About Cachaça


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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Posted 6 Mar '23

Helloo, all of you!My name is Fritz, I'm brazilian and a cachaça enthusiast (loving other beverages as well). I've navigated a little throuh the site, and I've noticed a lack of cachaça among the evaluations/reviews (the reason is quite clear for me) and, also, I could see that most of you haven't much preferrence for it.As far as I can say, 99% of what we produce stays in the country (cachaça is the 3rd most produced distilled beverage in the world), and 99% of this 1% that we export, is cachaça made "industrialy" in column stills. So, naturally, it is not easy finding craft cachaças outisde Brazil.I can tell you that we have about 40000 distilleries (counting the Illegal), and 4K legal brands, and it is possible to find it in multiple profiles, due to a lack in regulation towards aging.

I can bring a lot more information about the fermentation, distilling, aging, storage (here aging and storaging in wood is quite diferent), as I'd like to hear your thoughts about it, the lack you fell when it comes to the sensorial profile, etc.I hope I can contribute! Cheers

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 6 Mar '23

I've forgotten to mention, I've been producing cachaça since 2019; the one centralized in the picture and the one in the far left.

vomi1011 avatar image
vomi1011 🇩🇪 | 403 ratings Replied 7 Mar '23

I had Cachaça Velho Barreiro which was very good and mild for the small price in my opinion. The flavours are different from rum, which I also like. But it is rather difficult to find aged cachaca in Germany. Otherwise, I only had unaged cachacas for mixing cocktails. It would be interesting to learn more about it, but I still couldn't try them out.

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 8 Mar '23

It amazes me that you had a great experience with Velho Barreiro, which, yes, is very cheap. We can get a 0,9L bottle here for around R$ 15,00, bzw. € 2,70. It is made in column still and it is, perhaps, - I must check it - sweetened to some extent. (When the Cachaça producer sweetens the cachaça between 6,1-30g of sugar/L, the label must inform it is a Cachaça Adoçada, Like Pitu states).The Flavour differ a lot from rum, but I must confess that I don't drink it since long, although I probably should (as a working matter). I'd strongly recommend that you try some potstill cachaça.

As you are German, I'll recommend you to take a look at https://www.instagram.com/passarinhocachacaorganica/  which is sourced from extrema, in Rio Grande do Norte State.I don't know if they're still functioning, but as for what I've seen, they don't have really aged cachaça. The one they say that's aged, accordingly to the brazilian law isn't. Aging just happens, according to the law, in barrel with maximum capacity of 700L, for at least an year. The Jequitibá wood is a classic storing/storaging barrel (which makes Cachaça Armazenada em Jequitibá or Jequitibá Rosa), it doesn't impart much flavour to the spirit, but rather softens it and makes it more round. I love jequitibá-rosa wood, because it imparts almonds flavours to the cachaça, without the bitterness of its skin, and most of my production currently aging, has been previously for at least 2 years in jequitibá-rosa barrels before going to virgin AO and EO B or some of the native wood I have.As I have lived in germany, I still own sending some miniatures to meinen Gastfamilien; Ich kann es ihnen gerne fragen ob Sie es auch bekommen möchten!Cheers!

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vomi1011 🇩🇪 | 403 ratings Replied 8 Mar '23

2.7 Euros? Here around 15 Euros. I think it's sweetened a little bit, but it fits good because the spirit is quite young. Jequitibá Rosa... interesting, never heard of it. White oak and european oak are common. Would be interesting to try, but then I would still have to go to Brazil to intensively engage with it. 

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 8 Mar '23

My craft cachaça aged for 3 years in virgin white oak, costs about 22 euros here. So, yeep, things can get cheap here in Brazil.Yes, you'd have to come to Brazil and make your way to good cachaçarias to have some good stuff. I believe portugal might be a good place to find nice cachaça as well. I know a guy that owns a Cachaçaria there.Cachaça can even Match flavours for those who apreciate beverages such as Pastis. Bálsamo wood imparts aniseed and herbal flavours to the spirit, and Bálsamo and Jequitbá-Rosa are only to of the most popular woods used for storaging.Amburana is been used by bourbon producers to impart nice different flavours to their whiskey, but its very traditionally used to age/store cachaça, being one of the most famous and easy to drink styles. I love blending white oak and Amburana.

