Category Archives: Cachaça

Santa Terezinha carvalho

OK, let’s do just one last Santa Terezinha…ST

The Cachaça: Santa Terezinha Carvalho

Origin: Espirito Santo
Distilled: n.i. – pot still
Maturation: 3 years first fill American oak
ABV: 45.7%

The Nose: soft vegetal with a very pleasant floral perfume. I have sultanas, a bit of bourbon vanilla, coconut and a cognac like flavour. Nice and elegant, soft and easy. A really inviting nose.

The Taste: medium sweet with lots of wood – this really seems to be a distillery signature. The taste actually contrasts a lot with the nose. Where the nose indicates a floral, soft and easy going cachaça, the taste is firm with big wood.

Finish: again very woody and bitter, quickly dropping.


Santa Terezinha Serie Artes – cerejera

In the relatively small State of Espirito Santo near the Atlantic coastline, the Santa Terezinha distillery started production in 1942.  Santa Terezinha is an artisan distillery working with respect for the environment. We’ve seen it all before with other distilleries: manual harvesting without burning the fields, swift pressing of the cane, the bagaço that is being used to heat up the copper pot stills (direct heating), and so on. But what makes Santa Terezinha really different is the particular way of fermenting the calda.

Once the juice or calda has been extracted, an equal amount of boiled sugarcane juice is added. To that mixture, the distiller also adds roasted and grinded bagaço (the dried sugarcane stems) as well as cornflower. To bring this mixture to the right temperature, a big stone is heated and then dropped into the mixing tank. In the meantime leaves of oranges and tangerines are being burned over a fire next to the tank, to clean or to purify the air. After four to five days, the mixture is all ready to go into the fermentation tanks. There it still takes an exceptional four to five days of fermentation to get the garapa ready. Once distilled, 80% of the spirit is used as coração.

All this means a very complex and time consuming method, combining the old traditions from back in those days when slaves made the cagaça with traditional European methods from the viniculture, brought to Brazil by European immigrants.

The Santa Terezinha cachaça is then matured in casks or tuns of oak,  jequitiba rosa, bálsamo, umburana, or sassafras. Labels and boxes are often designed by famous Brazilian artists like Hélio Coelho and Haroldo Bussotti, making the bottles also real collector’s items.

977-cachaca-santaterezinha-500ml-prata-vilavelha-serieartesThe Cachaça: Santa Terezinha Serie Artes

Region: Espirito Santo
Distilled: pot still – lot 2017
Matured: amburana, 6 months
Abv: 43%

The Nose is rather elegant with soft vegetal aromas of fermenting most and a pleasant and again rather soft herbal touch. Also hints of sweet hay in good balance with a touch of white pepper and fresh sugarcane. Give it a good 15 minutes in the glass and it becomes more floral (rose petals)

The Taste is a bit sweet and rather vegetal on the first impression. As it was with the sassafras version, the second impression is more woody, but this time not as bitter. Some very subtle cinnamon (I suppose these amburana casks are really old, not giving much flavour anymore). Firm sugarcane and a delicate fruitiness reminding me a bit of sweet red fruits.

The Finish is rather woody with a sweet note, and is medium long. Slowly drying towards the end with soft-bitter wood but no aggressive tannins.

Cachaça Santa Terezinha Gourmet Sassafras

cachaca_santa_terezinha_sassafrasWe already tried many cachaças on all different kinds of wood, but we never had the opportunity to taste one matured on sassafras wood. Ocotea Odorifea or Canela-Sassafras is a native Brazilian tree rich on safrol: an  aromatic ether used as disinfectant and as oil in cosmetics. It can also be found in black pepper, cinnamon or basilicum. Sassafras oil was once the chief ingredient of American root beer. Today, the use of sassafras oil is forbidden in the USA.




The Cachaça: Santa Terezinha Serie Gourmet Sassafras
Origin : Espirito Santo
Distilled : Potstill – 2012
Bottled : 2015 (lot 03/15)
Matured : Sassafras
ABV : 38%

The Nose is rather light and subtle for a cachaça, but still very rich. There are some slightly sour touches, some Black Cavendish tobacco (Alsbo Black) and strong fruity aromas of dried figs and raisins. After about 10 minutes also some cold coffee. Leave it for another 10 minutes and it gets more vegetal, grassy with hints of wet hay.

The taste is a bit strange. I mean…you have some whiskies or rums that start sweet or fruity and go towards strong bitterness of the wood towards the end. Here, the wood comes right in the middle. The first impression is a bit sweet, quickly followed by this bitter woody notes. But at the end of the palate the fruity sweetness makes its comeback. I checked some other cachaças matured on the same wood, and they all have a shorter maturation time (12-18 months). It would be interesting to compare, because it’s my impression that 3 years was a bit too much. The bitter woody notes are overpowering the elegant character of the cachaça itself.

The finish (medium long to long) is woody but now with more sugarcane juice and most, evolving towards a subtle sweetness again.

