Even making allowances for the fact that we’re still basking in the glow of our recent visit to Mexico courtesy of Patrón, we’re still darned impressed with the ethos of the brand as well as the taste of its products. If you thought all tequilas were created equal, allow us to spell out the joys of Patrón for you…

P is for…

PERFECTIONISTS
Having recently visited Hacienda Patrón in the highlands of Jalisco, we’re totally down with why Patrón chose to go with ‘Perfectionists’ as the name of its competition. It’s a philosophy at the heart of everything the company do. See it in the big things like the Hacienda itself. From the lush French Colonial look and feel of the place (see above) you’d never guess it was home to a distillery. But like the tequila that comes out of it, passion, pride and meticulousness has gone into every inch of its making. Check this: it took sixteen craftsmen to create the unique arches of the corridors and foyers using local stone, and like every door and window in the building, they were crafted by hand. Then there are the smaller but equally important bits. Like the hand chopped agave which is carefully placed in the ovens to slow steam for a cool 79 hours, the labour-intensive tahona method that produces an intense earthy flavour, (see below), or the partnerships the company form with growers for quality and consistency – it’s the details that count.

A is for…

AGAVE
What you see above isn’t just agave; it’s Weber Blue agave hewn specifically for Patrón. Notice how close it’s cut to the flesh? That’s no accident. While it results in 10% less yield, it makes for a sweeter tasting, most agreeable tequila. Which is just the way Patrón lovers like it.

T is for…

TRADITION
There’s no denying that machines would make the production side of things a whole lot easier, not to mention faster down at the Hacienda. But taking shortcuts is not the way these folk roll. Here, pretty much everything is done by hand, beginning with the harvesting of the agave to distilling it in small batches, right through to the mesmerising process of crafting the unique bottles.

And while Patrón call on the more modern, more commonly used roller method for some of its production, the company is one of only six tequila distillers who still use the age-old Tahona process. Why? To slowly but surely extract the juices and fibres from the cooked piñas of course. It ain’t fast but the results sure are tasty. That’s thanks to the whopping two-ton tahona wheel hewn from volcanic rock that goes to produce a gutsier flavour profile. Taste the effects in the Patrón Roca range (see below).

R is for…

RANGE
Ta-da! May we introduce you to the extensive Patrón portfolio. To our minds, there’s something here for every palate and budget (we know, we did the research. Responsibly of course). Fancy something smooth, sweet and easy to mix? Try Patrón Silver. If on the other hand you’re after something decidedly sippable, rich on the vanilla and raisin, reach for the Añejo. For those who hanker after a tequila with a bit more complexity, something with distinct earthy notes and a taste of cooked agave coming through, Roca Patrón Silver fits the bill perfectly. But if you want to experience that depth along with a velvety smooth finish, we suggest skipping straight to Patrón Roca Anejo.

There’s also a very special place in our liquor cabinet for the Gran Patrón range – Platinum, Piedra and Burdeos – all perfect for placing in the centre of the table and passing round after dinner with family and friends. Love liqueurs? Seek out Patrón XO Café, Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa and the spicy Patrón XO Cafe Incendio. And if you’re a collector, you’ll love the special editions, including the recent collaboration with Lalique – only 500 bottles produced at a cool £5,000 each.

O is for…

OSMOSIS
…or more specifically, reverse osmosis. Sustainability is serious business at Hacienda Patrón and to prove it, the company has invested millions on a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis plant which reclaims up to 70 percent of waste water and transforms it into clean water for use in the cooling towers and cleaning processes.

N is for…

N.O.M
Interested in where your tequila originates from? Of course you are, that’s why Patrón invites you to Know Your N.O.M. The catchy slogan (or Norma Oficial Mexicana as it’s officially called) is your guarantee that your tequila was made and bottled in Mexico as well as giving you details of the authorised producer. Which is not quite as obvious as it sounds considering there are 1,700 registered brands of tequila and only around 140 of which are licensed. Find the four digit on the front label of every bottle. (Patrón’s is 1492) and tap into knowyournom.com to find out more.

*

T is for…

TASTE
Go do the research!

E is for…

ENVIRONMENT
Want to know why Patrón has been awarded the ISO 14001 certification for meeting environmental standards at the distillery? Or why it’s picked up Clean Industry Certification from the Mexican Federal Environmental Protection Office? Simple. The company has gone out of its way to reduce waste and lessen noise at the distillery, plus it’s connected to a natural gas pipeline in an effort to reduce harmful air emissions. And in case that wasn’t enough, 30,000 tonnes of recycled glass is used every day to make their distinctive bottles. Need we say more?

Q is for…

QUIET TIME
Things we love about the Hacienda No. 101 – there’s a replica of the Virgin of Guadalupe chapel on site. Not that we’re religion buffs or anything but as Catholicism is big around these parts, we like the fact that the powers that be have created a place for the workers to go and pray at the beginning and end of the day or just escape for a little quiet time and reflection.

U is for…

UNITY
Talk about working in harmony, no less than 60 – count them, 60! – hands touch each bottle of Tequila Patrón by the time it leaves the distillery. Not in a weird ritualistic way, it’s all part of the handcrafted process.

I is for…

INGREDIENTS
Remember that compost from the reverse osmosis system? If you’re wondering where it goes, rest assured it’s put to good use. Some of it finds its way on to the agave fields. As fertiliser, natch. Some is given to local farmers while the rest is used to grow organic ingredients for staff in the vegetable garden in the Hacienda. Like we said, it’s the details that stand out for us.

L is for…

LAB PROCESS
All of the necessary checks are done at the Hacienda, making quality control super fast and ultra-efficient. Boom!

A is for…

ARTISAN
From start to finish.

To find out more, see patrontequila.com.

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