Review: Nocheluna Sotol

Sotol — made from various species of the Dasylirion plant instead of agave — is on the rise in the U.S. — as well as in Mexico, where it originated in the state of Chihuahua. Nocheluna is the OG version of the stuff, hailing from Chihuahua and made by fourth generation Maestro Vinatero Don Eduardo Arrieta. It also happens to be brought to you by Lenny Kravitz, who is apparently a new sotol magnate. Somebody’s gotta do it, amirite?

This release lands somewhere between tequila and mezcal when it comes to overall composition. Moderately smoky on the nose, you could be immediately forgiven for assuming this was a traditional mezcal, its smoky qualities offering elements of a beechwood fire and tanned leather, masking notes of baked apples.

The sotol becomes increasingly savory as it develops in glass, muting some of the brighter elements on the palate. Push past the fairly brooding nose and you’ll find more of a spiced applesauce note, smudged sage, and then vanilla and milk chocolate notes clinging to the back end. That said, the smoke never dissipates, clinging to the spirit in a way that you don’t see even with many mezcals. With that in mind, use this as a mezcal substitute — not a tequila stand-in — in whatever cocktail you’ve got brewing up. Of course, it’s also worth savoring straight.

80 proof. NOM 159.

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