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Read our expert review of a bottle of vibrant tequila from one of the most respected distiller's in the world – Patrón.
Patrón likes to say it didn’t invent tequila – just perfected it. Famed for coffee liqueur and an exquisite line of tequilas, Patrón's briefly aged expression is smooth with vanilla and vibrant with citrus, oozing with silky agave and honey.
Patrón has the reputation many spirits brands can only dream of. The distillery’s products have become synonymous with class and taste – go to any booming bar on a Saturday night and you’re bound to find someone ordering a Patrón XO Cafe.
For more than 30 years, first master distiller Francisco Alcaraz Francisco was at the helm, nailing down the recipe and process. His work with Patrón has been massively influential and his knack for making great tequila comes as no surprise, given that he studied chemical engineering at university and worked as a tequila inspector for a decade after he graduated.
Alcaraz became Patrón’s head honcho after cutting his teeth at a small distillery in Atotonilco El Alto, a town in Mexico. He was poached by Martin Crowley, a tenacious American businessman with his heart set on producing a world-beating tequila.
Patrón’s tequila is set apart by a simple motto: ‘replication, not automation’. When Alcaraz was at the helm, he swore by a small-batch method that called for care, attention and craftsmanship. Even as demand grew, Patrón simply replicated the small-batch process instead of automatising it.
As the brand’s operation grew larger, the company became more important to the local town. It's the largest employer in Atotonilco El Alto by some stretch, and Patrón has built schools and completed other public works. Care is taken to protect the local environment – potentially toxic stillage, for example, is treated and repurposed to heat machinery used in distillation, and some is used as fertiliser for agave fields.
Patrón has plenty of tequilas to shout about, but we’ve reserved particular praise for the Reposado. A reposado tequila is one that has spent between two months and a year in an oak barrel – a brief stint of maturation that helps round-off rough edges. Patrón Reposado is light and earthy, smooth with vanilla but bright with freshly squeezed citrus. It's all wrapped together in a slick lather of honey and agave.
While Patrón Reposado makes a perfect classic margarita, we think you should try it in a more summery twist on the classic. Make a watermelon basil margarita: grab an ice-filled cocktail shaker and pour in 45ml of Patrón Reposado as well as 30ml each of watermelon juice, agave nectar and fresh lime juice. Throw in three basil leaves for good measure. Shake well and strain into a tumbler chilled by crushed ice.
This review was last updated in March 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at email@example.com.