In a series of launch events across the US, Patrón Spirits is unveiling Roca Patrón, the company’s first line of tequilas produced entirely from the tahona process. Each tequila in the new Roca Patrón family – Roca Patrón Silver (90 Proof), Roca Patrón Reposado (84 Proof), and Roca Patrón Añejo (88 Proof) – is made from only 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, and is traditionally handcrafted at a specific proof, higher than the core line of Patrón tequilas.
The New York launch for Roca Patrón was held at the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Brooklyn, considered one of the City’s architectural icons.
While Roca Patrón is the company’s first line of tequilas crafted exclusively from the tahona process, every tequila in the Patrón portfolio has included tahona tequila in the blend. The core line of Patrón tequilas, and Gran Patrón Platinum and Gran Patrón Burdeos, are created from a combination of tahona tequila and tequilas produced from the more modern roller mill process. Patrón has also recently introduced a tahona- only extra añejo, Gran Patrón Piedra.
“From the beginning, we set out to create the highest-quality, most exceptional, ultra-premium tequila possible using traditional and time-honored distillation techniques,” says Ed Brown, President and CEO of Patrón Spirits. “Because the tahona process has always been an integral part of our recipe, we now have the proud opportunity to introduce a tahona-only artisanal tequila, a spirit that only a brand like Patrón can truly perfect. Consumers’ appreciation for fine tequila has quickly grown and evolved, and Roca Patrón represents our continued commitment to producing top- quality, highly crafted and innovative spirits that people around the world are seeking.”
Patrón is launching the new line with big events in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, Austin, and San Francisco, as well as around 40 smaller events.
According to the company, Roca Patrón is the product of a meticulous – and today rarely practiced – process that starts with a tahona, a giant two-ton stone wheel hand-carved from volcanic rock (roca), that slowly crushes the cooked agave to break the bonds of fiber and release the rich agave juice. From here, both the juice and the agave fiber are placed together into wooden fermentation vats for 72 hours, and then distilled in small-capacity, handmade copper pot stills.
The Roca Patrón line of tequilas are sweeter, earthier and more vegetal – with distinctive notes of roasted agave – than other Patrón varietals, exhibiting more complexity and slightly less citrus, pep- per and fruit. The aged variants are rested in single-use American bourbon barrels – Roca Patrón Reposado for five months, Roca Patrón Añejo for 14 months. The core Patrón line is aged in a blend of new and used oak barrels.
“What truly sets this process apart from other more automated methods of producing tequila is that in the tahona process, we introduce the agave fibers – not just the agave juice – into fermen- tation and distillation,” says Francisco Alcaraz, Patrón’s master distiller. “Patrón is one of only a small number of distilleries in Mexico that still uses this traditional tahona process. It’s very time consuming and expensive to create tequila in this way, but it’s well worth the effort, as the tahona method creates an incredible and distinctively complex tequila, characterized by its earthy and vegetal aromas and flavor.”
Bottles have the same design language as the other Patrón tequilas, with some special features including a distinctive medallion bearing Patrón’s iconic bee, and a color-coordinated, hand tied and finished rope.
The suggested retail prices for the Roca Patrón line of tequilas are $69.99 (750ml), $79.99 (750ml) and $89.99 (750ml). They will be available first in the US, starting in Summer 2014, before making their way into additional markets across the globe.