Cachaca - Mae de Ouro
Cachaca Mae De Ouro
Fazenda Mae de Ouro Ltda. Minas Gerais, Brazil
Importers: USA Wine Imports, New York NY
Ingredients: Sugar Cane Juice (99.995%), Corn (0.005%)
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: 1 Year ( Anejo)
PRICE: $32.00 - 750 ML
Notes: This is not the usual type cachaca that you find imported to the United States - by usual, I mean the cheap aquadiente ("firewater") - type alcohol that is drunk by the poor and used by the better off to fuel their cars. There are 1000's of brands of Cachaca in Brazil most of which are thankfully NOT imported here. Prior to a few years ago drinking Cachaca was about as stylish as drinking Mad Dog or Night Train here.
Now it 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) twotypes 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 using wild yeasts (started with a handful of sweet mash as opposed to a bourbon sour mash - hence the corn trace). Pot Distilled from the State of Minas Gerais, they are usually 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).
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.The bouquet hits you as soon as you open the bottle ,wonderful rounded savory and brine mixed with herbal and fruit notes, slightly sweet, citrusy, lemon grass, tea. Reminds me more of a fruit eau de vie (raspberry?) or a great 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 and pepper 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 (many from their website) 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 Mae dr Ouro 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 Mae de Ouro added (sugar optional) and it came out much better than our earlier efforts with a different cachaca.We love their practical advice on their hangtag though- "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.Final Thoughts: A outstanding example of a artisanal Cachaca and what they can be like.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 an outstanding cachaca.
Bottle/Packaging: A rather simple but distinctive clear glass bottle, cylindrical in shape, with a rounded shoulder to small neck and screw cap closure. Wrap around paper label label and raised molded letters (Cachaca Of Brazil)
Quick-loading, excellent amount of information, drinks recipes,etc.,