Hacienda de Chihuahua is a Sotol brand from Mexico, located in the city center of Chihuahua. The Hacienda was the first company to bring Sotol across the borders of Mexico into the US and brought international awareness to the spirit made from the desert spoon plant.
Sotol from Hacienda de Chihuahua has a long-standing tradition. The distillery in Northern Mexico has been producing the earthy spirit for more than 140 years.
The Different Sotol from Hacienda de Chihuahua
Hacienda de Chihuahua has a selection of nine different Sotols and Sotol-based products on offer. Seven of them are actual Sotol, and two are liqueurs.
|Sotol Oro Puro
|Crema de Sotol Chocolate
|Crema de Sotol Nuez
All expressions follow a long tradition, and a lot of expertise goes into the production process. Thus, for all their products, they harvest only naturally grown, wild sotol plants to preserve the organic character of the spirit.
Hacienda de Chihuahua offers a selection of nine different Sotols. Or actually, it's seven Sotols and two liqueurs.
They follow a long tradition and a lot of expertise goes into the production process. Thus, for all their expressions, they harvest only naturally grown, wild sotol plants to preserve the organic character of the spirit.
1. Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Plata
Taste: minty, vegetal, slightly sweet
Price: $32 per 750ml bottle
Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Plata is an unaged Joven-style Sotol of 38% ABV. Tastewise, this Sotol has fresh, minty, and vegetal flavors with a sweet aroma. The master distiller responsible for producing it is José Daumas Gil de Partearroyo. He and his team slowly cook the desert spoon plants before they are fermented and distilled.
At only 76 proof, it is relatively mild and smooth. The plants used for Sotol Plata need to grow for about 12 -15 years.
The flavors in this Sotol are very earthy and vegetal. It reminds me of a Tequila with muted flavors and a slightly thinner consistency. Due to its low ABV, it's a little too watery.
2. Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Rústico
Taste: herbal, slightly earthy, and grassy
Price: approx. $35 per 750ml bottle
Sotol Rústico is another unaged, Joven Sotol from Hacienda de Chihuahua. The flavors in this Sotol are grassy, spicy, and vegetal, with notes of lime, pepper, and hay. It contains significantly more alcohol (45%) than the Plata expression and is produced by the same master distiller.
This expression is not overly complex but more aromatic and flavorful than Sotol Plata.
Sotol Rústico has more aroma and bolder flavors, but due to the ABV of 45%, it also comes with a relatively harsh alcoholic bite. The nose offers dominant vegetal and grassy aromas like hay, fennel, and asparagus.
The taste is sweet, with citrusy flavors and peppery notes. You can also taste more grassy notes as well as a distinct minerality in the background. I highly recommend it as a base spirit in mixed drinks, but it's not the most elegant Sotol to sip neat.
3. Sotol Platinum
Taste: spicy, herbal, slightly sweet
Price: approx. $40 per 750ml bottle
Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Platinum is a triple-distilled premium version of their Sotol Plata. Like the Plata expression, this expression also uses plants that mature for a minimum of 15 years and has the same ABV of 38%. The aroma is sweet and spicy with a slightly alcoholic bite. On the palate, there's more sweetness with spicy and fruity notes and a bitter finish.
Sotol Platinum has a low alcohol content of 38% and is a smooth spirit with a fresh nose and taste. However, just like the Plata, it's slightly too watery.
The Platinum Sotol is pretty similar to the Plata expression but has more pronounced sweet notes. The sweet flavors in the spirit are complemented by fruity notes like apricot, quince, pear, and melon. It has slightly more body than the Plata expression and a distinct bitter and spicy finish with hints of chocolate and white pepper.
The taste falls a little flat but works when mixed into cocktails. For most, it might not be worth the extra $$.
4. Hacienda de Chihuahua Reposado
Taste: oak, herbal, earthy, vanilla
Price: approx. $40 per 750ml bottle
The only Reposado Sotol from Hacienda de Chihuahua ages 12 months in new French oak barrels and achieves a pale golden color before being bottled at 40% ABV. It has a sweet taste with hints of licorice, vanilla notes, and a slightly bitter aftertaste.
It's smooth and more complex than the clear, unaged versions, with notes of pepper, vanilla, and oak developed from maturing in wooden barrels.
Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Reposado is a smooth sipping Sotol, without any harsh alcoholic notes. It's sweet and floral in the nose with distinct vanilla notes from barrel aging. The taste is also more on the sweet side and offers notes of licorice and vanilla. You can also taste underlying earthy and floral notes that complement the sweetness.
To me, it's an elegant and affordable Soto ideal for sipping. It's complex in taste, smooth, and has an overall pleasant flavor profile.
5. Sotol Añejo
Taste: oak, herbal, earthy, vanilla, spices
Price: approx. $45 per 750ml bottle
Hacienda de Chihuahua's Sotol Añejo matures for 24 months in numbered French oak barrels to develop a beautiful golden color. Like most other expressions, it's low in alcohol (38%) which makes it comparably mild. It offers a robust but never overpowering flavor profile with rich notes of vanilla and oak.
You either love it or hate it. The low alcohol content ensures that the Sotol is particularly balanced and mild. Many like it exactly because of this, while others find it too mild and therefore not worth the money.
