14 Feb The CACHAÇA: The water of life (Part II)
It is a Brazilian brandy made from sugar cane juice produced in Brazil, to which a mixture of roasted cereals (rice, wheat, corn, etc.) is added. It differs from agricultural rum by a longer fermentation of fresh sugar cane juice. After distillation, we obtain an alcohol titrated at 40° which is bottled immediately . The alcohol can be aged in oak or American barrels to obtain a brown alcohol.
The name of Cachaça is protected by law and its production is limited to Brazil.
According to Brazilian law, Decree 6871/2009. 53, defines the product as “the typical and exclusive denomination of sugar cane aguardiente produced in Brazil, with an alcohol titration of thirty-eight to forty-eight percent by volume at twenty degrees Celsius obtained by distillation of the must fermented from sugar cane with particular sensory characteristics and with the possible addition of sugar up to six grams per litre.
In other words:
- If the eau de vie contains up to 6g of sugar/L (expressed in sucrose): it is a cachaça considered to be artisanal.
- If > 6g of sugar/L and up to 30g of sugar/L: we speak of “sweetened” cachaça or sweet brandy considered as an industrial product.
There are more than 4000 categories of cachaça, most of which are made by many small local houses and take the name according to the regions, of caninha, pinga, birita, branquinha…)
There are 2 types of cachaça: white or golden:
White Cachaça is generally unaged
Either it is immediately bottled or it rests in stainless steel barrels.
However it can also go through an aging stage but up to 12 months in wooden barrels (such as Jequitibá, Freijó, peanuts,… according to the website mapadacachaca.com). And also it does not take color and will bear the name silver (silver), classic or traditional.
the golden Cachaça is aged in wooden barrels for 2 months to 3 years. Depending on the wood that makes up the barrel, it will take on a more or less marked golden color with equally pronounced aromas.
It will bear the following designation: aged gold, premium or extra premium.
We speak of aged cachaça when at least 50% of the cachaça has been aged for at least 1 year in 700 L barrels.
- Premium cachaça: 100% cachaça aged in 700L wooden barrels for a period not less than one year (website mapadacachaca.com)
- Extra premium cachaça: 100% of cachaça is aged in 700L barrels for at least 3 years
- Cachaça said to be of superior quality: aged up to 15 years