Cachaça Patrimônio

Pirassununga (São Paulo) is not only home of the biggest cachaça distillery in Brazil (the famous industrial ‘51’) and home of one of the best artisan cachaça distilleries of Brazil (Sapucaia); but there are many other small artisan cachaça producers in the area.

One of them is the Fazenda Guadalupe. Not really a name you want to put on your label if you don’t want to confuse your consumers with Guadeloupe rhum, so good thing their cachaça was baptized ‘Patrimônio’

The cachaça is bottled in a rather a-typical bottle of 600 cc – almost like a beer bottle – with an alcohol percentage of 44%. Matured in bálsamo casks, but only for a very limited time (3 months). Normally bálsamo matured cachaças tend to be very herbal and punchy, and often used in blends.  Now let’s find out what a short maturation in bálsamo does to a cachaça.

The Cachaça
: Patrimônia
Region: Pirassununtga, São Paulo
Distilled: 2013/2014
Bottled: 2014 (lot 1401)
Matured: Balsamo wood – 3 months
ABV: 44%

Nose:  extremely pleasant aroma with a perfect balance between the sugarcane and the herbal  wood aroma. Despite its youth and alcohol content very smooth.  Fresh, with hints of ozone and even some iodine. This is very, very promising indeed! Give it a few minutes in the glass, and out pop the sweet ricola-herbs accompanied by delicate white flowers. Herbal honey!

Taste: there are many cachaças that attack on the first taste to get smoother after. This is the exact opposite. The first impression is delicate, with sweet herbs and fine wood, all of a sudden getting hotter and much more spicy. Rather sweet for a cachaça, but who cares, this is just superb pinga!  Now let’s see what a drop of water does. Oh boy…adding a drop of water makes the floral notes that were camouflaged by the spicy peppery flavors  coming right out now. If the nose was very promising, we can only say that the taste delivers all the good things that were promised!

Finish: again a perfect balance between herbal and woody flavors, with the typical grassy sugarcane almost all gone now. Seems to linger on forever. What a long finish this-one has! Retro-olfactoric some cinnamon and all-spice.

Our Score: **** Oh yeah.. This is so delicate, so well balanced, and with a finish that seems to go on forever. Kudo’s to the distiller, this is what makes good cachaça great!
If we really have to say something negative, it would be : why isn’t this available in Europe yet???

Cachaça Armazem Vieira Safira


The old armazem or warehouse of the isle of Santa Catharina, dating back to 1840, was being restored in the years 1983-1984 and is now part of the historical heritage of the city. Besides the bar-tavern Armazem Vieira it also hosts the cachaça distillery with the same name.

Armazem Vieira cachaça is being distilled in the tradition of the 18th and 19th century distillers on Santa Catarina. Together with researchers from the local university they try to create or recreate a cachaça doing honor to the old methods. Because the cachaça of the isle was rather special, with particular organoleptic qualities thanks to the climate and the soil condition on Santa Catarina, but also because of the variety of cane used : Saccharum Syneensi. After a rather short fermentation (depending on the ambient temperature between 12 and 14 hours) distillation happens in a small copper pot still of around 600 liter. In order to obtain the ideal fermentation, the distillery uses a biological filter, keeping all unwanted wild yeasts and bacteria out. For the very first fermentation of the season, yeast of last season is used, enriched with sugarcane syrup rich on vitamin B.

Armazem Vieira Safira ( matured for three years in grápia and ariribá wood) scored the 13th place in the Cupula da Cachaça ranking 2016-2017. So let’s see what the fuss is all about!

The Cachaça: Armazem Vieira Safira
Region: Santa Catharina
Distilled: ca 2012 in copper pot stills
Bottled: ca 2015
Maturation: Grápia and araribá wood – 3 years old
ABV: 40%

The Nose: Yes, this is cachaça all the way. Sugarcane juice, most, the distillery in full action. But all this accompanied by sweet notes of honeydew. Hints of white flowers. A round nose with firm aromas, but without being aggressive or overpowering. Very cachaça like indeed, but with a nice balance. After 15 minutes subtle hints of roasted grains.

Taste:  A nice sweet touch and firm sugarcane influence. Soft wood influence that gets firm and bigger with some water. The flowers of the nose don’t proceed in the taste.  Tasty, but a bit one-dimensional.

Finish: nice but rather short. Too short even, for my likes. Pleasant woody bitter touch at the very end.

Our Score : *** . This is a very pleasant ad easy-drinking cachaça. In my humble opinion, it lacks a bit of complexity though, so there’s better and richer to be found in this price range. This being said, it makes me very curious to try its older brothers!

Cachaça D’Salinas Reserva Especial

D'SSalinas, a relatively small city in Minas Gerais is well known for its flourishing cachaça production.  Especially the use of balsam and umburana  wood for maturation is a signature of the town, which also hosts a cachaça museum.

Let’s try one of the lesser known umburana matured cachaças from cachaça-capital.

