(Food & Wine).- Patrón has always been known as a tequila industry pioneer. Especially when it comes to ultra-premium offerings. After all, it was the first to export 100% Weber Blue Agave Tequila in 1989, becoming somewhat of a ‘90s sensation for its then over-the-top offering at nearly $40 a bottle. Now, the company is ready to whip the spirits world into a frenzy once more, this time with the release of Patrón El Cielo, the first-ever silver tequila to launch in the prestige category. It’s also the first-ever, four-time distilled prestige tequila, which master distiller David Rodriguez says was somewhat of a controversial move.
“People told me a fourth distillation tequila is basically a vodka,” Rodriguez shared during an exclusive tasting of El Cielo at the invite-only Hacienda Patrón in Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico. “While it’s true it’s less agave than platinum tequila, the agave is there with notes of citrus and black pepper. What’s most important is how smooth it is. The Patrón standard is to create the best tequila.”
After Patrón requested a different style of tequila, it took Rodriguez a year, and more than 150 tastings, to perfect a four-distillation tequila.
“This is an evolution in our tequilas. When you taste it, you can tell the Patrón soul is here,” he said of the new drink, which joins the company’s other prestige offering, El Alto, a reposado tequila launched in November 2022. “It’s more work to create a four-distillation tequila. El Cielo takes two more days to make than our other small batch tequilas.”
As with all Patrón tequilas, El Cielo is crafted with a blend of Weber Blue Agave pressed by tahona, a centuries-old process of extracting the juice from the agave using volcanic stone, in tandem with modern roller mills. The tahona is what gives the tequila hints of black pepper, while the citrus notes are from the roller mills, and the fourth distillation unlocks the naturally sweet flavors of the agave.
Rodriguez explained that tequila is meant to be sipped rather than used for cocktails. And upon first taste, the smooth and refreshing summer notes of citrus that come with a fresh finish explain why. It’s a drink I can picture savoring all summer long here in Mexico, paired with nothing but a chunky ice cube while sitting poolside.
Confident that El Cielo will be his legacy in the tequila industry, Rodriguez said he considers it to be the most elegant tequila he’s made so far. “This,” he said, “is the evolution in the Patrón style silver tequilas.”
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Source: Food & Wine