A Master Distiller’s Best Tequila


There are few tequila distillers with as much wisdom and experience as Patrón’s Francisco Alcaraz – if you doubt it, take one sip of Alcaraz’s new ridiculously high-end ($450 a bottle, in Duty-Free shops) Gran Patrón Piedra, the most elegant extra añejo I’ve tasted. Because all kinds of ultra-premium, aged, small-batch tequilas have flooded the market, Alcaraz may have had something to prove: namely, that even the biggest tequila company in the world, which produces up to 70,000 bottles a day, is nimble enough to create a meticulously crafted, super specialized tequila with a unique character. Unlike so many extra añejos, which end up tasting like cognac after years of barrel aging, Gran Patrón Piedra is light, smooth, clean, and mellow – but it still tastes like a beautiful tequila. The only problem is how easy it goes down – at $450 a bottle, it’s a dangerous taste to grow accustomed to.