The Extra Añejo tequila is aged at least three years to meet the spirit's highest possible classification.
Patrón Extra Añejo
Credit: Courtesy of Patrón Tequila

On a historic day for Patrón drinkers, the tequila giant has introduced its first new core product in 25 years. The new Patrón Extra Añejo tequila is aged for at least three years to fit tequila's highest possible classification, extra añejo, and will become a regularly available part of the company's top selling line.

US tequila sales more than doubled from 2002 to 2015, thanks in great part ultra-premium tequilas like Patrón's giving the previously looked-down on drink a more rareified air. Ultra-premium tequila sales increased 652 percent over the same period, which helped prompt the the Consejo Regulador de Tequila (Mexico’s governing body for tequila) to create the extra añejo classification in 2006. It's now the highest classification of the four available, and the fastest growing category of aged tequila today.

Launched to meet the needs of what Patrón’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Lee Applbaum calls a "rapidly changing consumer appreciation for fine tequila," Patrón Extra Añejo is "crafted from the highest-quality 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, " and distilled with both "the ancient tahona process" and "the more modern roller mill method." It’s then aged for over three years in a variety of barrels that includes "new and used American, French, and Hungarian Oak," which Patrón says instills an aroma and taste that includes dry fruits, banana, honey, and vanilla, and "the distinctive flavor of light agave and oak."

While a staple of bars and liquor cabinets today, Patrón was founded only 30 years ago, not too long after the country of Mexico declared "Tequila" its intellectual property, and mandated it could only be produced in certain areas of Mexico (and not in other countries). The extra añejo classification was added due to the recent growth in premium tequilas led by makers like Patrón, who still produces their tequila exclusively in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. Patrón Extra Añejo will join a 25 year old line that includes Patrón Silver, Patrón Reposado (which is aged for at least 2 months), and Patrón Añejo (which is aged for at least a year).