Good morning, eager readers of a legal drinking age! We tackle frequently (and infrequently) asked questions on a regular basis, here, but this time, we’re going straight for the libations with, “How much does a bottle of Patrón cost?” It’s regarded as one of the more expensive tequilas that you can buy from your local liquor store, but what makes it so expensive? What defines how much “expensive” actually is? Moreover, based on popular opinion, is Patrón worth your hard-earned dollars? We’re going to look into that, and more…and maybe even provide you with a few smooth, delicious alternatives before this little guide is finished.
If you’re like me (of a legal drinking age), then one of the best ways to round out a trip to the grocery store is a trip to the local liquor. I’ll forego soap-boxing about the very real dangers of alcoholism and get right to the point–there are some delicious treats waiting on those shelves, and being a smart consumer can help you to find the alcohol that’s perfect for you. If you’re a fan of wines, you’ll need to start breaking down your choices by types and vintage. If you’re a fan of tequila, then it mostly turns into a brand and region game. For many tequila drinkers, the top of that game is Patrón.
What makes this particular brand’s lineup of tequila products so damned expensive? That’s a tricky question to answer, but it’s worth devoting a little bit of time toward. After all, a tequila market is a crowded place, and even if Patrón is regarded as a “super premium” liquor, smart drinkers and smart shoppers should know what their money is going towards.
Fortunately, simple research can tell us quite a lot. The expense of Patrón tequila begins with the agave that’s used to make it, the refinement process that turns it into tequila, as well as the bottling and labeling that gives it that appealing finish that’s visible from the shelf of your liquor store.
In short, every step of the process is a bit more costly than the competition, and you should, therefore, expect Patrón to be more costly to follow suit. All of those extra expenses add up over time, but according to many tequila enthusiasts, they’re worth it.
Tequila Production Process
Understanding the process of tequila production–especially with regards to how refreshingly regional it is–can help to shed some light on the cost of Patrón brand tequila. Almost all popular tequila that’s consumed around the world comes from agave plants that are grown in Mexico. They’re refined in Mexico using methods that have been honed and sharpened for many, many years, and the end product is something that goes hand-in-hand with the country’s proud culture, history, and world reputation.
Looking at all of the steps in tequila production–from agave to bottle, will reveal that each part of the process is made slightly more costly because of the methods that Patrón uses, which results in the overall higher cost of this super premium liquor.
From Field to Bottle
It all begins with the agave plant. Specifically, all genuine tequila comes from the blue agave plant. Many liquors are often made to resemble tequila using other agave plants, but due to distribution, branding, and trade laws, they cannot call it tequila. If it didn’t come from blue agave, that liquor is merely a “tequila spirit.” Also interesting is tequila’s relation to mezcal, another Mexican-sourced liquor that’s produced from agave plants. Specifically, tequila is a form of mezcal, but since mezcal can be made from any type of agave plant, all agave isn’t inherently mezcal. So, it’s not exactly a two-way street, right?
Care and tending of blue agave plants are done almost exclusively by hand, a tradition that hasn’t changed over hundreds of years. Even as distilleries in Mexico have largely automated certain parts of the tequila production process, the people who grow and care for the plants are using practices that have been refined over centuries.
Since blue agave is limited in the regions that it can be successfully grown, cultivation and conservation remain a primary concern for most growers. After the plants are allowed to fully ripen, they’re harvested, cleaned, and then baked. After the plant is baked, it’s sealed and allows to ferment for a time period determined by the company in charge of production.
The end result of the process? A damn fine glass of tequila, hopefully! Alterations in this process are what help to set apart various companies that produce, bottle, and distribute tequila. More than that, that alterations also affect the price that you’re going to pay per bottle.
What Does Patrón Do Differently?
As stated above, every alteration that Patrón applies to its own process results in a more expensive, but arguably higher quality liquor. Not only that, but the “finished” experience that you get from purchasing a bottle of Patrón, opening it and drinking it factors into the cost. Let’s explore that, a bit.
Much of the information we’re referencing is given on Patrón’s website, but it can be backed up fairly easily by referencing tequila and growing experts elsewhere online.
Sustainability is a primary concern for the growers and producers of Patrón tequila, and that can be seen from the care of the blue agave that is grown to the cultivation that leads to its harvesting. Hacienda Patrón, where the tequila is made, features several sustainability measures in place for the production, including reverse-osmosis filtration and composting systems that help to cut down on the effects that the work can have on the environment.
Interestingly, when it comes time to grind the agave plant before it’s barreled and allowed to ferment, an exceptionally traditional method is put to use. Two-ton stone wheels are used to mash the plant and release the juices stored inside. This is all done by hand, rather than an automated process.
The expertise put into each bottle of Patrón doesn’t end with the actual production of the tequila, either. Each bottle is made of hand-blown artisan glass, and the cork that goes into each bottle is sustainably sourced and made in Portugal.
What results at the end of all of this isn’t just a super premium tequila, but a super premium purchasing and drinking experience to go along with it. Patrón wants its consumers to know that they’re partaking in a luxurious experience, rather than just drinking a great liquor. If you care just as much about your drinking experience as the drink itself, the maybe a bottle of Patrón should be in your future!
How Much Does Patrón Cost?
Now, we come down to cost. While looking at all of the processes involved in the production of Patrón tequila is rather simple, narrowing down how much a bottle is going to cost isn’t going to be a particularly fruitful endeavour. However, we can provide a general baseline of what to expect, even if the price you pay for a bottle (or case) is going to vary based on several different factors.
Specific region is going to be the primary controlling factor in how much you pay for Patrón. Different states are going to have different taxation rates for liquors, and on top of that, it’s very likely that the cost of getting those liquors into your particular store is going to be different than other regions.
A higher tax rate is going to ensure that you’re paying more per bottle than states with a lower tax rate. On top of that, rural areas without a large variety of liquor imports might list Patrón at a higher price than areas where it’s more readily available and purchased.
The complication already present with the supply and demand of a super-premium, imported liquor is forced to contend with varying tax rates in different areas. It’s no surprise, then, that prices are going to be all over the map.
On average, most people are reporting that a bottle of Patrón costs between $50 and $70, with limited production varieties of Patrón tequila costing considerably more. For many tequila connoisseurs, that’s a small price to pay for such a smooth, excellent drink.
Alternatives to Patrón
For people who are looking for a similarly authentic tequila that’s more affordable, however, knowing where to look can be difficult. Testimony from tequila drinkers has left us with recommendations of Cazadores and Cabo Wabo, though each will still have you paying upwards of $25 for a 750mL bottle of spirits.
Hopefully, our brief guide has given you some idea of what to expect when you go searching for a bottle of Patrón. In addition to telling you how much it costs, we hope to have shown you a bit of the tequila production process, beyond the specific methods that are individually used when making Patrón. If you have any further spirits-related questions, or if you want to let us know how much a bottle of Patrón costs in your particular region, feel free to chime in through the comments below! As always, please consider sharing this article on Facebook and Twitter!