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Over the last year or so, Sotol has been the new fave on the block in Mexican spirits.  It's distilled from a succulent that isn't agave, but is closely related.  It comes from the north -- Chihuaha and thereabouts -- rather than the south (Oaxaca for Mezcal or Jalisco for Tequila).

Since people like me have nothing else to do now than write, read, listen to records, and drink (and I guess eat) (well, sell the writing -- but that's hardly worth discussing), it seemed like a good time to gain entry into Sotolworld.

I'm trying something tonight that's often characterized as one of the weirder Sotols:  La Higuera Dasylirion Leiophyllum.  You hear how there's a total disjunction with this bottling between the nose and the palate.  You hear how, on the palate, it tastes like salami.  (I actually bought this out of curiosity over what a distilled liquor that tastes like salami would be like.)

Well, I'm here to tell you that this isn't that weird.  (And that, as someone who eats more sausage than most, I can say with a lot of confidence that this doesn't taste much like salami.)  It's also pretty great.

I thought it would taste a lot like Mezcal.  That it would be a subtle variation, now being marketed cuz, why not?

It doesn't taste like Mezcal.  It lacks that overwhelming smokiness (which, to be clear, I love).

But it doesn't taste like Tequila, either.  Cuz it's MUCH more interesting and multidimensional.

You get a grassy, vegtal nose.  Then, when it hits your tongue . . . it's hard to describe it (except to say:  I'm not tasting salami).  A thick, tongue-covering flavor -- but not an overbearing one.  Some Sotols, I read, close with berry fruit.  But not this one.  I'd almost invoke Guisados -- but really not quite (and the wrong part of Mexico anyway) (I mean, I'm sure they have worms in Chihuaha -- but they must be DIFFERENT worms).

Right now, I'm thinking this is too distinctive to lose in a cocktail.  I'll probably think differently deeper into the bottle.

For now, I'm just telling you this:  jump on the Sotol train.  You'll be happy you did.

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  • 1 year later...

I've tried Flor Del Desierto sotol.  Didn't care for it.  Like tequila, but not as good and had a weird vegetal taste.  Drinkable, but I wouldn't buy it again.  I guess I can't write off all sotol based on a sample of one, but the initial experience wasn't great.

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