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Replied 8 Mar '23

Fritz:

We cannot get very many cachacas here in the USA and I understand that only 1% is exported from Brazil. However, I have tried quite a few and have enclosed my ranked list with my rating to the left of each. I have never seen any of the cachacas in your picture. As you can see, one of my trials stands out above the rest, Avua Amburana. This is the only one that I would sip neat. The Germano Umburana also tasted very good, but it made me quite ill.

I am convinced that the caipirinha was created to disguise the awful taste of industrial cachacas.

So here is my ranked list of Brazilian cachacas

7 Avua Cachaca Amburana

6 Soul Premium Cachaca

6 Avua Cachaca Oak

6 Avua Cachaca Balsamo

6 Avua Cachaca Still Strength

6 Avua Cachaca Prata

6 Cana Boa Cachaca

6 Novo Fogo Silver

6 Novo Fogo Barrel Aged

6 Avua Cachaca Tapinhoa

6 Germana Caetano Umburana

5 Avua Cachaca Jequitiba

5 Leblon Light

2 Ypioca Prata

 

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 8 Mar '23

Well, It might be a good guess, on the creation of the caipirinha! But caipirinha was very very different when created, and would disguise far mora the industrial cachaça taste. Its initial intent was as a cure for the Influenza pandemics (1919), and it was originaly composed with cachaça, lime, garlic and honey, and probably no ice by the time, since we didn't have it naturally in more traditional cachaça producing areas.I don't believe we had industrial cachaças by the time, I don't know even if Ypióca was industrial by then, but, also, Brazil wasn't very connected, and it would not get to São Paulo state, where caipirinha was created. heheheYpioca is terribly awful, and also, it is sad that Germana made you i'll, that so weird, shouldn't happen at all. I know that Avuá makes only a brief passage through very old barrels, so it won't bring much taste. About white cachaças, yes, many producers focus on making alcohol, well, productivity, economy, so that it can age faster, and you can ad more water when standardizing. For me, this practice leads to - especially - white cachaças lacking personality.My intent is to change that and prioritize flavor, engaging with other producers to make a more tastefull product, and also uniting producers for exporting. I hope it works well.Also, making our abv limit 48% for cachaça 54% for aguardente de cana, higher 

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 8 Mar '23

Paul B, I'd be nice if we could exchange some samples!! Send me a message on instagram if you're up to it! @frispiriter  I've just started writing yesterday, and will probably have it written in english as well!Saúde!

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Replied 8 Mar '23

Fritz:

Thanks for the offer, but where I live, I can neither send or receive spirits because it is illegal in my state. I have also quit trying new rums and cachacas. After 5 years on this site, I think that 464 reviews was plenty enough.

I also don't use social media like Instgram. Good luck with your new reviews.

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 9 Mar '23

Social media is a really complicated thing. I don't like either, hadn't on my phone till last month, but now I think I'll have to use it for a while.Thank you!

YO
Yohobro 🇨🇦 | 80 ratings Replied 16 Mar '23

This is very interesting. Thanks for the info Fritz. I've only tried Leblon & Avua (cannot remember which one). That being said, I was definitely intrigued, though they both paled in comparison to properly aged Cachaca I would think. There are some other Cachacas available where I live so I may require your advice before buying the next one! Haha. And unfortunately, similar to Paul B, I am unable to receive spirits in the mail due to local laws. I will however, keep your information in mind and hopefully find something a bit more tasty. In your opinion, what is a suitable age for Cachaca? And what is the aging in wood like as it differs from rum? 

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 16 Mar '23

Yohobro, exactly!Leblon ages their cachaça (but I don't like much the result in their Merlet), and Avuá just stores it into wood (big old vats), and probably very exhausted oak barrels, which is the most common for traditionaly cachaças (since it was quiet difficult to get Virgin Oak or Ex-bourbon barrels here).About advicing, feel free to ask; It will be a pleasure to help. I know Sebastiana, that exports to Canada, and I love their castanheira wood (Brazilian Nut tree wood). Its amazing and I like all of their aged products. The producer loved my prata version, when he tasted it the last fair we met. If you find others, just ask me.About the aging, I'll answer soon. It's quite complex, especially when you are in brasil, with the amount of varieties. 

