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4 Sotol Brands That Define the Spirit


Though sotol is a lesser-appreciated agave spirit than tequila or mezcal, it packs a unique punch that needs to be tasted to be believed.

Mexico is a nation rich in agave spirits. Though tequila and mezcal love to steal the spotlight, there are countless other spirits with wholly unique flavors of their own. Let us introduce you to sotol.

Made from a stalky agave varietal called desert spoon, sotol bears a production process similar to that of mezcal. Hearts of desert spoon are roasted in large earthen pits, crushed to a pulp, fermented in open-air wooden vats and double distilled.

In contrast to tequila’s smooth finish or mezcal’s signature smoky bite, sotol is bright and grassy, heavy on palpable earth notes which reflect its terroir. The flavors used to describe sotol include the likes of eucalyptus, pine, menthol and even mushrooms.

While tequila and the agave plants used to make it are ubiquitous in the southern regions of Mexico, sotol and desert spoon are hallmarks of the north. The official state spirit of Chihuahua, Durango, and Coahuila, sotol is a revered drink with historical roots just as deep as tequila or mezcal.

4 Sotol Brands Worth Picking Up

Given its borderline-niche status in the United States, finding a quality sotol can be difficult. Below are four recommendations to get you started on your sotol journey. 

Oro de Coyame Sotol


For $20, there is no better introductory sotol than Oro de Coyame at its price. With distinct hits of artichoke and roasted nuts, this sotol is known to be smokier than some of its brighter counterparts. 

Oro de Coyame mixes well with cocktails like margaritas and palomas but works just as well if you want to sip it on its own. 

Find Oro de Coyame near you.

Desert Door Texas Sotol


At $40, Desert Door Texas Sotol is a well-known spirit for good reason. An excellent entry point for those hoping to taste sotol’s herbaceous sweetness, Desert Door’s profile combines a creamy taste with hints of citrus and mint. 

Though Desert Door is arguably one of, if not the most recognizable sotol brand in the United States, it should be said that it is not one without controversy. Similar to other agave spirits like tequila and mezcal, sotol has a protected designation of origin which states that it can only be produced in one of three Mexican states; Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango. It goes without saying that Texas is not one of those states. 

There has been significant discussion surrounding the ethics of a Texas-made sotol. At the very least, this is certainly a brand that is easy to get your hands on.

Find Desert Door Texas Sotol near you.

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Plata


Hacienda de Chihuahua is one of the best-known Mexican producers on the market, and it takes its drink seriously. Its manufacturer, Vinomex, has been heavily involved in conservation efforts of the desert spoon plant to ensure future generations. 

With the earthy, wet flavors of stems and leaves, as well as a distinct lingering aftertaste of vanilla, Hacienda de Chihuahua embodies sotol’s many signature traits. Just like tequila, you can find Hacienda de Chihuahua in reposado, añejo and platinum varieties. Each will cost around $40. 

Find Haciende de Chihuahua Sotol Plata near you.

Clande Sotol (Green)


Clande Sotol is the brand of choice if you really want to taste what’s going into your sotol. Their biggest seller, Clande Sotol Green, is an ensamble that combines sotol and agave in its roasting process, producing a wild combination of pine, rosemary, honey and even arugula. 

Famously, Clande Sotol sells different colored bottles of its sotol to represent their various regions of origin. While the Madera-produced Clande Sotol Yellow brings fruity bursts of banana and lemon, the Chihuahua-produced Clande Sotol Red leans deeper with hints of chocolate, baking spices and caramelized sugar. 

If you want to discover how various plants can produce different sotols and don’t mind coughing up $100, Clande Sotol is the gourmet choice. 

Find Clande Sotol near you.

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.