Today we’re going to give you a taste of La Higuera Sotol, which is not technically a Mezcal. We compare it to KOCH Mezcal Espadin to help give some baseline for Mezcal vs. Sotol.
Technically Sotol, specifically known as Dasylirion wheeleri or the “Desert Spoon”, is a cousin or maybe grandfather of agave. It might look similar to agave but upon closer examination it is not a variation of agave but a different plant all together.
However, it was originally considered an agave variation and it has been used to create Mezcal-like products and beers for a long time. As a matter of fact, Sotol has been fermented and used to create beers for about 800 years.
The 16th century Spanish learned how to distill Sotol into a spirit. It is stripped down and cooked much like agave given it’s a near cousin to the plant, and produces a distilled spirit which has much of the same properties of Mezcal.
But, it’s not a Mezcal, it’s sotol. Why does that matter? When you want a mezcal cocktail experience and you see Sotol on a menu or in the store, you can seek it out to give you the same pleasures as a great mezcal cocktail. It’s seeing growing recognition in its own category and sotol is something to pay attention to as it continues its growth.
Can sotol match agave in terms of popularity? This is doubtful considering it takes 15 years for Sotol to mature and it produces around one bottle of sotol per plant. Given low yields we may find Sotol selling for more money in the store than Mezcal without being too distinctly different…why spend more for Sotol if you can get Mezcal for cheaper?
Well, one reason is you can’t get Mezcal for that much cheaper. In any case, sotol is something to pay attention to and seek out if you get the chance to find and try this alternative agave spirit.
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