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.
Each 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: ***
The Cachaça: Cachaça Tiara – 42 abv
Origin: Barra Longa – Minas Gerais
Matured: Jequitiba and Ipê
Fermentation: spontaneous, started with corn flower
The Nose: Fresh cane and most, herbal with hints of lychee and some rosewood. Soft and round, and rather vegetal in style. Give it a good 10 minutes and the vegetal notes fade away, making room for a soft mineral touch.
The Taste: Fresh, rather sweet for a cachaça. Is this the ipê wood kicking in? The sugarcane juice is very present, but the overall taste is soft due to the absence of strong alcoholic flavours. This is a rather typical cachaça, albeit softer and less vegetal than many of its colleges; with a bit of a sweet touch. I see this as an excellent mixer for the better caipirinha or batida, but due to a rather one-dimensional taste and character not really as a sipper.
The Finish: Medium long on the tongue and long on the cheeks. Sweet, with no bitter wood influences. A leather-like taste at the very end gives it an extra touch. Leave it in the glass for a good 20 minutes, and the aftertaste gets a bit more bitter, with more wood coming through now.
Our Score: ***