Aging Tequila

03. The Patrón Aging Process

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Many variables of the aging process can influence the final profile of the tequila, including the barrel wood type, the char level of the barrel, how many times the barrel has been used before, the temperature in the cellar, the humidity level of the cellar, and the proof of the tequila when it first enters the barrel.

Types of wood used at Patrón

While all variables have an influence on the final flavor of tequila, all decisions start with the barrel. We use a variety of barrels to age different products, including:

FRENCH: ALLIER WHITE OAK

(Medium Toast). Imparts dried fruit, raisins, subtle oak, spice.

FRENCH: LIMOUSIN WHITE OAK

(Medium Toast). Imparts intense fruit, toasted oak, dried fruit, light vanilla.

BORDEAUX WINE: FRENCH OAK

Imparts red fruit, oak, dried fruit.

HUNGARIAN: WHITE OAK

(Medium Toast). Imparts citrus, fruit, caramel, butter, subtle oak.

HYBRID: NEW FRENCH LIMOUSIN HEADSNEW AMERICAN OAK STAVES

(Medium Toast). Imparts citrus, fruit, vanilla, oak, dried fruit.

USED BOURBON: AMERICAN OAK

(Charred). Imparts citrus, light fruit, vanilla, light oak

SPANISH OLOROSO SHERRY: AMERICAN WHITE OAK

Imparts fig, raisins, pecan and dried fruit.

We choose to blend each aged tequila before bottling, because different barrels and aging times impart different characteristics. At Patrón, the production team knows exactly what kind of flavor profile each tequila should have, and blending helps make this consistency and smoothness of flavor a reality. A different combination of barrels may be used each time to ensure consistent quality and flavor; for example, the blending process might use five barrels of one type combined with three from another year. 

Exceptional individual barrels are selected for our Patrón Barrel Select program, showcasing the unique qualities of the different barrels we use (more on this in the Patrón Products section). 

ESTIBA — The iconic storage method for tequila, barrels are stacked in pyramidal structures, here shown in one of Patróns barrel rooms. 


A warehouse shot featuring the pyramidal stacks of barrels extending into the background.

Other Aging Variables at Patrón

Our barrel rooms are not climate controlled, which leads to a higher percentage of angel’s share” than many other tequila distilleries. Angel’s share is the percentage of tequila in the barrel that evaporates over time. At Patrón, our average percentage of evaporation is 1 percent per month. It might seem like a large sacrifice over time, but it’s the way we get the right flavors from the barrels, so the spirited tax is worth the cost.

At Patrón, tequila enters the barrel at 110 proof, the same proof at which it comes off the still.