It comes time to pick up a bottle of tequila for the party. You’re not 20 years old, and you want something decent, or at least something that appears decent. A couple popular options are Casamigos, Patron, and Don Julio. Which would you choose? Which should you choose?
In this article, we’re going to discuss the tasting notes, price, quality, and differences in production between Casamigos and Patron.
I specialize in whiskey, specifically bourbon and rye, so I’m not here as a tequila aficionado. I’m here as a person who enjoys a margarita and appreciates a solid shot of tequila. I’m too old to be drinking crappy tequila, but not too old to rip some shots at a party (is anyone really ever too old for that…?).
This is a comparison guide between Casamigos’ and Patron’s standard, unaged expression. Casamigos uses ‘Blanco’ as their term for unaged, Patron uses ‘Silver’ in the US as their term for unaged, but they mean the same thing.
|Spirit||Tequila Blanco (Unaged, Silver)||Tequila Silver (Unaged, Blanco)|
|Proof||80 proof, 40% ABV||80 proof, 40% ABV|
|Made From||100% Blue Agave||100% Blue Agave|
|Use of Additives?||Yes||No|
Casamigos, as with all tequila (excluding what’s referred to as mixto tequila), is made from 100% blue agave at the Productos Finos de Agave Distillery.
Patron is produced at Hacienda Patron in Jalisco, Mexico. Of course, it, too, is made from 100% blue agave.
The process of distilling tequila is fairly similar due to the regulations. Some distilleries use more traditional methods, and others rely on newer methods and technology. Casamigos and Patron harvest the hearts, or Piña’s, of the agave, and cook them in brick ovens. Then it is mashed by a Tahona wheel to get the agave juice, fermented, and distilled. Reposado and Añejo options are aged, but the unaged expressions are bottled and ready to be sold.
So, what’s really the difference between the two. Laws and regulations ensure that both are made in the same region of Mexico from the same plant. Well a major difference is in additives.
Additives in Tequila
Tequila laws and regulations allow for up to 1% of the total liquid to be glycerin, sugar-based syrup, caramel coloring, oak extract, or other non-harmful additives. Brands and companies do not have to disclose whether or not additives are used.
You can use this list to find out which tequilas are additive free. (Note: This is a list of additive free tequila. Not being on this list does not mean the tequila has additives).
Does Casamigos Use Additives?
Yes, up to 1% of every bottle of Casamigos will contain artificial sweeteners and flavors.
Does Patron Use Additives?
No. Patron does not use any additives. Their tequila is all natural.
Okay, we’ve covered some of the basics, but now it’s time to put these to the real test. Does the artificially flavored Casamigos make it better? Or should we stick to all-natural tequila?
Nose: Vanilla and lemon icing, a slight dusty, vegetal quality, and agave.
Palate: Vanilla extract, lemon, oak, orange, agave, and a vegetal undertone.
Finish: Vanilla, citrus, and a light green pepper.
Nose: Cleaner and lighter. Agave, citrus, and pepper.
Palate: Simple. Roasted agave and pepper are most prominent.
Finish: Clean, fresh. I get an almost pineapple, tropical freshness on the finish that shows up a bit on the back of the palate, too.
Taste Summary – Which is Better?
I’ve never really paid much attention to whether a tequila has additives or not. I mean, 90% of my tequila intake comes from shots and margs. I didn’t care so long as it was easy to shoot. Doing an A vs B comparison between these two, I don’t know how I’ve overlooked it all these years.
The vanilla notes, similar to vanilla extract, are aggressive, overly done, and smell/taste artificial. On the other hand, Patron is so much cleaner, lighter, and more fresh. Yeah, you get a little more tequila (alcohol + agave) and pepper, but I’d much rather that than artificial flavors.
Any time I have a decision between Casamigos and Patron, I’m choosing Patron every time. I prefer the fresh, natural quality over the artificial flavors.
Casamigos and Patron retail for about the exact same price – usually around the upper $30’s to lower to mid $40’s. Of course price is going to vary from store to store and location to location, but there’s not a significant difference in the price between these two to change my mind about these tequilas.
As a self-proclaimed whiskey aficionado, I can’t stand when flavored whiskeys try to portray themselves as a bourbon. I have nothing against flavored whiskey, it has it’s niche and I enjoy it from time to time, but none of it can compare to true bourbon or straight whiskey.
I now feel the same way about Tequila.
There are some differences, though. I have a deep appreciation for whiskey, I sip whiskey, and I enjoy doing tastings. I mostly drink Tequila for the sake of getting a buzz, so the quality of what I’m drinking, while still important, doesn’t carry the same weight.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you drink what you like, how you like to drink it. For me personally, I’m going to stick to additive free tequila. If you appreciate tequila or are bringing a bottle to those who really appreciate tequila, I’d recommend going with Patron over Casamigos.