Are You Sure You’re Related? Patrón Tequila – Silver and XO Cafe
Review by: Martin Pilkington
Hear the word tequila and chances are you’ll imagine one of two scenarios: a cantina in some cowboy movie where a shot of the stuff leads to watery eyes and coughing; or a multicoloured cocktail served with miniature beach furniture. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and Patrón Silver (40 per cent ABV) is a good example of why not.
The drink’s crystal clarity gives you hope from the outset that this won’t be a bandito brand. A sip doesn’t disappoint: it has nice clean flavours, and something not readily associated with the clichéd view of the tipple, subtlety. Slightly grassy, with a hint of aniseed, the toffee-rich nose is rather reminiscent of Fundador Spanish brandy. And it is smooth, so none of that dramatic face-pulling of the gringo in a spaghetti Western saloon. Pleasant enough to drink on its own, though not something that will convert single malt slaves or cognac cognoscenti to the cause, it would also make a fine base for cocktails – but don’t mask its flavour with too many extra ingredients.
Subtle is not the word for its sibling, the almost jet-black XO Cafe (35 per cent ABV). The coffee taste overwhelms the Silver Tequila which is its basis, the sort of coffee flavour that you get as a filling in milk chocolates, lacking the bitter bite that a decent cup brings. And it is astonishingly sweet. My wife found it enjoyable, rather more satisfying than certain other coffee liqueurs and with a decided kick to it. I found that sweetness a barrier, though agree that with none of that nasty almost grainy feel that some rivals suffer from it may be a step up. If liqueurs on the sweet side are your cup of tea, or coffee, you could enjoy this.