started to build up Patrón. He created Patrón Spirits company to streamline import and distribution, hired trusted Salesmen, positioned Patrón as a competitor of Vodka, and changed the branding to the new two-word slogan "simply perfect."
He also started to build the Hacienda Patrón. The place where he wanted to distill the Tequila. However, when their external distillers, Siete Leguas, found out about this, they immediately stopped producing for Patrón. Suddenly, Brown and Patrón Tequila were left with just unaged Silver Tequila on hand. No Reposado and also no Añejo were available. Now they had to speed up the process of building their own distillery. And they did. Within only six months, the new pot still was up and running. -Even though it was more or less just a shack when they started producing the first batches.
Half a year later, the Campari group almost bought the company. Crowley thought it would be the right time to do so, and both parties had already agreed to general terms. Yet, the unfortunate and sudden death of Crowley changed plans. Brown convinced DeJoria not to sell and instead continue to grow the brand.
He put all his money into Patrón in exchange for equity. With only Silver Tequila at hand, Brown solely focused on promoting that. And he turned an apparent weakness into the biggest blessing. The marketing message around Patrón Silver Tequila was so good that Patrón took the market by storm. Even celebrities unofficially promoted the spirit and intensified the effect.
Two years later, in 2005, the brand sold half a million cases per year. And another year down the road, they hit the million-cases-per-year mark.
Patrón didn't stop there. First, they added Reposado and Añejo offerings to their portfolio. Later on, they addressed the premium market and started to sell their Gran Patrón. These bottles were first released in 2004 and sold for around $200 per bottle. Then, three years later, they introduced the even more expensive Burdeos line. The latest addition to the luxury product lines is a Tequila sold in Lalique crystal decanters. Those ultra-premium bottlings sell for around $7,500.
And still, the triumph march went on. In 2008, when almost every company was hit hard by the financial crisis, Patrón made another bold move. While others were reducing their marketing expenses, Patrón even increased their spending. That once and for all cemented Patróns position in the liquor industry.
Since 2018, the Bacardi Group owns Patrón. But this acquisition was not cheap. The buying price was over 5 billion dollars. Unnecessary to mention, this was multiple times what Campari offered in 2003.
Types of Patrón Tequila
The regular offering divides into three different categories. Each of these addresses a specific price range. From Tequila Patrón, Roca Patrón, to the luxury bottles of Gran Patrón. But even with the "basic" Tequila, you get exceptional quality.
Tequila Patrón Silver
Patrón Silver is a handmade small-batch Tequila. It's a blend of two different triple-distilled Tequilas. That blend is then bottled in the icon hand-blown bottle and numbered individually. This Tequila has a clean taste and is super smooth. The spirit reveals a beautiful balance of citrus, fruit, and cooked agave notes. A great Tequila perfect for sipping or in cocktails.
Tequila Patrón Reposado
The Reposado expression from Patrón is aged for at least two months. Just like the Silver expression, it's a blend of two Tequilas produced in very different ways. Compared to other Reposado Tequilas, it's lighter with only faint notes of oak and vanilla.
Tequila Patrón Añejo
The Añejo Patron matures for at least twelve months. And this type of Tequila is perfect for sipping. Aged in various barrels, e.g., French Limousin, former Bourbon barrels, new American, and Hungarian oak barrels. The result is a pale golden Añejo Tequila that's super clean and a bit spicy. Rich in flavor, this Tequila shows notes of Caramel, vanilla, fudge, and hints of agave.
Tequila Patrón Extra Añejo
If you're looking for an even longer aged Patrón Tequila that's even richer in taste, the Extra Añejo is a perfect choice. Just like the regular Añejo, it matures in a variety of different barrels. In total, the Tequila ages for at least three years. Released in 2017, it's the latest addition to the core family of Patrón Tequilas.
Roca Patrón Silver
The Tequilas in the Roca Patrón range are small-batch releases produced in traditional tahona stone mills. So, in contrast to the standard Silver Tequila, this one is not a blend. The result is a dry Tequila with lots of minerality and rich notes of toasted agave.
Roca Patrón Reposado
The Roca Reposado Tequila gets made the same way as the Silver version. Aged in former Bourbon barrels for at least three months, the Tequila has some beautiful vanilla notes and an intense vegetal aroma from the agave plants. Compared to the regular Reposado, this one ages for at least a month longer.
