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Patrón exclusive: Inside the newest addition to the Patrón tequila family, Roca

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Tequila enthusiasts rejoice! It's time to greet the newest line of Patrón tequilas as they are available today. We wanted to find out more about the new line, so we had the chance to speak with Patrón to find out what the new brand is for, why they are launching it now and the process behind Roca Patrón.

When is the right time to release a new line of tequila like Roca Patrón? Well, that's a difficult question to ask, especially when you consider the already impressive lineup of tequilas Patrón currently has on the market. In an exclusive interview with Examiner.com, Greg Cohen, who is part of the brand team at Patrón Spirits, attributed the timing of this release to the growth they've seen from both the market and consumer interest.

"We decided the time was right to introduce this highly artisanal line of 100% agave tequilas because increasingly consumers’ appreciation for tequila has grown, and people are seeking new and unique, and complex tasting tequilas. This line of flavorfully complex, agave-forward tequilas showcases our staunch commitment to the most artisanal tequila-making traditions," Cohen said.

The new line of Roca Patrón is comprised of three new tequilas: Reposado, Silver and Añejo. This new line retails anywhere from $70 to $90; and is also sporting a higher alcohol level than the current line of Patrón Spirits.

Patrón believes this is a new tequila lineup will provide consumers with a unique, dynamic way to experience the brand. Cohen said they are "ideal" and don't replace the current lineup Patrón has on the market.

"With Roca Patrón, for people who are looking for more complexity and robust agave flavor, we’re proud that we can offer that taste experience. And for people who are looking for uniquely sophisticated, aged tequilas, we offer that as well with our Gran Patrón Piedra and Gran Patrón Burdeos tequilas. We’re expanding our portfolio to offer a variety of tequilas, to fit people’s changing tastes and preferences," Cohen said.

Roca Patrón is created using the "centuries-old tahona process." During this method of production, Patrón begins by crushing the agave by force of an enormous "tahona wheel." After that, they allow it to ferment and distill, which ends up yielding juice containing agave fiber.

Patrón claims this style helps embellish upon the drink's complexity, aroma and flavor, while leaving a strong sense of earthy and vegetal tones. They go on to say the company has always implemented this process and it is ultimately what makes Patrón taste like the spirit everyone has come to know.

"So, while the taste profile of Roca Patrón is certainly different from our core tequilas, it still demonstrates a degree of our house style that people have come to enjoy about Patrón. Also, Roca Patrón tequilas are finished at specific proofs, higher than the core line of Patrón tequilas, to create the perfect balance of flavors," Cohen said.

So what is so unique about the tahona process? Dating back 500 years, the tahona process was the one way that all tequilas were created, so Patrón naturally honors the heritage of the spirit. Patrón goes on to add that, nowadays, some distilleries do not utilize the tahona method because it takes too much time and requires a high amount of labor.

"Of the roughly 160 tequila distilleries in Mexico, only 5 that we know of are still using a tahona. It’s always been a part of our production process because our master distiller Francisco Alcaraz has been in the tequila industry for over 40 years, and quite simply, he knows how to produce high-quality tequila.

"The tahona process begins by crushing the cooked agave with a volcanic stone wheel, called a 'tahona,' that slowly breaks the bonds of fiber and releases the juice from the agave, while at the same time the agave is reabsorbed into the fiber.

"From there, both the juice and the fiber are placed into oak fermentation vats, and then into copper pot stills that Francisco designed himself. Very few tequilas are produced in this way, and certainly not with the care and attention to detail that our experienced team puts into it," Cohen said.

With the spirits industry continuing to acquire more and more market share from the beer and wine industries, Patrón attributed the shift to new, creative cocktails constantly being introduced by the spirits industry as a whole.

"Roca Patrón is an excellent sipping tequila, but because it’s higher proof and so genuinely flavorful, it’s also a perfect spirit to mix in a cocktail. So far, the reaction from bartenders has been tremendous because these tequilas are so versatile and mixable in high-quality, interesting cocktails," Cohen said.

As any executive will tell you, moving forward and continuing to see what you can do to improve your company is important. For Patrón, they seem to be quite focused on trying to innovate and change the types of offerings they have for the market.

"When you look at all of our product offerings – including our coffee liqueurs Patrón XO Cafe and Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa, and our orange liqueur Patrón Citrónge, and of course our Gran Patrón line – it’s easy to see that Patrón is very much a company and a brand that’s always looking forward.

"And now with Roca Patrón, and other new spirits that are currently in development, that strengthens again our commitment to offering unique, innovative, top-shelf luxury spirits," Cohen said.

Roca Patrón will be launching today in retailers nationwide. To find out more, you can visit Patrón's website here.

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