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Cachaca -Engenho Terra Vermelha

 

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Engenho Terra Vermelha
Agroindústria EnTerra Vermelha S/A , Brazil

Importers:
None (see below)
Ingredients: Organic Sugar Cane Juice
PROOF: 80 (40%) 
AGE: 1 Year ( Anejo)
TYPE: Silver

PRICE: $22.00 - 750 ML 

 

 

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Notes:
This is not the usual type cachaca that you find imported to the United States in several respects. First it is a handcrafted cachaca produced in copper alembic type copper stills (most are made in industrial quantities in column stills), rested in Jequitibá Rosa barrels (most are bottled fairly quickly) and almost none are certified organic and grown on a single estate (of just 124 acres).

Now Cachaca has been discovered (finally) in America and is used extensively in the Caipirinha as it is similar to the Mojito (a drink heavily marketed by the Microsoft of Rum- Bacardi) both of which are simple and relatively fast to make.

There are basically (at least for the sake of discussion) two types of Cachaca based on the method and/or type of production:

One is the more commercial type using standard yeasts and produced by column still distillation and usually not aged.

The second is the artisanal variety pot distilled and aged in wood. Also the column still varieties are more often tweaked with multiple distillation, filtrations and assorted additives to achieve a character. Pot still varieties get theirs from terroir, aging and of course the use of a potstill (which almost always yields a more flavorful complex spirit - but is much harder and expensive to use).

Appearance: Sparkling pure on swirling, long legs develop on the nosing glass then tiny droplets forming.  

First Impression: Like a good aged Rhum Agricole (such as the Clement or La Favorite Rums) these pot distilled varieties jump out at you with a rush of character and complexity. Nice bouquet ,with a savory citrus smell to it with trace of cane,grass and pleasant wood notes, lemon grass, tea and cinnamon/nutmeg fragrances are also in evidence. More like great a Pisco than the more ethanol or methanol notes the cheaper stuff smell like. Any better and I might have to (intentionally) wear it as a cologne - it smells wonderful!

Taste: Very smooth and spritely on the tongue, oak,pepper, nutmeg notes edges on the tongue with citrus, lemon grass, traces of bergamot and salty overtones with a whisper of tea notes and astringency playing off against the sweetness. . . Slightly oily mouthfeel to it and a long dryish finish with a warm glow.

Drinks: The drinks we tried were excellent. This is a wonderfully complex cachaca that mixes with just about anything. The sweetness yet assertiveness made for a very interesting Pisco Sour variation (substitute Terre Vermelha for pisco for some "Brazilian Lemonade" as we call it). We also came up with a Sarachai - a mix of mint and (weak) regular tea with Terra Vermelha added (sugar optional) and it came out much better than our earlier efforts with some other cachacas. "ALWAYS remember to cut your limes BEFORE you drink any alcohol."

Cigars: Good with a lighter type/size of cigar with a medium bodied wrapper. Maybe a Rocky Patel or a Fuente Short Story.

Bottle/Packaging: A rather simple but distinctive bottle, cone/cylindrical in shape, with a rounded shoulder to small neck and screw cap closure with a paper seal under shrink wrap. Green (sugar cane colored) wrap around plastic sheath is the label .

Other: No US importer. Company is (from what I understand) not interested in any exclusive import deals you can buy the cachaca in wholesale quantities to import but that is it. This will pose a problem to anyone seeking to promote and grow the brand beyond a one shot deal.

Final Thoughts: A outstanding example of an artisanal Cachaca and quite frankly one of the best we have ever had.We used to think that comparing Cachaca to Rhum Agricole was like cheap Moonshine to Bourbon. We are glad to have our minds changed. This is a benchmark cachaca against which others will be judged.

Website: http://www.engenhoterravermelha.com.br

Quick-loading, fair amount of information but could have more. Simple, straightforward but nothing about US sales or where to find it.



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