Roca Patrón Añejo
Roca Patrón Añejo is a Tequila aged for a minimum of 14 months in former Bourbon barrels. The flavor profile is complex yet comparable to the Roca Reposado but with an even richer earthy and vegetal note. Hints of charcoal, vanilla, citrus, and oak round off the taste of this beautiful Tequila.
Gran Patrón Smoky
The Gran Patrón Smoky shows similarities to Mezcal, and not only because of its smoky notes. The process making it is also very similar. The agave is roasted with mesquite for multiple days. Afterward, it gets milled by a stone tahona. After fermentation, it goes into the bottle straight away without barrel-aging. The result is something hardly comparable to other Tequilas. The best comparison is a super-refined quality Mezcal with a flavor of bacon, roasted agave, and a delicate note of smoke.
Gran Patrón Platinum
Gran Patrón Tequila is a premium triple-distilled Tequila, aging for 30 days in oak tanks. It' has a bright and crisp color and carries notes of fresh citrus and fruits. The finish is slightly spicy with hints of black pepper. -A smooth and elegant Silver Tequila, perfect for sipping neat.
Gran Patrón Piedra
Gran Patrón Piedra is a finely balanced, aged Tequila first released in 2013. Piedra ages for four years in French Limousin and new American oak barrels. During this time, it develops a rich aroma and flavor profile with notes of agave, vanilla, and mushroom.
Gran Patrón Burdeos
Gran Patrón Burdeos is another aged premium Tequila from Hacienda Patrón. It's an amazing triple-distilled Tequila that ages in various barrels. First aged for a year in former Bourbon barrels, then for another ten months in French oak barrels, and eventually in former Bordeaux wine barrels for another two months. The Bordeaux barrels also lend the Tequila expression its name as Burdeos is the Spanish term for Bordeaux. The taste of this Tequila is highly unusual and fruity, reminding of a blend of fine, aged Cognac and a fruity Tequila.
Besides these standard bottles, Patrón has a wide range of limited editions. For example, various collectible versions of Silver Tequila. But also extra-long aged Tequilas like the Extra Anejo 5 Años, 7 Años, and 10 Años. And there are numerous other special releases, each extremely limited and almost impossible to get. The latest release is the Chairman's Reserve comes in a beautiful wooden box together with an NFT that proves your ownership of this highly sought-after piece.
How is Patrón Tequila made?
Patrón Tequila produces their Tequila in small batches using traditional processes. What sounds normal at first these days is a highly unusual thing to do. Usually, larger liquor producers use large stills to produce an enormous volume of liquor at once. But Patrón wanted to keep their batches small and decided to build out - meaning, they use a large number of small pot stills instead of fewer large ones.
With this unusual setup, they can still create their Tequila in small batches using the same techniques as at the beginning. But what does that in general? Well, Patrón uses two different ways of creating their Tequila. One version is made by grinding the agave with the help of a traditional stone tahona mill and is fermented with agave fibers. The other one is to crush the piñas with a modern roller shredder.
The traditional Patrón Tequilas contain a blend of both methods. But other versions only use one type of them or are made in a completely different way, like, for instance, the Gran Patron Smoky. The interesting part is that Patrón keeps using small stills and a lot of traditional work to produce their Tequila. -An effort that is almost non-existent at spirit brands of this size.
Patrón XO Cafe liqueur
Patrón also offers liqueurs, namely Patrón XO Cafe and Patrón Citrónge. Lately, they discontinued some of the Citrónge products like Citrónge Lime, Citrónge Pineapple, and Citrónge Mango. But Citrónge Orange is still available and is an excellent alternative to Cointreau when used in a Margarita.
Patrón XO Cafe is the star amongst the liqueurs. A rich, dry, and intense coffee liqueur made from first-class Tequila and Arabica coffee essence. The beautiful rich coffee flavor with just a hint of Tequila is superb in an Espresso Martini.
Patrón Tequila FAQs
Calories in Patrón Tequila depend on the alcohol content. Most Patrón Tequila is bottled at 40% and contains 64 calories per ounce (30ml). Bottles with 45% ABV contain 74 calories per oz.