There are two types of tequila drinker: those who gamely knock back shooters of mass-produced bar rail, licking lime juice off their palm or a drunk girl’s stomach and cringing as it goes down. And there are those who daintily sip it in rocks glasses, declaiming on that time they were in Mexico and had the best tequila that you can’t get here (so don’t even try).
If you’re part of the latter camp, no doubt you’re already familiar with Patron. When it comes to “good” tequilas, it is perhaps the most widely cited brand, largely because it was the first to introduce the concept of premium tequila to the United States, its signature squat bottles becoming synonymous with all things high-end and delicious.
Now, Patron has introduced a new line that heightens all of the qualities for which the brand has become known. The line is called Roca, which means “rock”, a reference to the massive volcanic stone wheel (a Tahona) used to crush the agave plant and release its juice — a laborious, old-school process that produces a much smoother, more flavorful drink than the more expedient methods that produce lower-end tequilas. The juice is then fermented along with some fully intact agave fiber (which is separated later) to add even more flavor to the process.
The result is one of the finest tequilas we’ve come across in recent years — possibly the finest available in the United States at the moment. While there are three offerings in this new line — Silver, Reposado and Añejo — it’s the Añejo, the middle-ground tequila, that comes off best. It’s been aged for 14 months in bourbon barrels, infused with a smooth, remarkably oaky taste that just hints at vanilla and spice.
And at $85, under no circumstances should this tequila be part of a round of shooters. Nor, for that matter, should you be a ponce about it. Just enjoy it. We certainly did.
Aged: 14 months