Flor del Desierto Sotol Review

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 12, 2023

A guide to tasting, drinking, and buying Flor del Desierto Sotol.
Flor del Desierto Sotol bottles

A group of friends with a great passion for Sotol founded the Flor del Desierto Sotol brand. The story of three friends from Chihuahua founding Flor del Desierto has a genuinely fascinating script. It started with one of them winning a baking contest using Sotol as the secret ingredient. 

And subsequently, the friends decided to find the best Sotol out there. In the process of doing so, they came across countless bottles of Sotol, but only a few of them could convince them.

Consequently, the brand does not distill its spirit but collects the best Sotols and releases them under its Flor del Desierto brand. Made from different distillers in different areas, each of their products shows another aspect of the Northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.

So each release of Flor del Desierto has its unique range of flavors, is distilled by a different master distiller, and showcases a unique type of terroir. That's also why the character of those spirits can vary wildly. And why it's so hard to predict if you like their latest release as much as the last one.

Tasting Notes - Flor del Desierto Sierra

The aromas are fresh, sweet, and grassy - with hints of limestone. You can smell herbs, asparagus, and even lettuce.

The 47.5% ABV makes for a full-bodied Sotol that starts with smoky cedar notes. As the smoky flavors fade, you can taste eucalyptus, pine, anise, and cilantro combined with spicy notes from cloves and a subtle sweetness. 

Overall, a very distinctive flavor profile for a Sotol that is nonetheless very pleasant in aroma and taste. 


The Sotol from Flor del Desierto is best consumed neat or over ice. However, their Sotol is also an excellent base for cocktails. The Sierra expression is an ideal alternative to Mezcal in a Mezcal Negroni

Flor del Desierto Desert is best in a sour cocktail riff, especially when also adding a flavorful amaro liqueur like Amaro Nonino or Amaro Montenegro. You should either, use a split base approach of 1 ounce of Sotol and 1 ounce of Amaro, or a more Sotol-forward combination of 1.5 ounces to 0.5 ounces.

Flor del Desierto Cascabel works great in an Old Fashioned that highlights its meaty and mineral flavors. I prefer to replace the classic sugar cube with agave syrup for a more vegetal aroma and taste.

About Flor del Desierto

The Sotol brand was founded in 2011 by three friends, all having grown up in Chihuahua. Their approach of finding the best Sotols and releasing them under one brand brings different methods, experiences, and tastes together into one single brand.

And not only did their triple distilled Sotol receive a gold award from the National Academy of Mezcal, but it is also the first Sotol in history certified by the Mexican Sotol Counsel (Consejo Mexicano del Sotol).

5 Flor del Desierto Sotol varieties

According to its homepage, the brand currently offers five varieties of Sotol. The different bottles available are:

  • Flor del Desierto Sierra
  • Flor del Desierto Desert
  • Flor del Desierto Veneno
  • Flor del Desierto Ono Sotol
  • Flor del Desierto Cascabel

And as each product is very different from the others, here is a short description of each bottle including tasting notes. 

Flor del Desierto Sierra

Flor del Desierto Sotol Sierra

Type of Dasylirion: Wheeleri
ABV: 47.5%
Sotolero/Distiller: Jose Armando Fernandez Flores
City: Madera

The Sierra bottle is probably my favorite Sotol sold by Flor del Desierto. It is made from the Dasylirion Wheeleri plant and produced in Madera, Chihuahua. The high amount of alcohol (95 proof) makes this spirit full of flavor.


The aromas are fresh and vegetal. You can smell herbs, asparagus, and even lettuce and taste eucalyptus and cilantro combined with spicy notes from cloves and a subtle sweetness. Even some notes of clay coming from the clay pot distillation shine through. Overall, a wonderful and highly recommended Sotol and one of the best choices for beginners.

Flor del Desierto Desert

Flor del Desierto Sotol Desert

Type of Dasylirion: Leiophyllum
ABV: 45%
Sotolero/Distiller: Gerardo Ruelas Hernandez
City: Municipality of Coyame del Sotol

This Sotol is produced by Gerardo Ruelas. The Sotolero grew up in a Sotolero family and continues the tradition in the third generation. The spirit made of the Leiophyllum plant is double-distilled in traditional copper stills.


It has a slightly smoky and savory smell, and the mineral taste is typical for Sotol. The flavor is overall quite sweet compared to other Sotols. It even carries hints of sweet fruit like bananas.

Flor del Desierto Veneno

Flor del Desierto Sotol Veneno

Type of Dasylirion: Leiophyllum
ABV: 45%
Sotolero/Distiller: Gerardo Ruelas Hernandez
City: Municipality of Coyame del Sotol

Flor del Desierto Veneno is another release by master Sotolero Gerardo Ruelas. But, as opposed to his unaged "Desert" expression, this one is aged in Bourbon barrels and cured with venom from rattlesnakes. Yes, you got that right: venom from a rattlesnake. Unfortunately, this rarity won't make it to the US since spirits cured with venom are strictly prohibited.


I can't tell you much about the taste and aromas as I didn't have the chance yet to try this unique bottle of Sotol. However, I got to taste a similar bottle from the same brand called "Cascabel". Continue reading the paragraph below to find out more.

Flor del Desierto Cascabel

Flor del Desierto Sotol Cascabel

Type of Dasylirion: Leiophyllum
ABV: 48%
Sotolero/Distiller: Gerardo Ruelas Hernandez
City: Municipality of Coyame del Sotol

The name "Cascabel" translates to "rattlesnake". This time rattlesnake meat gets added during the final step of the distillation process. The spirit then ages in oak barrels for a few months before it's bottled and sold. And infusing alcohol with parts of a rattlesnake is not prohibited, so it happens you can get this bottle outside of Mexico, as well.


The aroma and look of this expression are highly unusual for a Sotol. The smell alone could make you believe that you're drinking Bourbon here. The flavors are not too bold but well-pronounced, with lots of meaty and mineral notes and just a touch of smoke. So you can taste something that remotely could be meat from a rattlesnake. If I hadn't known I don't think that would have been the first thought, but I did, so…

Flor del Desierto Ono Sotol

Flor del Desierto Sotol Ono

Type of Dasylirion: Cedrosanum
ABV: 45%
Sotolero/Distiller: Gerardo Ruelas Hernandez
City: Municipality of Coyame del Sotol

The Ono expression from Flor del Desierto is yet another spirit made by Gerardo Ruelas. But this time there's no reptile involved. The Sotol is made of Dasylirion Cedrosanum, which creates a complex, herbaceous, and fresh taste with herbal, vegetal, and spicy aromas.


On the palate, you even get some fruity notes of guava and coconut before the long and dry finish.

Bottle Design

The bottles of Flor del Desierto are tall and slim. They're either transparent (Sierra and Desert) or black (Cascabel and Veneno). The sleek bottle stopper made from real wood is a nice touch to an overall elegant bottle design. nice accent.

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