The nose is complex but mild and offers intense oak and vanilla aromas that pair with sweet, floral, fruity, and mossy notes. On the palate, you primarily get sweetness with notes of spices, oranges, honey, vanilla, and mint.
I would describe the flavors as complex yet restrained. You get different flavors, but none is overly pronounced or overpowering. It's a very subtle spirit with delicate notes. If you're looking for a flavor explosion, that's not the spirit for you.
6. Hacienda de Chihuahua Oro Puro
Taste: oak, herbal, earthy, vanilla, spices
Price: approx. $65 per 750ml bottle
The Sotol Oro Puro from Hacienda de Chihuahua contains 38% ABV and has distinct vanilla and oak notes with hints of spices. It is basically their Añejo Sotol upgraded with real gold flakes. The addition of gold flakes is supposed to enhance the texture and smoothness of the Sotol. Tastewise, the flavor profile is more or less the same as the Añejo expression, but it costs $20 more per bottle.
As for the Oro Puro, I don't mind the gold flakes. I tasted it together with the regular Añejo, and it has the exact same aromas and flavors. It has a mild yet complex nose with oak and vanilla notes. On the palate, there's the same combination of sweet and spicy with notes of oranges, vanilla, and wood.
If you like the idea of the gold flakes and can get a hand on it, it might be a nice extra for some - perhaps for gifting.
7. Hacienda de Chihuahua H5
Style: Extra Añejo
Taste: fruit, caramel, oak, vanilla
Price: approx. $125 per 750ml bottle
Sotol H5 is an Extra Añejo version that matures for at least five years in French white oak barrels, and Hacienda de Chihuahua takes great pride in this high-quality product. It has an alcohol content of 38% ABV and a beautifully sweet and fruity aroma with rich chocolate notes. The taste is also predominantly sweet and chocolatey with hints of spices.
Compared to all other products of Hacienda de Chihuahua, the H5 Sotol has a significantly thicker body and bold, sweet flavors. The finish is extensive and also shows rich chocolate, cocoa, and caramel notes.
The nose is full of sweet notes with distinct caramel and chocolate aromas. You can also smell vanilla, oak, and spices that complement the overall sweet scent well.
The first sip is sweet and oaky with lots of caramel flavors. The flavors develop and show notes of brown sugar, wooden spice, vanilla, chocolate, and hints of cooked agave. Bittersweet chocolate and cocoa are the dominant flavors in this Sotol and also show in the finish.
The H5 takes Sotol to the next level. It comes with the expected high price tag, though. It's an excellent Sotol for sipping as it's super smooth, easy to drink, and has a rich and flavorful body.
8. Crema de Sotol Nuez
Price: approx. $28 per 750ml bottle
Crema de Sotol Nuez is a sweet, smooth, rich liqueur with a nutty flavor. It has a low alcohol content of only 17% and a rich and creamy texture. The overall concept is comparable to that of Irish cream, enhanced by flavors of nuts and Sotol shining through.
Crema de Sotol is a well-balanced liqueur based on Sotol. Its taste is sweet, and creamy, and contains distinct nutty notes from pecan nuts. The Sotol base brings earthy and vegetal flavors to the liqueur that pairs well with the natural pecan nut flavor.
Tastewise, the liqueur tastes like a cross between Baileys and Frangelico but with a hint of vegetal notes. It's super easy to drink and a winner if you have a sweet tooth.
9. Crema de Sotol Chocolate
Price: approx. 28USD/750ml
Besides the classic Crema de Sotol, Hacienda de Chihuahua also offers a chocolate-flavored expression. It has an excellent warm chocolate flavor with a bit of an alcoholic bite to cut through the sweetness. It contains only 17% alcohol and is an ideal dessert liqueur to sip after a meal.
Crema de Sotol Chocolate follows the same principle as Crema de Sotol Nuez. The combination of Sotol and chocolate go well together and make for a tasty sip.
Crema de Sotol Chocolate has a sweet and chocolatey aroma. On the palate, it's super smooth and creamy, with an excellent flavor combination of warm milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and Sotol.
More about Sotol
Sotol is a Mexican spirit made from Dasylirion wheeleri, which is also called desert spoon. Generally, Sotol is comparable to Tequila and Mezcal. However, there are some differences because Sotol is made from a slightly different type of plant and is less regulated. Sotol is considered the official drink of Chihuahua, the largest state in Mexico, and can only be produced in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango.
History of Hacienda de Chihuahua
Hacienda de Chihuahua is called Hacienda Tapalaopa, and its Manor House was established in 1881. Putting Chihuahua on the label hints at its location and Sotol being the state spirit of Chihuahua.
The Hacienda began producing Sotol from naturally growing Sotol plants in the mountains of Chihuahua primarily for the landowners and guests of the Manor. But during the 20th century, that started to change, and Hacienda de Chihuahua started selling its Sotol.
The current master distiller is José Daumas, who graduated in France and had previously worked for Martell and Moët Chandon, among others.
He combines the long tradition and experience in the Sotol-making of Hacienda de Chihuahua with the knowledge and craftsmanship behind the renowned French luxury brands.
By the way, the Hacienda de Chihuahua website is sotol.com. That manifests the role they play in the world of Sotol, yet, some get confused by them not using their name.
The company behind it is Vinomex. And that is not a big player who bought Hacienda de Chihuahua. It's been the business name behind the spirit all along since 1881.