Patrón's New Deluxe Variety Features Mega-Exclusive Agave

Tequila is pretty popular these days, but it's more exclusive than you might think. Per MasterClass, the spirit is distilled from a specific type of plant: Weber blue agave. It's also been declared by the Mexican government that tequila must come from one of five particular Mexican states. If it's not from Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán, or Tamaulipas, it's not tequila.

As MasterClass explains, tequila is made by harvesting agave, baking its piña core, shredding the core to extract its mosto juice, then fermenting the mosto and distilling it. Finally, the tequila is aged for two or three weeks, at least. Then, there are three types of aged tequilas: Reposado (rested), aged two months to a year; añejo (aged), aged one to three years; and extra añejo, aged more than three years.

Tequila Patrón, according to Forbes, has been producing its namesake spirit since 1989. The brand has evolved a lot over the 30+ years since two American business partners first teamed up with a Mexican tequila inspector and a family-owned distillery to first form Patrón. Initially unpopular, Patrón has since caught on in the States by creating a luxurious reputation for itself, making deluxe tequilas sold at premium prices. Some bottles of Patrón can cost thousands of dollars. This sort of business strategy has extended into the company's fourth decade of operations, as well.

Patrón El Alto

In November of 2022, Patrón unveiled a new deluxe variety: Patrón El Alto (via Cision PR Newswire). Patrón El Alto is made from 100% Weber Blue Agave that's grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. With this new product, Patrón intends to break into the prestige category of tequilas. As detailed by VinePair, having a highland origin point for agave can make quite a difference. Whereas the volcanic environment of Jalisco's lowlands creates tequilas with an earthy and herbal taste, the heated red clay ground of the Jalisco highlands gives rise to tequilas with sweet, fruity flavors. Generally speaking, highland tequilas are seen as a step above lowland ones in terms of quality.

Per PR Newswire, Patrón took four years and held 300 tastings to develop this smooth strain of hand-made tequila. The company's craftspeople eventually settled on extra añejo tequila blended with both añejo and reposado tequilas, using oak barrels to give them their dry agedness. In addition to blue agave, Patrón El Alto carries hints of caramel, figs, honey, and vanilla. While not nearly as expensive as some other bottles, Patrón El Alto will still cost about $180 in major U.S. cities like LA, Miami, and New York. Talk about exclusivity!