YO
Yohobro 🇨🇦 | 80 ratings Replied 17 Mar '23

Ahhh very cool. I see there is lots to learn in a new spirit haha. I imagine the variety even within different parts of Brazil would be immense. I'll be keeping an eye out for Sebastiana! 

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 17 Mar '23

Let see if the post respect the paragraphs I make here.

 

First, I'm telling Paul B. that - yes - he has tried one of the cachaças in the picture of the opening discussion, the Da Quinta, the one that seems to be further behind in the setting, which is the Brazilian version of Avuá. Da Quinta has been functioning since 1923 (and their barrels might be at least 50yo, so you don't have to worry about endagered wood (which tapinhoã indeed is).

About the ageing, Yohobro, as you might have noticed, we have many different measured of barrels (from 50L to the world's biggest vat - belonging to Ypioca - that bears an incredible amount of 367 thousand liters). 

The biggest I've personally seen are 20k liters, and they are humongous. Besides that, we also have barrels being used for many many times, particularly exhausted oak barrels. That was and still is quite traditional in Minas Gerais Estate (which produces most of our pot still legal and illegal cachaça), and you couldn't find white cachaça in there, just stuff stored for long in oak barrels and tastier stuff in native wood. This particularity of Minas Gerais cachaça has an historic, very interesting, ground. Which I can tell, if you find it interesting.

About the native wood and it's capacity of imparting flavour in comparison with oak, I'll give my example: 

The just in front cachaça has been aged for 3years in virgin white oak 200L barrels. For Bourbon and Rye Drinkers  (I like Rye better, although it's almost unfindable here), it might seem to alike, but subtler, giving more space to wood (and also, mainly in comparison to bourbon, it has more drinkability, and quite easy to "matar a garrafa" in a sit). I really like this flavour and the demand for this sort of cachaça is ascending here, giving our spirit a greater respect towards urban upper classes. Also.... that "Me Leva" pocket size bottle in the far right was stored in very old european oak, and I didn't like much the result, although I really like their white cachaça.

 

As for Amburana, I had to take it out of the 700l barrels that I have after one year, so strong was the flavour, that would probably please heavily peated islay lovers. (well, I love it and keep a bottle of it at 58%/116proof at my home bar). And to give you an ideia, for bottling the farther left bottle, we used 30% amburana, 70% white, and then diluted it with water to 40%abv, and it still has that colour and lots of flavour.Amburana and Bálsamo vats are sometimes used for 60years, with constant refill, and it never gets totally empty. It takes longer to stop imparting flavour. People actually prefer buying used vats.So it's very difficult to speak of time, when you speak of age. Time for sure will give the spirit more roundness, but for cachaça it doesn't mean it will have more complexity imparted through wood. So it's quite a challenge for us to better educate brazilians in our own spirit, unless by really trying it over and over.

About amburana again, one technic producers are applying and that's delivering awesome results, is getting old vats (5k liters or so) and subbing just two staves for new ones.Outside that, just to finnish - hope the paragraphs worked -, we have just now started to "finish" in different barrels. What we usually do to make more complex cachaças, ressembles quite a bit of what you do to cannadian whisky - we age cachaça in different woods, separately,  and then blend it.

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 17 Mar '23

For the example I've mentioned in the last post: 

From the left to the right, in ten days I'll be trying a cachaça that has been aging for some 2,5years in Ex-port casks (seasoned; not old casks), a second one that has been aging for 3 years in ex-heaven hills wheated bourbon, and the last and clearer colored one, it's been two months inside the virgin White Oak barrel that we emptied for the first time in december (so, yeep, our second filling of it). But also, for this last I made a white cachaça that I meant it to be more flavoufull, more grassy and not more alcoholic to just extract wood flavours more rapidly. 

YO
Yohobro 🇨🇦 | 80 ratings Replied 19 Mar '23

That is a whole lot more complex than an age statement. What an interesting chaos of Cachaca making! Rum has its own bit of chaos but I guess I'm just more familiar with it. Cachaca still seems like a black box-- I really don't know what to expect. I guess I'll just have to try more! Looking forward to my next bottle and September 13th! 

