Sotol, the other tequila

Looks like tequila, kind of smells like tequila, tastes…well you’ll find out. This is a bottle we’ve been wanting to try for a while. Its got a great looking package and an affordable price at $27 bucks but what is it? It doesn’t say tequila anywhere on the bottle yet its parked between the Tequila and Mezcal. Its got the same straw color of aged tequila’s and the ages are even named in a similar manner, Blanco, Reposado, Anejo but it doesn’t mention anything about the Jalisco region on the bottle. The bottle looks just like the artisanal glassware that graces the tequila bottles but it doesn’t talk about Blue Weber Agave’s. So what is it?

Sotol is distilled from Agave’s, just not the Blue Weber that are exclusive to Tequila. Sotol is made from 100% wildly harvested Agavacea’s, similar too but not the blue weber. Its also distilled in the Chihuahua region in northern mexico not the Jalisco region that tequila must be made in to be labelled Tequila. It’s the state drink of Chihuahua and is produced in a more artisanal methods similar to mezcal than tequila. Its takes one plant to make one bottle and that plant is harvested as a 15 year old bratty teenager. Efficient, no. Exclusive, yes. The plants grow at approx. 3500-6000 feet above sea level in the high desert. Hacienda de Chihuahua’s juice is organic, kosher and 100% with no additives, colorings or flavorings. We purchased their Repo which is aged anywhere from 6-12 months

Although there are 60+ labels of Sotol, I’ve only seen one here in Georgia. Hacienda de Chihuahua. HDC (for short) currently has 3 bottles available in Georgia, the blanco, repo, and anejo. They’ve released a Crema de Sotol with is Sotol, cream, and pecan flavoring from the Pecan trees located behind the distillery. See there is a Georgia connection here. I wonder how the Mexican’s pronounce Pecan? HDC has also been talking about a 5 year aging but info for that has been around since 2007. Is it a 9 year now?

The bottle has a great design. It looks hand blown with it’s ever so slight wavy texture and the details like the wooden topped natural cork give it a great traditional but restrained look. Leather strings wrap the neck and hold the cork onto the bottle with a signature “H” wax stamp securing the strap to the bottle.  Its also adorned with a simple gold and ivory label as well. Pure class.

It pours with a nice light straw color typical of Chardonnay and swirling produces some tight pearls and slow tears. Initially I thought “Wow! this smells like wild tequila” as it has a unconventional nose like someone decided to make tequila but broke some rules along the way. The nose opens up to a smoky, nutty aroma with a little sweetness similar to bubble gum while still retaining some agave-ish goodness. There is also a little oakiness with a bit of char to it. I know they use new french white oak barrels for the aging but I couldn’t find anything about charring or toasting the barrels. Everything on the nose translates to the pallet along with a slight heat in the top of your chest and there is a little oiliness to the mouth but way not offensive. Its an easy yet interesting sipper.

We chock this up to a 4 outta 5, its great stuff, at a great price and is very sippable. I’m tempted to mix it but sometimes I have a hard time doing that with a good bottle of juice. So if your in the mood for something a little different than your standard tequila’s look no further.

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