Patrón XO Cafe
Patrón XO Cafe 83/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on June 24, 2012
Patron XO Cafe is a blend of the premium Patrón Silver Tequila and the natural essence of fine coffee. According to the Patron website, the taste of this agave coffee spirit is dry rather than sweet with notes of chocolate and vanilla. It is suggested that the spirit is meant not only for sipping, but also as a premium cocktail ingredient, or as a delectable dessert topping.
I received a sample of the Patrón XO Cafe from Diamond Estates Wine and Spirits, who are the local distributor Patron Spirits. This is a 35 % alcohol by volume spirit typically sold in a 375 ml or a 750 ml configuration.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
To the left is a J-peg photo of Patrón XO Cafe provided to me by Diamond Estates Wine and Spirits. The frosted square glass bottle is similar in shape to many of the Tequila bottles I have seen. The labeling is simple but not unattractive.
It is unusual that a coffee based spirit would be sealed with a cork, but I like that nice satisfying ‘pop’ when I open a corked spirit, so I am in favour of what I see.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When I poured the XO Cafe into my glass it displayed itself as a very dark brown spirit similar in colour to dark black coffee. The aroma of course is rich with coffee scents, but there is quite a bit more going on as the punky agave aroma under the coffee is also on display. A syrupy sweetness is rising into the air as well, and based upon aroma alone I suspect this liqueur-like spirit will not be nearly so dry as the web-site marketing promises. I seem to sense some very light chocolate scents and perhaps some very mild licorice as well. These last two impressions are very light and may indeed be figments of my imagination.
In the Mouth 50/60
The initial flavour is rich with coffee and vanilla, underlain with agave. The flavour is sweet rather than dry, and there is a nice peppery bite which is working well with the overall flavour. As I sip, I begin to sense that the sweetness is similar to cane syrup, and the mouth-feel has that syrupy texture as well. I add an ice-cube to mute the sweetness a tad, and the ice brings about a certain creaminess which is enjoyable. I notice that the earthier agave flavours evolve further in the glass.
I tried a little in my coffee, and later that night I put a spoonful of the XO Cafe on my ice cream; both experiences were pleasant. I suspect a spoonful on my ice cream will become a regular indulgence.
In the Throat 12/15
I am still searching for that dryness which was promised in the advertising, and I think perhaps that the peppery finish which tends to pucker the mouth and heat the throat has been interpreted as dryness by whomever wrote the media tasting notes. I do not find this dry at all. The syrupy texture coats the palate and throat allowing the rich coffee flavours to linger beyond the peppery spice. However it is that cane sweetness that lingers the longest.
The Afterburn 8/10
When I first sampled the XO Cafe, I was looking forward to an agave coffee spirit which would be dry, with notes of chocolate and vanilla. I guess for me at least, the Patrón XO Cafe failed to deliver on that promise. This is not dry, and those notes of chocolate were extremely hard to find. Having said that, this agave spirit, which I think I will call a liqueur, is quite pleasant. I prefer to mix some with my ice cream rather than sipping it straight, but I think my overall score of 83/100 is just about right.
You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
The Patron Website has a very nice cocktail section, with some very good recipes. I have chosen one recipe from their selection as my feature recipe for this spirit, Dark Spell.
2 oz : Patrón XO Cafe
Pour absinthe into a sherry glass and swirl to coat
Discard the excess Absinthe
Add Patrón XO Cafe
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing Tequila. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, (we are probably still cocktail in territory).
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing delicious cocktails!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)