Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol

By Sina / Last updated on May 17, 2022 
Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol is a spirit from a traditional Mexican distillery 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.

Sotol from Hacienda de Chihuahua has a long traditon. The distillery in northern Mexico has been producing the earthy spirit for more than 140 years. Taste- and production-wise, 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.

In the past years, a number of producers from Mexiko - and more recently, with the Desert Door Distillery, also from the US - entered the international market. But so far, Hacienda de Chihuahua still is untouched regarding the number of expressions they have on offer. So let's see what they've got.

History of Hacienda de Chihuahua

First, I want to take a quick detour to the history of Hacienda de Chihuahua Distillery.

Hacienda de Chihuahua actually is called Hacienda Tapalaopa and its Manor House was established in 1881. To put Chihuahua on the label is, of course, due to its location in the state capital. And of course, with Sotol also being the state spirit of Chihuahua, it's the obvious choice. And can I just say how brilliant I find the idea of having an official state spirit?

Now, back to the Hacienda. They started producing Sotol from naturally growing Sotol plants in the mountains of Chihuahua primarily for the landowners and guests of the Manor. But in the course of the 20th century, that started to change, and Hacienda de Chihuahua began selling its Sotol.

The current master distiller is José Daumas, who graduated in France and had previously worked for Martell, Moet Chandon, and the like. He combines the long tradition and experience in 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. As telling as it is about their role in the world of Sotol, some get confused by them not using their name. So in case you ever should be looking for their webpage, you now know. The company behind it is Vinomex. And even though the name sounds a little off, it's not a new player who bought Hacienda de Chihuahua. It's been the name behind the spirit all along since 1881.

Types of Sotol from Hacienda de Chihuahua

Hacienda de Chihuahua offers a selection of nine different Sotols. Or actually, it's seven Sotols and two liqueurs. For all their expressions, they harvest only naturally grown, wild sotol plants to preserve the organic character of the spirit.

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Plata

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Plata

Style: Joven
ABV: 38%
Taste: minty, vegetal, slightly sweet
Price: approx. USD32/750ml

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Plata is their original, basic release. It's an unaged, clear, and smooth spirit that strongly reminds of a Silver Tequila. At only 72 proof, it is relatively mild. The plants used for Sotol Plata need to grow for about 12 -15 years.

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Rústico

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Rustico

Style: Joven
ABV: 45%
Taste: herbal, slightly earthy, and grassy
Price: approx. USD35/750ml

Sotol Rústico as well is an unaged spirit. It gets bottled right after distillation in Hacienda de Chihuahua's double column copper stills.
This expression is still not overly complex but more aromatic and flavorful than Sotol Plata.

Sotol Platinum

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Platinum

Style: Joven
ABV: 38%
Taste: spicy, herbal, slightly sweet
Price: approx. 40USD/750ml

Sotol Platinum is a triple distilled version of Sotol Plata. The plants used to make this expression also mature for a minimum of 15 years. And with its low ABV of below 40%, it has a smooth and fresh nose and taste.

Hacienda de Chihuahua Reposado

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Reposado

Style: Reposado
ABV: 40%
Taste: oak, herbal, earthy, vanilla
Price: approx. USD40/750ml

The Reposado from Hacienda de Chihuahua ages for 12 months in new French oak barrels and achieves a pale golden color before being bottled. It's smooth but more complex than the clear, unaged versions with notes of pepper, vanilla, oak, and even some floral hints.

Sotol Añejo

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Anejo

Style: Añejo
ABV: 38%
Taste: oak, herbal, earthy, vanilla, spices
Price: approx. USD45/750ml

After triple distillation, the Sotol Añejo matures for 24 months in numbered French oak barrels with a beautiful golden color. It offers a high degree of purity and richness and carries more pronounced notes of vanilla, oak, and earthy, herbal aromas. The complex flavor profile combined with the low ABV makes the Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Añejo a decent Sotol for sipping.

Hacienda de Chihuahua Oro Puro

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Oro Puro

Style: Añejo
ABV: 38%
Taste: oak, herbal, earthy, vanilla, spices
Price: approx. USD65

The Sotol Oro Puro from Hacienda de Chihuahua basically is their Añejo upgraded with gold flakes. The addition of gold flakes is supposed to enhance the texture and smoothness of the Sotol. This expression seems quite hard to get outside of Mexico.

Hacienda de Chihuahua H5

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol H5

Style: Extra Añejo
ABV: 38%
Taste: fruit, caramel, oak, vanilla
Price: approx. USD125/750ml

The 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. The distillate is fermented with champagne yeast before aging. All that creates a rich, complex, and sophisticated aroma with hints of fruity, caramel, and chocolate joining the Sotol-typical earthy, herbal flavors.

Crema de Sotol Nuez

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Crema de Nuez

ABV: 17%
Taste: nuts
Price: approx. 28USD/750ml

Crema de Sotol Nuez is a smooth and rich, only slightly boozy liqueur with a creamy texture. The overall concept is similar to that of an Irish creme. The flavor of nuts and Sotol are shining through beautifully.

Crema de Sotol Chocolate

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Crema de Chocolate

ABV: 17%
Taste: chocolate
Price: approx. 28USD/750ml

Crema de Sotol Chocolate follows the same principle as Crema de Sotol Nuez. The combination of Sotol and chocolate work together quite well and make for a beautiful sip.

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol review

Sotol from Hacienda de Chihuahua follows a great tradition and a lot of expertise goes into the production process. Overall, their Joven Sotols, particularly Plata and Platinum are pretty thin and not what one would call aromatic. The low ABV of both these products gives it even more of a diluted, watery taste. However, they are definitely a good choice for mixing. Use it as a substitute for silver Tequila in a Margarita or a Paloma.

The same goes for Sotol Rústico. It's not intended for sipping. With an ABV of 45%, it is harsher with a strong alcoholic bite. But it's perfectly alright for using it in cocktails.

Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Reposado is more complex and has a more pleasant flavor profile, though I would not want to drink it neat, as well. The Añejo, however, is a different thing. It definitely is suitable for sipping and a beautiful, high-quality Sotol. As for the Oro Puro, I don't mind the gold flakes, but for those fancying a bit of early 2000s decadence, this might be a nice feature or perhaps a gift idea.

And, of course, the H5 takes Sotol to the next level. It comes with the expected high price tag, though. So it's not recommendable for beginners. But if you like Sotol and look for something special, that's the one for you.

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