Roca Patron: A Trio of Tequilas

August 20 2014 - 9:00 AM

roca patron

In late July, Patron hosted an event at the Chicago History Museum as an unveiling of their new Roca Patron tequilas. Before Patron, tequila in America did not really go beyond being an accomplice to a Corona. Roca Patron aims to take the spirit in a more artisanal direction. Most producers use modern, quick, and cost-effective methods to produce tequila (including Patron).

The Roca line, however, was conceived to honor tradition, allowing one to experience the true flavor of the agave plant. The Roca line preserves tradition by pressing baked agave plants with a 2-ton volcanic rock (Roca) wheel, known as a “tahona.” Additionally, fermenting the agave juice and plant fibers together creates the richer mouthfeel in the Roca line.

Roca Patron Silver: An un-aged tequila that gives off a crispness due to its lack of barrel maturation. This tequila gives off the pure, robust flavor of the agave plant. That being said, this twice distilled tequila has retained some impurities as its aftertaste is heavily alcohol heat and little else.

Roca Patron Reposado: Easily the best of the three. Reposado tequilas are usually aged between 2 to 11 months and can be stored in extremely large barrels. Fortunately, Patron used smaller, ex-bourbon barrels (the 52-gallon variety) for this tequila and aged it for 5 months. The nose is sweet and subtle with fragrant flowers and hints of vegetal notes. The taste is seductively creamy, enabling this tequila to go down very smooth.

Roca Patron Anejo: Anejo tequilas have to be aged at least a year in 52-gallon barrels, often aged in ex-Reposado tequila barrels. Patron aged their Anejo for 14 months, revealed in the dominant oaky and somewhat vanilla nose. The taste brings more oak, along with baking spices, ginger, and pepper. This makes for a fine and delicate tequila. While it was enjoyable, the oak was a bit too overpowering for my preference, which left the tequila unbalanced.

Roca Patron Reposado would be my sipping tequila because of its delicacy, while the Silver and Anejo, with their more forward and bracing flavors, could easily work in cocktails without being overshadowed. Just like beer and wine, consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about their spirits, and Patron is making a calculated bet that tequila drinkers have matured and are ready to take small steps towards fuller flavor tequila, but from a familiar name.