Patrón Tequila, a brand of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Bacardi Ltd., launched Gran Patrón Smoky, which uses agave that is roasted with mesquite for about seven days in small underground stone pits to craft the artisanal tequila.

Gran Patrón Smoky honors traditional production methods dating back hundreds of years, it says. Like all Patrón Tequila, the process for Gran Patrón Smoky begins with the high-quality, 100 percent Weber Blue Agave. To create the smoky aroma and taste, the heart of the agave plant, the piña, is roasted in underground stone pits at the Patrón Hacienda distillery in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The cooked agave then is slowly crushed with a volcanic stone tahona wheel before the juice and agave fibers are placed together in pine wood fermenters and then distilled in small-capacity copper pot stills, the company says.

"At Patrón, from the beginning, we have always been dedicated to preserving traditional tequila-making techniques. With Gran Patrón Smoky we've taken that commitment one step further by exploring the ancient method of roasting the agaves in small, underground stone pits, resulting in a balanced yet complex smoky flavor." said Lee Applbaum, global chief marketing officer at Patrón Tequila, in a statement.

Gran Patrón Smoky is characterized by its aroma of artichoke, pepper, spices, and hints of sweet citrus, the company says. It has a smooth and sweet taste, with distinctive smoked agave and citrus notes, and a long peppery finish, it adds.

Bottled at 101 proof, Gran Patrón Smoky will be available in limited supply in select U.S. markets starting this month with broader expansion planned for 2019. Gran Patrón Smoky is an ultra-premium tequila, packaged in a 750-ml tall bottle.

In a nod to the roasting process, the bottle is topped with a wood stopper and Portuguese cork closure to symbolize the materials used in cooking of the agave, and is adorned with “smoke” climbing the front label, according to the company. With a suggested retail price of $199, Gran Patrón Smoky can be consumed neat, on the rocks, or in a premium cocktail, it adds.