The man who scared the bejeezus out of you in movies like Cronos and Pan’s Labyrinth has now turned his attention to something even more menacing: Tequila.
What’s it all about? It’s an extra anejo, aged over five years in new and used oak barrels, that comes with a 100ml miniature of aged orange liqueur on top, “a skull exquisitely carved into the crystal.” This liqueur is “a first-of-its-kind aged Patrón orange liqueur produced from aged Patrón tequila,” and presumably you can use it along with the tequila to make the most expensive margarita you’ve ever had.
This partnership marks one of the first collaborations in which del Toro has engaged outside of the entertainment industry, and among a handful of partnerships carefully selected by Patrón over its long history. The drawings on the packaging were inspired by jimadores, the skilled laborers in Mexico who for generations have hand-harvested and trimmed the Weber Blue Agave. Only a very limited number of sets were produced, and are currently available at fine spirits and liquor retailers across the country.
We didn’t taste the orange liqueur (or get to experience the elaborate packaging) but we did get a nice sample of the tequila itself to experience. Some thoughts:
Did I say we didn’t get the orange liqueur? The nose on the tequila is so overpowering with orange notes that I originally thought we’d mistakenly been sent the liqueur instead of the tequila and actually asked for (and received) a second sample. Not so, the company swears up and down. It just so happens that the primary aroma here is citrus, particularly mandarins. A spicy agave note lingers underneath, along with some sultry caramel character, and a note of spicy, dried fig.
The palate is still quite sweet and fruity with distinct orange notes, here sweet like marmalade, but edgy with a peppery undercurrent. The sweetness endures though (and makes the bottle super-sticky as well), again giving this tequila a distinctly liqueur-like character that’s hard to shake. I like it a lot for what it is, but I just have a massive amount of trouble placing it among any tequila hierarchy. As a luxe version of Grand Marnier, that might be an easier sell.
B+ / $399 / patrontequila.com