American singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz has partnered with Mexican spirits group Casa Lumbre to launch Nocheluna Sotol, with backing from Pernod Ricard.
The spirit is harvested from the local sotol (dasylirion) plant native to the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico. The sotol plant is said to thrive in desert conditions, including hot, dry days and cool nights.
The heads of the plant, called cabezas, are cooked for 72-96 hours, followed by a week-long fermentation process in open air wood vats. It is then distilled in copper stills.
The resulting liquid is said to offer notes of wild herbs, dried stone fruits, caramel and honey, deep minerality and oak firewood.
Kravitz said: “As an artist myself, I respect the journey and am inspired by every intricate step of how this team crafts Nocheluna Sotol.”
“I appreciate how this spirit stays true to the traditional ways of making sotol, exemplifying a true understanding of this familial craft. I am honoured to bring more awareness to this incredible spirit and region.”
The creation of the product was led by Casa Lumbre, the company behind mezcal brands Montelobos and Ojo de Tigre, plus the Ancho Reyes and Nixta liqueurs, and Mexican whisky Abasolo.
French firm Pernod Ricard has made an undisclosed initial investment in Nocheluna Sotol, which will enable the category to expand through investment and a global distribution platform.
Pernod Ricard previously invested in Ojo de Tigre and acquired a minority stake in Abasolo.
“In these partners we have found not just financial investment to enable our work, but partners who help foster awareness, which can further allow Mexico to reach all corners of the world,” said Moises Guindi, Casa Lumbre CEO and co-founder.
“I am proud to have assembled a team who will lead people to discover a new taste of Mexico – one they have not imagined yet.”
Nocheluna was made by a team of local experts: fourth-generation master vinatero Don ‘Lalo’ Eduardo Arrieta, sotol educator Ricardo Pico, and Casa Lumbre’s chief innovation officer and partner, Iván Saldaña.
The brand sources sotol from ranches that are environmentally supervised and managed by local authorities.
The company also invests in growing sotol populations through responsible plant cultivation in existing and new ranches. These new sotol plantations will surpass 850,000 plants this year alone, the firm noted.
“Nocheluna Sotol reflects our dedication to promoting the diversity of Mexico to the world beyond Tequila or mezcal, and beyond our country’s most visited places,” said Saldaña.
“We are proud to craft with partners who have already done extraordinary work to raise the profile, awareness, and education of this distillate category and extraordinary region.”
Nocheluna Sotol is available now in Mexico and in various US states including Texas, California, New York, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois and New Mexico, priced at RRP US$79.99.
It will be available nationally and in select international markets by the end of this year.
A report by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis last month said the Tequila category could be threatened by the rise of other agave-based spirits in the long term.
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Author: Nicola Carruthers