Los Magos Sotol is an excellent Sotol made of 100% organic Sotol plants. In an effort to showcase the beauty and magic of Sotol, the two founders of Los Magos (engl. "the magicians"), Eduardo Almanza, and Juan Pablo Carvajal, created this exquisite spirit. By searching for traditional Sotol makers, they want to bring an authentic version of Sotol to the people and do its traditions and history justice.
The flavor profile of Los Magos is earthy, salty, spicy, and has a delicate smoky note. Herbal and leather aromas complement these savory flavors. Although this Sotol did not age in barrels, it has fine woody notes.
- Produced By: Los Magos
- Owned By: Independent
- Product Website: Product Website
- Production Location: Chihuahua, Mexico
- Classification: Sotol
- Aging: No Age Statement (NAS)
- Proof: 38% ABV
- Price: $59.99 / 750 ml
- Overall Rating: ★ ★ ★★ ✬ (4.5/5)
Los Magos Blanco Sotol is made of plants that primarily grow in prairie grasslands. Therefore the taste is clean with notes of herbs and citrus. It has a light body and a very smooth finish.
The nose is elegant and masculine, with a subtle smokiness and notes of leather, herbs, wood, and spices. In the background, you can also smell a slight saline note. very
On the palate, Los Magos isn't much different from the nose. The smoky, salty, and spicy flavors are complemented by a subtle vegetal sweetness. The fascinating part to me is the wooden flavor in the spirit. It tastes as if this Blanco expression has been barrel-aged. fascinating
The aftertaste offers more salty and spicy flavors with a hint of sweetness.
The smoky and spicy flavors in the Sotol are slightly muted when served on ice. In return, the salinity is a bit more pronounced, as are citrusy notes in the spirit. The balance of flavors is even better compared to trying it neat. In exchange, this reduces the overall intensity of flavors.
Los Magos works excellent in cocktails like a Negroni or a Sotol Sour. For the latter, I used a twist on our Mezcal Sour recipe and replaced Mezcal with Los Magos Blanco. The result is slightly more refined, less smoky, and overall outstanding. The slight salinity in the spirit helps the drink to taste even more complex.
For our Neroni twist, we used Sotol instead of gin and added half an ounce of coffee liqueur. The flavor combination of coffee, herbs, bitterness, and sweetness matches remarkably well. It reminded me of a Mezcal Negroni with less pronounced smoky flavors.
After trying these two drinks, it's fair to say that this Sotol should work great as a substitute for Mezcal in cocktail recipes. The taste of the final cocktail is slightly different, with more saline and less smoky flavors.
The bottle design of Los Magos Sotol Blanco is quite basic and rustic. The 750ml bottle has a round shape and a wooden bottle stopper containing a crystal-clear liquid.
The label design is quite elegant and of dark green color with copper-colored lettering. It includes the origin of the spirit (Chihuahua) and information about the Master Sotolero that crafted this spirit.
How Los Magos produces their Sotol
The early steps in the production process of Los Magos Sotol resemble that of Mezcal's production. Roasted and smoked in earthen pits, the plants are fermented. This roasting step is also the reason for its slightly smoky taste.
After fermentation, a three-step distillation process makes sure that the resulting Sotol is of the highest quality. Finally, it's bottled at 38% ABV (76 proof), making it a relatively low-ABV spirit.
More about Sotol
Sotol is a distilled spirit produced in the Mexican desert. It is distilled from the Sotol plant, sometimes also called desert spoon, because of its iconic shape. This plant is a species of the genus Dasylirion. Common types are Dasylirion wheeleri, Dasylirion durangense, and Dasylirion leiophyllum.
The spirit is shaped by the terroir surrounding it, the atmosphere, and the region in which the plants used for it are growing. Comparable to Champagne or Prosecco, the artisanal liquor takes on the qualities of the soil. That not only makes every brand taste unique but also every batch.
For instance, if the plants grow in a dry area, the flavors will be earthy and peppery. If the Sotol plants grow in forest lands, flavors will be mossier with hints of eucalyptus.
The Different Expressions of Los Magos
Currently, Los Magos offers two different Sotols:
- Los Magos Blanco
- Los Magos Sotol 6 Year Reserva
Soon, they will also add a WhistlePig edition. This limited edition release ages their Blanco expression in 10-year-old WhistlePig rye whiskey barrels.
Los Magos Sotol Blanco
ABV: 38% (76 proof)
Los Magos Sotol Blanco is made from 100% Sotol plant. There are no additives used, and all plants are sourced sustainably. After a triple distillation process, the spirit rests for a short time before it's bottled.
The liquor from the Chihuahuan desert has a complex flavor profile. The sweet hints of honey and fresh flavors like citrus mix with spicy and peppery notes. And there's also a distinct but light smoky taste to it.
Los Magos Sotol 6 Year Reserva
Aged: 6 years
Price: $300 (MSRP)
There aren't that many brands producing high-quality Sotol. Los Magos' Reserva Sotol expression ages for six years. And it's not comparable to Mezcal, let alone Tequila. So there's probably no other brand at the moment that released such a rare product.
The plan was to release the spirit in early 2022, but to online shoppers only. Apparently, it's available for purchase at selected retailers. -The price for one bottle is $300.
I didn't have the chance to try it yes, but surely, the small-batch release is exquisite. After aging for six years, the flavors should be even more complex and rounder. If you want to grab a bottle, try to be quick once it's out because Los Magos announced that the batch only makes 1,000 liters of the aged Sotol.
The company behind Los Magos
The company behind the Los Magos brand is Los Magos Spirits International (LMSI). It was founded back in 2020 by Eduardo Almanza and Juan Pablo Carvajal to grow the sales of Los Magos Sotol.
However, the Sotol from Los Magos has been available since 2014. The initial idea was to create a spirit that brings ancient traditions closer to a more modern audience by using an artisanal approach. But then the Sotol started to draw attention not only from spirit enthusiasts but also from bartenders. Hence, LMSI was founded to help grow the brand. As the brand is still relatively small, it heavily relies on its commitment to producing a Sotol of unparalleled quality.
The first big step in the expansion was the launch in the US. And this makes a lot of sense considering the big neighbor already is the number one consumer of other Mexican spirits like Tequila -and lately also Mezcal.
More Sotol brands
Sotol is an up-and-coming spirit, but the number of quality brands is still low. The following two brands are worth mentioning, though:
- Flor del Desierto - A brand founded by three friends after winning a baking competition using Sotol.
- Hacienda de Chihuahua - An old and traditional distillery producing quality Sotol for more than 140 years.
- Desert Door - The only Sotol distillery in the US (for now).