Are You Swayed By Fancy Liquor Bottles?


[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

We've been trying more than a little tequila this week as we tried to find the best examples of both blanco tequila, and aged sipping tequilas. One surprise benefit: these bottles have definitely classed up the look of our liquor shelf. They're pretty beautiful: the chiseled edge of Herradura with its logo embossed in a horseshoe pattern, the Art Deco style of Gran Centenario, the jewel-like orb of Partida...they're bottles that make us want to start a collection.


But the cream of the crop is Patron's top-shelf Gran Patron Platinum. The crystal 375 mL bottle weights about 3 pounds, and it's a stunner, almost more like jewelry than a container for liquid. If you're a sucker for beveled edges and a thick base on fine drinkware, you may find it hard to resist the investment.

Is it just a pretty bottle, though? Is Gran Patron Platinum that much better than the original?

In a blind taste test at SEHQ, one taster noted that the regular Patron Silver started smooth, "but then there's a punch of alcohol that's a bit harsh. This could use a lime," he said.

How'd the fancy stuff do, when you weren't aware of what you were drinking? During the blind trial, one taster noted the remarkably smooth texture and finish of the Gran Patron Platinum. "This stuff is definitely sippable—pretty delicious and very well balanced." The platinum does have a noticeably more complex flavor when compared with regular Patron, full of sweet fruity pineapple and thyme flavors. "It's already a cocktail, like a pineapple margarita," noted another taster. Most of us went back for another sip or three. Another noted that the texture was voluptuous.

But is it worth the price? Gran Patron Platinum clocks in at over 200 bucks for a full 750 mL bottle—that's about $7.90 per ounce, compared to $1.82 per ounce for Don Julio Silver (which we love.) Most of us just can't justify the expense, even if you're left with a beautiful bottle to display on your bar or mantle when those pricey sips are gone.

Confession time: pricey or not, have you ever chosen a bottle of liquor because of its gorgeous bottle? Do you save old bottles because they look good?

Disclosure: all tequilas were provided as samples for review consideration.

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is the editor of Serious Eats: Drinks. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.