The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2015

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128  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2015 Swimming Against the Tide: Leave No Tahona Unturned: Manhattan Margarita Roca Patrón TASTING NOTES TASTING NOTES This 30-proof treat is snappy and ready-to-drink. It's sincerely fresh tasting, a smooth operator with no cloying notes and an I-want-to-taste-more finish of dry orange peel. 90 —Meridith May Roca Patrón Silver: Crisp, much less pep- pery and softer than other Patrón tequilas, 45% ABV. Roca Patrón Reposado: Smooth, some pepper and cooked agave flavor, subtler than other Patrón tequilas, 42% ABV. Roca Patrón Añejo: Oaked and caramel taste, some cinnamon, pepper and ginger notes, 44% ABV. The fruity notes balance out the savory, umami notes of sushi, and the citrus complement the acid in feta and the fattiness in lamb—mak- ing it a wonderful and unexpected match to Greek food. It would be easy to follow the other pre-made cocktail brands—throw some artificial flavorings and fake coloring on top of the spirit of their choice and bottle—but not Steven Brown, founder of Manhattan Margarita, he wanted to give consumers something real and all-natural. For over 14 years he served his original kitchen recipe of a natural, refreshing margarita that would quickly disappear at every party he brought it to—and he couldn't find anything like it when he went to the store. Brown spent three years polishing his recipe—ending on a combination of pre- mium silver tequila, triple sec and fruits: lemon, lime, orange, cranberry, pineapple and melon. Together with partner Jin Ishimoto they launched Manhattan Margarita in Southern California and Japan in the summer of 2014. This reinvention takes Margaritas to the next level and allows both accounts and consumers to easily serve these all-natural Margaritas that guests will love; no need to hide this bottle! Not content to pro- duce premium tequila from 100% blue agave, The Patrón Spirits Company launched Roca Patrón, a product line made entirely from a 500-year-old process that uses a two-ton stone wheel —a tahona—to crush the roasted agave (only approximately five distilleries use this method), then ferments the plant fibers and juice in wooden vats for 72 hours, before distilling them in cop- per pot stills. Unlike the other handful of tequila brands that use the tahona, the artisanal trio—Roca Patrón Silver, twice-distilled; Roca Patrón Reposado, aged five months in American bourbon oak barrels; and Roca Patrón Añejo, aged 14 months in bourbon oak barrels—are available at many top restaurants and hotels. "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," says Patrón's Master Distiller, Francisco Alcaraz. PAIRING BEYOND THE TACO PAIRING BEYOND THE TACO tequila report from 100% blue Roca Patrón Silver: Light seafood and shellfish. Roca Patrón Reposado: Pork, meatier seafood, like swordfish, chiles en nogada (stuffed chile pepper in a pomegranate seed–studded nut cream sauce). Roca Patrón Añejo: Rich meats, pasta with meat sauce, heavy mole sauce. Bonus Chinese Cuisine Pairings: Silver with spring roll-paper-wrapped fish with a roast pork filling; Reposado with stewed pork belly and a mushrooms in oyster sauce appetizer; Añejo with cooked chicken, ham and Chinese mushrooms. —Sharon McDonnell THE PATRÓN SPIRITS COMPANY

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