Spirits & Liqueurs Tequila & Mezcal

Patrón Añejo Tequila Review

Tequila’s symbol of luxury smells gorgeous but falls short on the palate.

Patron Anejo Tequila bottle
Image:

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

liquor.com rating:
2.5

Patrón Añejo Tequila has a beautiful agave aroma, but the taste is lighter and sweeter than promised—which might just be a good thing for añejo newbies. Serious tequila fans, however, have better options in the premium market.

Fast Facts

Classification añejo tequila

Company Patrón Spirits Company (Bacardí)

Distillery Hacienda Patrón (Jalisco, Mexico)

NOM 1492

Cask French oak, Hungarian oak, and used American whiskey barrels

Still Type copper pot

Released 1992

Proof 80 (40% ABV)

Aged at least one year

MSRP $80

Awards Master Medal, 2021 The Spirits Business Tequila & Mezcal Masters

Pros
  • A beautifully packaged tequila, with an iconic bottle and cork stopper that in themselves are symbols of quality and luxury

  • Still made (in part) using time-honored traditions, such as cooking the agave in small brick ovens and extracting the juice by the tahona method

  • Its delicate, light flavor makes it a great stepping stone for newbies to the añejo category.

Cons
  • The same light flavor that makes it a good intro to añejo tequila may not be challenging or interesting enough for experienced tequila drinkers.

Tasting Notes

Color: Very pale yellow gold—a hopeful sign that the oak hasn’t overwhelmed the agave

Nose: Roasted agave dominates, with light aromas of oak and vanilla and hints of dried fruit backing it up. But really, the nose is all about the agave.

Palate: Quite light and clean, with vanilla, light citrus, hints of oak, and a touch of coconut, but surprisingly lacking most of the agave that was on the nose. You’ll also sense tropical fruits like melon and pineapple, along with lemony notes that become more pronounced as it moves throatward. 

Finish: A very light but lingering finish: slightly sour orange-lemon-pineapple-raisin with just a whisper of oak and black pepper 

Our Review

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Patrón, and in particular Patrón Añejo, were key players in transforming the perception of tequila from a gulp-it-down bottom-shelf party drink to a sipping spirit as sophisticated and complex as the finest whiskeys and cognacs. Today, Patrón may not be the hippest brand around, and hardcore tequila fans have moved on. But the name and the look of the bottle are still, for many, trademarks of quality, the equivalent of The Macallan in the scotch world or Hennessy for cognac. Patrón’s reputation alone elicits equal parts adoration and derision—which is why it’s worth revisiting the tequila itself.

The nose of Patrón’s añejo expression is beautiful, with a powerful agave aroma that promises a year in oak hasn’t overwhelmed the flavor of the distillate. But once it hits the tongue, the agave all but disappears, replaced by light, sweet flavors that are not unpleasant, but not at all what the nose had portended.

For the novice tequila sipper who’s only had the stuff in Margaritas, this light and innocuous flavor profile may make it a good starter añejo. But for practiced tequila drinkers who want to sip something more flavorful, this bottle will fall short. That’s a shame, because Patrón’s blanco expression shows that the un-aged spirit has a big and beautiful flavor profile. Añejo fans would do well to look elsewhere, like Avion or El Tesoro, to name two.

Interesting Fact

The “bee” in the Patrón logo is one of the most recognizable insects this side of Spider-Man. But look closely and you’ll see it’s not actually a bee. Patrón co-founder Michael Crowley served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Hornet aircraft carrier, and the hornet is an homage to his tour of duty.

The Bottom Line

What was the height of luxury for tequila a few decades ago has since been overshadowed by many newer, more expensive brands—including some of Patrón's own. Despite a gorgeous aroma, the tequila itself pales in comparison to other high-end bottles.