Don Cuco Sotol – Traditional, Suave, reposado, sotol review (episode 80)

Saddle up your yapping dog and take a trip with Th’ Lip down to the wilds of the Chihuahuan desert in Northern Mexico!  Here in the dry dustiness of the flavorful scrub country we’ll find the SOTOL plant growing wild and abundant.  And in the Man-Cave of Northern California you’ll find Lippy pouring Don Cuco Sotol wildly and with great abandon!

Watch as Th’ Lip breaks down the flavor blast of this sassy cousin to tequila.  The sotol plant is related to the blue weber agave (from which tequila is made) but they are NOT the same.  Sotol brings a brighter “green” and vegetal explosion on the palate.  Can Lippy handle the revolucion en su boca?  Watch and see!

SOTOL Details:


NOM: 159



Firstly, you need to let go of any expectations that sotol will taste exactly like your favorite tequila.  Their flavors are REALTED, but sotol in general brings a more vegetal and smoky detail to the party.  The smoke comes from the way the sotol plant is traditionally roasted (in lava-rock earthen pits).  How MUCH smoke is present in the final product is very much a choice of each sotol brand.  Don Cuco brings a light touch on the smoke – just enough to make it interesting, but not too much to make it oppressive.

If you are a regular viewer of the TEQUILA WHISPERER show, you’ll know that Th’ Lip adores very “bright” green-vegetal flavors in his tequila, and very few brands allow themselves to go down that glorious, unadorned agave road.  They over distill or over filter their products to fashion a more “American-friendly” flavor profile which emphasizes “smooth”.  Happily, Don Cuco is not afraid to bring your palate every ounce of flavor they can pack into each sip!  On the “Traditional” blanco (only distilled once), there are wildly swinging tastes of spice, smoke, green bark, and peppered meat(!).  This is a blanco with fluctuating peaks and valleys that will keep your mouth occupied for DAYS trying to figure out all of the taste components.  The “Suave” blanco has been triple distilled, producing a smoother ride, but losing a lot of the peaks and valleys which made the Traditional so much fun to drink.  Suave may be a good introduction to sotol for the uninitiated who are looking to dip their feet into the Don Cuco taste-pool, but in the end Th’ Lip found it an unnecessary side trip for his particular palate.  The reposado, aged 3 months in American white oak barrels softens a few of the Traditional’s louder notes while bringing in some essence of maple and caramel – but just a hint.  This repo has a very light touch, and as such is a welcome “brother” to the Traditional which it uses as its “seed stock” for aging.

Don’t be afraid to try an “agave-adjacent” Spirit like sotol, and when you do, make sure it’s Don Cuco that you taste.  It’s easily Th’ Lip’s favorite sotol and it’ll be yours too.


DON CUCO “TRADITIONAL” blanco (Zee Tequila)

FLAVOR Profiles for DON CUCO “TRADITIONAL” blanco (out of a possible 4 points)

3 thoughts on “Don Cuco Sotol – Traditional, Suave, reposado, sotol review (episode 80)”

  1. I have had Sotol in Mexico and New Mexico. It is on the shelves in New Mexico .. at last. In head to head competition with tequila, Sotol does very well. For a bit, I thought the milder La Reposada would be my choice, but for a drink that warms you up, I vote Traditional. Good review. Economic report from Mexico says this is the next tequilla..2002 and 2004 issues.. They say the supply of agave is being hit hard and Chihuahua has it growing like weeds. Great history that goes back generations.

  2. YOUR NUTS LIP- but as I have said… I lOVE IT and totally look forward to your shows…I just bought my first Sotol from zack at old town superstore(Don Cuco Suave) so watching this episode was right on target. It is very smoky and although I got citrus(lemon) as well, I will definitely have to get used to the smoke. Even this “mp3″ version is enough for me- haha. I compared this recently to mescal (Metl) and Bacanora (Cielo Rojo. The Sotol had the most smoke (and this was the suave)but it was also the smoothest. If as you say, this is calmed down compared to the traditional …OH BOY. Stop with the corned beef and pastrami already- Now I’m hungry and I’m here in NYC and between Katz’s and The Carnegie deli, they are calling my name- haha. The part about ‘going side to side with Mrs lippy” was hysterical- I’m still laughing. I love your shows.– Long Island Lou

  3. I just had some of this for the first time and …. I’m impressed. The nose was fabulous, tequila and smoke but no bite. As I sipped it again some smoke but certainly not over powering. Finish was lovely. Even the lovely lady that accompanied me said that it was fabulous. Have some … Soon!,!

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