"Phil... Congratulations! Your blog is very important for expanding the knowledge of good handcrafted cachaça." - Kede, father-in-law, cachaça enthusiast
The main inspiration for Cachaçagora was the passion for this spirit that is shared by my in-laws, Claudia and Kede, who live in Rio de Janeiro. Claudia — you occasionally see her referred to as "Mamãe" here — is the president of the Confraria de Cachaça do Copo Furado, a group that regularly meets to talk about cachaça. (The name, translated, is "The Cachaça Brotherhood Of The Pierced Glass.")
Anyway, Kede (pictured in the chef get-up) gave us some expert, in-country context for our blind tasting. Read the translation after the jump.
Your group's evaluations are comparable to those of the membership of the Confraria de Cachaca do Copo Furado of Rio de Janeiro, which has evaluated cachaças for 14 years.
Barril 39 is our choice too, but we wouldn't have been surprised if Velho Pescador won because it is an excellent cachaça as well. I am very much impressed with the level of the jury.
We'll make some comments about the cachaças that you all judged:
Barril 39 is handcrafted in very small batches. The distillery is in the city of Valencia, Rio de Janeiro state. The proprietor of this small farm himself, Sergio, is the one who produces Barril 39 and is always creating new experiences with new woods for the construction of new barrels. He and the family are very diligent in maintaining the quality of the cachaça.
Velho Pescador is produced in medium-scale in the south of Brazil where there is a concentration of vintners and, therefore, specialists in fermentation and aging in oak barrels — the processes are similar to wine.
Cuca Fresca is little known among the members of the Confraria and the judges found traces of a bitter taste, which is considered a defect in the drink. I don't know who the producer is, but I will find out more and tell you.
Finally, Leblon does not have its own production yet. [Ed. note: This has since changed.] They buy cachacas from others and standardize the product. We met them in the biggest cachaça fair of the Americas in Belo Horizonte and they gave us this information.
They recently bought an alambique and intend to produce their own. [Ed. note: This would be Maison Leblon in Minas Gerais.] The production will be in large-scale and they are building out with the best chemists and production specialists.
Leblon's marketing is aggressive and is, at this moment, focused on Europe and the US. Their cachaça is, now, targeted toward the uninitiated therefore it doesn't possess certain fruity notes, or vegetable or mineral characteristics. Leblon is neither good nor bad the way it is now, but it's not the choice of experts. Let's wait for the future.
Phil... Congratulations! Your blog is very important for expanding the knowledge of good handcrafted cachaça.