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Patrón Silver Tequila

Review: Patrón Silver Tequila  88/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on April 16, 2012
(Revisited and Re-scored May 20, 2015)

According to the company website, Patrón Silver Tequila is a pure 100% Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The Agave is 6 to 7 years old when harvested, and the heart of the plant or the piña is all that is used. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Patron Tequila to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. The company was created in 1989 when John Paul DeJoria, and Martin Crowley formed The Patrón Spirits Company with the stated singular goal of producing “the best tequila in the world.”

Part of the process of making Patrón’s tequila is to remove the agave juice from the harvested piñas. In order to do this the piñas are chopped in half by hand and slowly steamed in masonry brick ovens for about 79 hours to soften them. The softened piñas are then shredded and placed into a traditional stone pit, where they are either crushed and shredded by a roller mill or by a large 2 ton stone milling wheel called a Tahona. The resulting juice is then fermented for 72 hours in a wooden fermentation vat, and distilled twice in copper pot stills.

Amazingly the manner in which the juice is extracted from the piñas has an impact upon the distilled flavour of the final tequila. Apparently tequila distilled from the juice which was extracted from the stone wheel Tahona has a noticeably softer and earthier flavour than tequila distilled from the juice extracted by the roller mill. For Patrón Silver Tequila (as well as their Reposado and Anejo Tequila), Patrón uses spirit produced from both distillates. The final spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

To the left is a J-peg photo of Patrón Silver Tequila provided to me by Diamond Estates Wine and Spirits. The bottle is squat but comfortable, similar in shape to other Tequila bottles I have seen. The labeling is simple but not unattractive. I like that the bottle is sealed with a nice cork which gives me that nice satisfying ‘pop’ when I open it.

My sample bottle has a little advertising pamphlet around the neck tied in place by that green ribbon. It also arrived in an attractive green cardboard box. Things are nice and I have no real quibbles.

In the Glass  9/10

I poured out a sample of Patrón Silver Tequila into my glencairn glass and began my examinations with a good look at the agave spirit before I began to nose it. The spirit was clear and showed no sign of colour which is exactly how we expect blanco tequila to appear. I gave the glass a light tilt and a slow swirl and discovered a light sheen of tequila was left on the inside of the glass which slowly disappeared giving up only a few small slender legs. When I brought the glass to my nose, I discovered a light punky agave aroma with a mild white pepper scent rising from the glass. There are some notes of citrus in the breezes which appear to be similar to lemon and lime zest, as well as a gentle smokiness which combined with the aforementioned agave and spice invites me to steal a sip.

In the Mouth 52.5/60

The Patrón Silver has a bit of that sharp peppery tequila bite which catches your attention as it crosses the palate. As it was upon the nose, I taste  a combination of white pepper, lime citrus, and punky agave leading out across the palate. There is also gentle smokiness apparent as well as a touch of lightly sweet honey and traces of mint all of which combine well with the spicy heat within the highland spirit. The smokiness (as well as the earthy quality) of the agave perhaps takes a bit of a backseat to the citrus zest and the white pepper, however this is exactly how a highland tequila is supposed to taste. I am impressed.

During the months of March and April, my Rum Chums and I were tasting various blanco spirits in an effort to determine the very best tequila to use for our Margaritas this summer (you can read about my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita challenge here). All of the tastings were blind, however none of my judges was surprised to find out that the Patrón Silver tequila was one of the very best in the competition. Its overt highland style is practically tailor-made for Margarita Cocktails, and indeed, the mixed drink I served them made with the Patrón spirit did not disappoint.

In the Throat 13/15

I think it is safe to say that the Patrón Silver has a traditional highland tequila finish filled with spicy white pepper and hot citrus. It is not overly harsh considering the spice; but, neither is it smooth. Although we can certainly taste the earthy agave and a hint of honey-like sweetness in the exit, it is the citrus and the white pepper which dominate the finish. I suspect this is exactly why it works so well in Margarita Cocktails.

The Afterburn 9/10

The Patrón Silver Tequila is a classic example of the traditional highland agave spirit. It is also a spirit which has grown on me over the past few years. When I originally reviewed the Patrón Silver a few years ago I felt its ‘sharp peppery bite’ was perhaps a little stronger than I personally preferred in a sipping spirit.  However tasting it again three years later and having the opportunity to taste it side by side with many other blanco spirits, I have discovered that this ‘sharp peppery bite’ is exactly what I want when I sip tequila, and it most especially is exactly what I like when I mix with a blanco tequila.

You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Recipes:

Patrón makes not only a very nice tequila spirit, but also produces a very nice orange liqueur called Citrónge (produced in Jalisco, Mexico at the same distillery which makes Patrón Tequila although in a separate building, as per CRT regulations). The orange based liqueur is produced from an agave based neutral spirit, and of course natural orange flavours. When I want to kick the agave flavour up just a touch more in my Margarita cocktails, I find Citrónge is a very nice ingredient to work with. I call this particular variation of the Margarita, Eye for an Eye.

Patron Margarita SAM_1556

Eye for an Eye

1 3/4 oz Patron Patrón Tequila
3/4 oz Citrónge
3/8 oz fresh lime juice
3/8 oz fresh lemon juice
1/8 oz sugar syrup
ice
lime slice for garnish

Chill a fancy rocks glass
Add the Tequila, Lemon and Lime, Citrónge, and Sugar Syrup into the glass over ice
Stir until well mixed
Garnish with Lime

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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This cocktail continues my series of Tequila cocktails named after the Travis McGee novels of American author John D. MacDonald. I have always like the Travis McGee novels, and the titles of these novels just seem to me to be particularly well suited to be also the names of great cocktails.

The Long Lavender Look

2 oz Patron Silver Tequila
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Blueberry Liqueur
1/2 oz Lavender Syrup (see recipe below)
ice
Fresh Blueberries

In a metal shaker add the first four ingredients with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a tall cocktail glass
Garnish with fresh blueberries

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Lavender Syrup
 
100 ml water
15 ml Fresh (or dried) Lavender Flowers
175 ml sugar
Place all of the ingredients on the stove in a stainless steel pan
Slowly heat the mixture until the Sugar dissolves
Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes
Remove the pan from the stove and allow everything to cool
Strain the mixture into a small glass bottle
(The Syrup will keep for about four days)
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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)

2 Responses to “Patrón Silver Tequila”

  1. rawkabillyrebel said

    I think paying $80 for tequila is absurd, considering the cost to make it is peanuts. For $80 you could get you a pretty amazing rye or single malt.

    • Hi Rawk

      I have no quibbles with your distaste for the price of this tequila. If it is not worth the price to you, I understand that completely. However, you are incorrect in your assertion that it costs ‘peanuts’ to make. In the case of Patron Silver, it is a true 100 % agave tequila with no neutral spirit added whatsoever. The agave plants are 6 to 7 years old when harvested, which is the key to why 100 % agave tequila costs so much. It is much more expensive to grow a crop (like agave) for seven years, than it is to grow a crop like barley or rye for 4 to 5 months. It is this initial cost of the base crop that makes Tequila much more expensive to manufacture than Whisky.

      That is not to say that Patron Silver is not a more premium priced tequila than others in the marketplace. Even taking into account the extra cost of manufacture there are many other 100 % Agave spirits which are priced in my locale at a much less premium price. My review tries to assess the overall spirit, and I give a score which is not in any way dependent upon the price. I feel that my readers can figure out for themselves if the product is worth what is being charged for in their particular marketplace. (I have noticed that the prices vary enormously from market to market.)

 
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