Review: Patron Silver Tequila
For many, Patron is the gold standard of premium tequila. And indeed, Patron has done for the tequila market what Grey Goose did for vodka. Whether you like them or not, they have convinced the world that there were people out there who would pay for expensive versions of what many had previously assumed only came in two versions: Cheap and cheaper.
As a pioneer in mass market premium tequilas, Patron took the approach of using 100% agave, crafting a fancy bottle with a little ribbon around the neck and a real cork for a stopper, and charging a premium price for it all. It has worked: Patron is now one of the best-selling tequila brands in the world, and it’s expensive.
And yet, when you get down to it, Patron is honestly nothing special. The tequila offers a big, and somewhat nutty and woody nose (though the spirit is not rested in wood like some blancos), with pronounced agave notes. The woody character continues on the palate, but it’s overshadowed by a pretty heavy bite and burn, suggesting that Patron is a tequila for those that grew up on rotgut tequilas and have graduated, but still wouldn’t know what to do if they didn’t have to gasp for air after doing a shot (and let’s be real, no one sips Patron). The texture is full-bodied, but somewhat oily.
All said, this is not a bad tequila, but there are many better blancos out there, and at better prices that it’s silly to recommend it unless there’s absolutely nothing better on the shelf.
B / $38 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]
So what do you like that’s better and cheaper than Patron? I like El Jimador.
I think you nailed it. So many tequilas are as good if not better than Patron for the price. I’m no tequila expert, but El Jimador, Cazadores, Luna Azul, Tenampa Azul, Siembra Azul, Casa Noble (if you can find it on discount), Espolon (around $20!!) are all quite good blancos for the money.
Well said. There are so many good tequilas out there that there’s no reason to waste $40 or more on a bottle of Patron. And much like Grey Goose did to vodka, Patron has resulted in lots of sub par tequilas slapping big price tags on their bottles under the guise that they’re “ultra premium.”
Casa Noble, Corzo, and Don Julio are similarly priced and much better. Azul and Cuervo Tradicional for quality on a budget.
Yikes, I am sipping (yes sipping) some Patron Silver at this exact moment in time (and now feel like a sucker). I’ve always enjoyed it but I’m going to have to try some of these other tequila’s, sounds like I’ve been suckered in by the marketing.
Thank you for finally reviewing something like Patron. Ive never been a fan of the stuff. I always thought it tasted bad. Based on your recommendation I picked up some Casa Noble silver/crystal and it is fantastic. Save your money or buy something better for the same price.
Another blanco you might want to try if you can find it is Hacienda Cristero made by Herradura.
I have to ask – how does it compare to Cuervo’s “1800” line of tequilas?
ermlasboat – 1800 is another quality brand that I recommend — and it’s somewhere in between the Don Julio and Azul price levels.
I always thought Patron was all marketing. Good to know that there are better cheaper brands
Wow, no love at all for Sauza? It’s always been my “function over form” brand.
I like Patron, it tastes fine and mixes well, and it’s worth the money, if for no better reason than I’ve never had a hangover after drinking it. I don’t see a lot of alternatives on your list of which I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been a hard drinker for over 30 years. Cuervo 1800 is lousy–has no flavor and made me sick as a dog. But what do you expect from a company that also makes the crappiest tequila in the world? For all we know Cuervo 1800 is just recycled Cuervo Gold bleached and refiltered. Your palate needs work.
1800 is Cuervo Gold “bleached and refiltered”? That’s clearly not the case.
Olivia. Perhaps the reason you’ve never heard of alternative tequilas is because you fell for patrons marketing. Patron isn’t bad tequila Blanco. It’s ok. I would be willing to bet $$ that I could mix another tequila in your drink and you’d never know it. You would be astounded as to how well marketing can affect decisions.
I agree completely. Patron silver is fresh-tasting and good, but hot. Don Julio simply blows Patron and new pretenders out of the water – authentically Mexican and family owned. Don Julio Anejo is what you want. Don’t mix it. It costs, but you save on the mixers. 1800 Anejo is an incredible value. Also Mexican and family owned.
Personally I find it quite annoying when some people who learned a little more about tequila, they start bashing Cuervo and Patron. Just because so many people know those brands, the newly-appointed connaisseurs need to show that they know better, by bashing the popular brands. Sorry but you cannot deny that such a psychology is at play. Myself I fell victim of this behaviour and I had never ordered a shot of Patron, nor bought a bottle in my life, thinking I know better. But in reality neither Patron, nor Cuervo products deserve the often vile reviews they get by the “experts”. I was in Bulgaria of all places a few months ago and I felt like drinking tequila and it seemed like the best they had on that bar was probably Patron reposado (the others were Sauza and Cuervo Tradicional I think) and in good price too (2.5 euros a shot). So I thought what the heck, let’s finally try this. Tasting really depends on the day. But at least on that day I really enjoyed it, it was much better than I had been led to believe. Smooth, aromatic and proper agave-tasting. It did burn a little more than the real top tequilas but nothing bad. Definitely a satisfying tequila. I ordered 2-3 more after that. Sure there’s always better, so what. Just bought an anejo bottle too since I found it reasonably priced. I also bought a Don Julio blanco which used to be my favourite summer drink for years. It’s the third time I try it recently (tried it in bars in Mexico last year as well) and guess what, they seem to have messed it up. Maybe I was unlucky, but I’m not sure.