RE
Reeb Barbill 🇮🇲 | 63 ratings Replied 19 Mar '23

I like Cachaça. I think my favourites have been the Abelha 3yo and Santo Grau Coronel Xavier Chaves.

Definitely not widely available in Britain which is a shame, but to be fair most people are still quite surprised when they try rum that's actually nice- we've been badly burned by the Bacardi/Captain Morgan industrial rums.

Personally I'm a big fan of agricoles, which probably explains why I enjoy cachaça, but I think generally on this here there's a preference towards dry, heavier British/Spanish style rum.

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vomi1011 🇩🇪 | 403 ratings Replied 19 Mar '23

I would prefer the heavy amburana stuff at 58%. I love heavy aroma explosions. :) Nice experiments with the barrels, just to my taste. I would have liked to try all that too. 60 year old barrels, that's crazy, I would buy them all. Such old sherry casks would be priceless, no one would sell them.

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 20 Mar '23

Reeb, Santo Grau Coronel Xavier Chaves is a very good one, and you should probably try the Santo Grau Paraty if you can find it. For me those are the best cachaças if seen in this site; and both are very traditionally made ones. The first is produced in the oldest distillery still functioning in brazil 18th century, and it is still owned by the family of one of our pre-independece Martyrs.I don't know since when the paraty has been produced (Cachaça Coqueiro), but the city of paraty is one of the oldest traditional producing regions for cachaça.Vomi, I'd love to find an old Amendoim tree barrel (I don't know why the name is peanut). You can not make new ones with this wood anymore. So good for making a marvellous white cachaça.

YO
Yohobro 🇨🇦 | 80 ratings Replied 21 Mar '23

Fritz, I've seen the following available in my area:

Giffard Thoquino White & Thoquino 2 year

Cachaca 51 - Pirassununga?

Pitu

Not sure if any of these are worth getting...?

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 22 Mar '23

Yohobro, I think you shouldn't buy any of those. All industrial, column still big volume producers.

Some skillfull people can do nice caipirinhas with 51, though... but not so traditional, because, it must be done shaken to tackle away some of its column flavour.

YO
Yohobro 🇨🇦 | 80 ratings Replied 22 Mar '23

Fritz, haha that sounds about right. Too bad. Thanks for the advice! 

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 23 Mar '23

Stefan, Weber Haus is typical southern brazilian Cachaça. They like it at 38% ABV (which is the minimum amount for cachaça). I really like their amburana (good for sipping or drinks, although I'd prefer it at, say 42%).As for the other versions, I have tasted some good (but I don't now exactly which). I'd recommend not to buy the blend of woods Carvalho and Cabreúva (Oak and Cabreúva [I don't know how this one is possibly writen in there]), for me it was kind of a weird mixture, although I just tried it cold.But, in general, this is a very respected distillery, with serious work, and a really nice amburana which is the one I recommend at first. One day I hope to get to visit the distillery, but must find a good excuse first, It's kind of 2000km away.

Anthony C avatar image
Anthony C 🇺🇸 | 236 ratings Replied 30 Apr '23

Fritz, can we be best friends?!  This info was insightful and amazing.  Thanks for taking the time here.

Andy avatar image
Andy (PREMIUM) 🇺🇸 | 143 ratings Replied 8 May '23

Seems like a serious opportunity to bring the best of the 99% to the US and other international markets!

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 9 May '23

Stefan Persson avatar image
Stefan Persson (PREMIUM) 🇸🇪 | 510 ratings Replied 9 May '23

Small serious Cachaca producers should invite Mr. Luca Gargano and try to get him to do the same thing he has done for the Clairin producers in Haiti.

Ofcourse with a big profit for him, but ..........

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Fritz 🇧🇷 | 0 ratings Author Replied 15 May '23

Stefan, I've seen that Cachaça Pindorama has been present in the Swedish Rum Festival. Their White is quite Nice and I like a lot their Amburana Matured.

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Stefan Persson (PREMIUM) 🇸🇪 | 510 ratings Replied 15 May '23

  I was very busy with other things during the RumFest but saw that there was a Cachaca stand with some what I understood to be good Cachaca.