Aged tequila is the new whisky

When you find yourself sipping a $1000 Patrón Gran Burdeos aged tequila on a spring afternoon, it’s obvious the spirit has come a long way from being slammed in shots at 2am.

Drinks Digest sampled the rare drop during a virtual Patrón tequila tasting, hosted by Bacardi-Martini Australia Brand Ambassador Joseph Chisholm. Gran Burdeos is a beautiful dark amber colour, as a result of being aged in oak wood barrels for at least 12 months before being distilled again and racked in Bordeaux barrels. It’s also beautifully presented in a crystal bottle and comes with a price tag of around $1100 at selected retailers in Australia.

Chisholm describes the tequila as having notes similar to a fine cognac. It’s smooth and sweet with vanilla and raisin characteristics. This one is definitely for sipping, not adding to a margarita.

Chisholm is passionate about the history and tradition behind Patrón Tequila, which was crafted by the longest-serving master distiller in the tequila industry, Francisco Alcaraz, until he retired in 2020. Alcaraz sadly passed away earlier this year, after spending more than 30 years working for Patrón and helping elevate the perception of the spirit around the world.

“Australians are wanting to know how their tequila is crafted, what is in it and how to drink it,” Chisholm said. “We’ve seen a trend of consumers swapping out their bourbons and Scotches to aged tequila as an after-dinner drink. Versatile and perfect with food, aged tequila can be enjoyed neat, bringing out its smooth and complex flavour or used in classic cocktails such as the Margarita, Paloma or Old Fashioned – just to name a few.”

His enthusiasm is shared by Patrón’s Marketing Manager in Australia, Stephanie Sarantakos, who said the brand is out-performing the tequila segment in Australia, growing at 38% compared to total tequila growth at 34%.

“Patrón is the number one super premium tequila and continues to outgrow the booming tequila segment,” she said. “What makes this all the more exciting is that tequila is the fastest growing spirit segment in Australia.

Sarantakos said there are multiple factors responsible for the growth of aged tequila, with the main two being around the growth of the cocktail-at-home occasion and also due to consumers wanting to drink less but with more premium products.

“Other reasons are that Australians are really interested in learning more about how tequila relates to the craft movement and the craftsmanship related to its production,” she said. “The category has also received a lot of attention globally from celebrities as well. While tequila is huge in the US, we are starting to see the popularity of it rise significantly in Australia.”

Tasting Patrón’s most popular releases

Chisholm explained to the masterclass that to properly enjoy neat tequila, it should be swirled around in the glass, then smell the spirit with your mouth slightly open, take a sip and let it coat your mouth.

We started with Patrón Silver (RRP $90), which has an aroma of citrus and spicy notes of black pepper. Renowned for its crystal-clear appearance and smooth, clean palate, Patrón Silver is a fresh, zesty cleanser over ice or delicious served in a crisp margarita.

Chisholm also suggested trying a Watermelon Margarita over summer. His tip for sipping the best one in Australia is to head for the rooftop bar at Maya in Brisbane (pictured above).

Next we tried Patrón Reposado (RRP $100), which is distilled in small batches and rested in a variety of oak barrels for up to five months. It features pineapple, vanilla and caramel notes and makes an amazing Paloma, a refreshing mix of tequila and grapefruit soda.

Then we tried Patrón Añejo (RRP $115), an aged tequila that spends 12 months in a combination of French oak, Hungarian oak and American whiskey barrels. It had a spicy oak aroma, with dried fruit, honey and apple notes. Chisholm said it has the same flavour profile as a good bourbon or Scotch Whisky – as it has been aged in the same type of barrels – and suggests switching it into your next Old Fashioned, describing it as a “game changer”.

Finally, we sampled the rare and delicious Patrón Gran Burdeos, an amazing end to a fascinating masterclass session.

Feeling thirsty? You’ll find Patrón at Dan Murphy’s and BWS.

Why tequila is overtaking bourbon & rum in the US

Success! You're on the list.

Categories: Lifestyle