Academia Patrón – A Patrón Masterclass and Tasting
After a very long day of learning about Tequila, its origins, the process in how it’s made and more from the Consejo Regulador del Tequila, we were led in a Patrón tasting by David Alan, their industry education specialist. Aside from a brief taste of Casa Noble to make sure I didn’t absolutely HATE Tequila, this was my first time having the Agave spirit.
Now I know most people don’t like Patrón, they think it’s low quality tequila, and while I cannot speak to that I can speak to the flavour and deliciousness of the six Patrón expressions that we tasted through; Gran Patrón Platinum, Roca Patrón Silver, Roca Patrón Reposado, Roca Patrón Añejo, Gran Patrón Burdeos, and Gran Patrón Piedra.
For those unaware, there are five classes/types of Tequila:
- Oro/Joven (Gold/Young) this is unaged tequila that may be mixed with aged Tequila such as Anejo or Extra Anejo.
- Anejo (Old) aged for a minimum of one year but for less than three years in oak barrels.
- Extra Anejo (Extra Old) is aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels.
- Reposado (Rested) aged a minimum of two months but less than a year in oak barrels.
- Blanco (White/Silver/Platinum) essentially new make spirit, is either unaged and bottled or stored immediately, or aged less than two months.
– Gran Patrón Platinum: This was the first Tequila we tasted through, and after tasting this I was actually really impressed. As a mainly whiskey drinker, I was very pleased to find some
similarities between the two spirits.
- Nose: Right away I got a new kind of sweetness that was probably from the agave, followed by some malty notes, followed by a subtle wood aroma which is likely from the oak barrels, and it had a creamy kind of aroma at the end.
- Flavour: Peppery right out of the gate, with a smoothness and lightness following. Finally there were subtle creamy notes on the end.
– Roca Patrón Silver: A very different flavour profile came off of the Silver then the platinum. The nose was also a lot more discernable with aromas I was not expecting.
- Nose: The nose started off with a very forward sweetness, followed by some fruit notes, especially citrus, and agave aromas. It’s a somewhat mellow nose, especially comparing it to the Platinum.
- Flavour: The flavour for the Roca Silver was not at all what I was expecting, though to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect. It was sweet, and somewhat peppery, with an oakiness to it that went down smooth, and unlike whisk(e)y, it was a very “cool” spirit, so not a lot of mouth/tongue burn.
– Roca Patrón Reposado: As we discussed above Reposado is aged for a very short period of time, so it generally has a light golden coloring to it. I was kind of surprised at how little flavour I picked up on this expression.
- Nose: Strong notes of Butterscotch, and oak. Overall a nice sweetness.
- Flavour: Sweet, with some white pepper notes. Overall a “hot” Tequila, so a noticeable amount of tongue/mouth burn.
– Roca Patrón Añejo: This particular expression from Patrón made the whiskey drinker very happy, because it was very whiskey-esque!
- Nose: Didn’t pick up much on the nose for this release, though it was very reminiscent of Whisk(e)y, and was mellow, which definitely helped to ease into the Anejo category.
- Flavour: This had such a new flavour! It was almost bitter actually, it had some smoothness but that bitter kiss was right up front. It had some tastes reminiscent of whiskey, likely oak and maybe some malt. There was a slight spice in addition to the white pepper that you get from a whiskey but that was a finisher note.
– Gran Patrón Burdeos: This was such a weird bottling! It’s an anejo release from Patrón, aged for a year in used bourbon barrels then it’s distilled a third time and aged in American and French oak barrels for 10 months, and then finished in first growth Bordeaux barrels fir two to four months.
- Nose: Right off the bat, I got notes that reminded me of Bourbon and Scotch, but also some Cognac like aromas.
- Flavour: Unfortunately this expression was slightly watery though that didn’t detract from the flavour and enjoyment too much. It was sweet with some hints of mint, followed by oak and white pepper.
– Gran Patrón Piedra: This is an extra anejo expression from Patrón aged for over three years and “crafted using the centuries-old tahona process” which is where a Tahona, a huge stone wheel, crushes and mills the “cabeza” of the blue agave.
- Nose: This was by and large the sweetest nose I’ve had on any of these tequilas with tres leches cake being one of the first things I picked up on, followed by some anise/black licorice, and a dessert sweetness you’d expect from a glass of Port.
- Flavour: The flavour for the Piedra is vastly different than the nose however! While it’s still sweet, there is no tres leches, instead there was subtle white pepper on the mid palate, followed by cognac flavours and finished with some oak and malt reminiscent of a whiskey.
Huge thanks to our gracious hosts, David Alan, Katie Fischer, the entire Tequila Patrón team, and the CRT! I’m very happy to have passed my exam and received my Award T certificate, which certifies me in Tequila.