The Cachaça: D’Salinas Reserva Especial
Origin: Salinas – MG
Fermentation : Fuba de Milho
Distilled : column still – ca 2012
Bottled : ca 2014
Maturation: Umburana – 2 years old
ABV: 40

The Nose: The aroma is pleasant, round and soft, with a more delicate vegetal sugarcane touch and a hint of cinnamon. Also wet hay and soft herbal notes. The sugarcane juice is unlike most cachaças rather hidden, but also the umburana influence is very discrete. I guess the original spirit is already very soft itself.  After evaporation of the alcohol we have some new leather, and some toasted grains – strangely enough. Due to the fermentation with cornflower (fuba de milho) maybe?

The Taste: Again very soft without any alcohol bite. A nice sweet note and again a rather subtle vegetal side. Soft without being too flat – although the 40 abv might be the limit. I would love to try this cachaça at let’s say 42 or 44 % ! Tasty and easy going, but without evolution.

The Finish: Soft cinnamon slowly fading away. The sweet touch stays until the end of this medium long finish. At the very end some light metallic notes that blend perfectly in.

Our Score : *** – a very nice cachaça with only subtle umburana notes. But it lacks evolution – it gets a bit boring.

Cachaça 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


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.

Cachaça Magnifica de Faria Tradicional (ipê)


The Cachaça: Magnifica de Fária Tradicional

Region: Miguel Perreira – RJ

Distilled: 2014 – pot still

Matured: for two years in ipê wood tuns of about 50.000 litres

ABV: 40% (This 40 abv version is for the European market; the same cachaça in Brazil has 43 abv)


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’.

It’s an artisan distillery that manually harvests the sugarcane without the use of burning techniques and without using chemicals.

magnifica-alambiEach batch of cachaça is about 2000 litres.

The cachaça gets its name partly from the family producing the cachaça (Fária) and partly from the fact that the lady of the house was the very first female ‘Rectora Magnifica’ of the Santa Ursula university at Rio de Janeiro.

The Nose: When you open the bottle it’s immediately very clear that the nose of this cachaça is very pronounced. The aromas really pop out of the bottle. They start with very refined sugar cane and rather fruity influences. A complex nose indeed, with hints of fine saw dust, green bananas, white pepper, stewed greens and a very light acidic touch.

The Taste: as a cachaça should be – with a strong grassy, vegetal touch. But this one is rather sweet for a (unsweetened!) cachaça. Some haribo sweets playing on the tongue. The taste is again rather fruity with a pleasant woody touch. It actually reminds me of grape seeds when you bite them. There’s also some olive-like touch in this cachaça. This is the kind of cachaça that preserves the best qualities of un unaged cachaça (the grassy side) combining it with the best qualities of an ideal natural fermentation (the fruity notes) and the best qualities of a tun or barrel maturation (the woody notes).

The Finish: is rather long and again with a pleasant sweet touch. At the very end again a bit woody and drying without becoming bitter. Especially this woody touch seems to linger on forever and just fades away very slowly. Overall a round and bit sweet cachaça with nice fruity tastes and woody underones. This might not be a Number One sipper, but it definitely is the kind of cachaça you want to make high end cocktails!

Our Score: ***


Cachaça Weber Haus Amburana

weberThe Cachaça: Weber Haus Amburana Matured

Origin: Itovi- Rio Grande do Sul

Distilled: n.i. – pot still

Bottled: ca 2015

Maturation: 1 year in amburana or umburana casks

ABV: 38%


Weber Haus…sounds German, right? Well, it actually is. Not that this is a cachaça ‘Made in Germany’ but made by a family who arrived in the south of Brazil back in the 1800s. Today Weber Haus is a well-known artisan cachaça producer that works 100% organic and that has won over 30 medals in international concours.

Umburana matured cachaça is often used in blends. The more herbal character of the wood lifts the blend to a higher level. But the cachaça we taste today is entirely matured in umburana only.

The Nose: the first aroma that really pops out of the glass is that of rich herbal honey. In the background we find this soft vegetal touch of fresh sugarcane that is so typical for cachaça. But here it only plays second violin. Round notes of cinnamon and rock sugar are also rather present. At the end some white pepper and saw dust pop out, together with a very light whiff of vanilla.

The Taste: what a beautiful well balanced cachaça this is. Again round, soft but yet rich cinnamon, in perfect harmony with sweet-sour sugarcane. A little sweet touch with loads of soft spices, and even an impression of stewed tropical fruits. The alcohol is perfectly integrated and manifests itself at the end when the more typical cachaça notes of the sugarcane start to take the upper hand.

The Finish: Medium long and sweet herbal with a very nice creamy mouthfeel. Again very well balanced, with a pleasant bitter woody touch at the very end.


Our Score: ***** . That’s right: 5 stars. This is a must have for every cachaça lover. Expect to pay around € 38-40


Inside the Weber Haus distillery at Ivoti – RS