Earlier this week, I wondered whether Seagram's launch of a "Brazilian Rum" was a tactic for marketing cachaça by a name that everyone already knew how to pronounce. My instincts said "no", but I just wanted to make sure.
Here's what Shawn Kelley of Pernod-Ricard (owners of Seagram's) had to say:
Made in Brazil? From sugarcane juice? Don't get your hopes up...
Therefore, not cachaça. After all, as Ed Hamilton at the Ministry of Rum tells us, "By law, cachaça must be distilled to between 38 and 48% ABV."
As I figured, the situation isn't that Seagram's is marketing cachaça under a banner that's easier for the mass market to understand. Rather, Seagram's Brazilian Rum is simply not a cachaça at all, despite its origins and what it's made from. And companies like Seagram's are certainly not interested in "niche' categories.
Shawn assures that the plant is located in Brazil and is fully owned by Seagram's. The sugar cane, however, is sourced from different farm suppliers.