Monthly Archives: April 2017

Dillon 10 yo – Duncan Taylor

dillonThe Rum : Dillon single cask 10 yo
Origin: Martinique
Distilled: 03-2002 in column stills
Bottled: 11-2012 by Duncan Taylor
Abv: 54.5 %
Single (bourbon) cask number 4 – 240 bottles

The Dillon distillery in Martinique was an agricole producing distillery situated on a sugar estate dating back to 1690. First rhum production took place in the 19th century.

In the first years of the 21st century (2005 to be precise) production (distillation) was moved to the Depaz Distillery in the north of Martinique, but ageing and bottling still takes place at the Dillon estate.

A few years ago independent whisky bottler Duncan Taylor started to bottle a series of single cask rums. Some rather good, some very poor. So buying a bottle of this series is always a bit of a gamble.

The Nose: Forget the official tasting notes on the backlabel of the bottle. I’m not sure what they were drinking at Duncan Taylor, but definitely NOT what’s in the bottle. Tropical fruits? Lime? Banana?? Most definitely not. Vegetal and sweet-grassy with a slight acidic touch and firm wood. Hints of toasted bread but also a bit of a metallic aroma. Lacks depth and complexity. After a good  30 minutes more dusty notes. Adding water makes the aroma more pleasant, with some fruitiness (apricots) coming through.

Taste: firm alcohol and bitter woody taste. Definitely a rhum that stayed a couple years too long in the cask! Rather mineral with an unpleasant kind of sweetness on the background. Again lacking depth and complexity. Adding water softens the alcohol but does nothing more than that.

Finish: Medium long with – again – way too much wood. The metallic aroma is now more present in the aftertaste.

Score : **  Not really bad, but definitely nothing special. It would be OK if this was a 30 euro bottle,  but with a price more than double (almost tripple)  : no thank you! I’m afraid another ‘hit and miss’ by Duncan Taylor

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Cachaça Authoral

authoral

The Cachaça: Authoral
Origin: Brasilia DF
Distilled: n.i.
Bottled: ca 2016
abv : 40%
Distillation: pot still
Maturation: blend of amburana (cerejeira), balsamo and solera system oak

Authoral is a new (2013) micro distillery, situated in residential Brasilia DF, the country’s capital. Master-distiller Eduardo Moreth literally distills the cachaça in his own home, using modern sustainable techniques (solar powered installation f.i.).

Very important is the  short time between harvesting the sugar cane and pressing the juice: maximum 3 hours. After that fermentation happens with local yeast strains only. Maturation is a mixture of large tuns of balsamo and cerejeira (amburana) and solera-stocked American and French oak.

With around 7000 bottles a year, production is very limited; and for the moment only available in Brasilia DF and through the company’s website.

The Nose: a very cachaça like nose with subtle vegetal notes of sugar cane and aromas that indicate a certain sweetness. The fresh cane is present but definitely not omni-present. The amburana cask is dominant in the aromas with firm hints of cinamon. Also some herbal notes (thank you, balsamo tun) and bourbon-y spicy vanilla (and thank you, oak casks). On the background also some maraschino cherry (thank you cerejeira, again?). Very funny: I even have some fresh maritime notes like a salty sea breeze. Not really what one would associate with hot, dry Brasilia DF. After 15 minutes more earthy notes like wet leaves and ferns.

The Taste: The amburana is less dominant in the taste than in the nose. A bit more of the herbal balsamo lingering through now. Fine wood, sawdust, with the oak subtle on the background. The sweetness predicted by the nose is there, albeit smooth and a bit hidden. The vegetal touch of the fresh sugar cane reveals the true cachaça nature. Round and multi-layered, and – important – in this case I feel like the 40 abv really is the ideal drinking strength: not too weak, not too punchy.

The Finish: Sweet notes and fading herbal notes dominate the rather long finish. The wood is nicely balanced without becoming dry. Retro-olfactoric the cherry-like notes from the amburanawood end the debates.

Our  Verdict: A very interesting cachaça with nice sweet and herbal notes; ideal to accomplish more spicy dishes. Beautifully shaped bottle and tasty cachaça. Too bad this beauty isn’t available (yet?) outside Brazil. But when in Brazil, worth the detour – this really is a must have for any cachaça lover!

Cachaça Magnifica de Faria Reserva Solera

faria

In the mountains surrounding Rio de Janeiro at an altitude around 800 meters we find the Magnifica de Faria distillery, active since 1985. It’s the only cachaça distillery in Brazil using the ‘alegria’ distillation : 3 pot stills, with the first one acting as a ‘chaufe vin’.

Next to the stills casks are stored in a solera system, 8 layers or criaderas high. Magnifica is one of only 3 (I think) distilleries in Brazil using the Solera method. But here the casks are stored right next to the 3 stills, absorbing the alcohol vapours that escape during the distillation process.

The Solera is labeled as a 10 years old, meaning the oldest cachaça in the mix is 10 years of age.

More on the distillery and their ‘tradicional’ ipê matured cachaça HERE

The Cachaça: Magnifica de Faria Reserva Solera – Batch 1 – 2016
Region: Miguel Perreira – RJ
Distilled:  pot still
Matured:Solera system in oak casks
ABV: 43%

Nose: A very rich nose that – strangely enough – reminds a lot of a very good molasses made rum. We find molasses and white fruit, with only subtle fresh sugarcane juice. Also fruitcocktail on syrup and violets. Slowly evolving towards more tropical fruits: mango and overripe passion fruit. Give it a good 10 minuites in the glass and some aniseed is coming through. Hardly any sugarcane juice, and no new make whatsoever. The empty glass evokes some Lapsang Souchong – better known as smoked tea.

Taste: Nice sweet taste with sultanas and a clear influence of the oak. The vegetal notes are there but on the background. The fruits are more hidden now, the wood is taking over and is slightly drying. The mouthfeel is rather pleasant and fresh. Just like in the nose, this cachaça reminds me a lot of a Spanish style rum. Lovely!

Finish: Mediumlong to long finish with fresh sweet notes and lingering oak. The debates are concluded with omnipresent wood that very slowly releases some tannins.

Our Score: *****

This is a must-have for more than one reason. It’s a great cachaça made with both knowledge and love. A  cachaça that also will convince many a rum aficionado.  The cachaça comes in a beautiful French-style bottle and each bottle has its individual number. Best part: very affordable in price. Soon available in Europe through The Cachaça Company for around €65.