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Cachaça Review: Leblon Cachaça (Brazil)

Written by Tatu Kaarlas   
Sunday, 10 May 2009 01:27

Leblon CachaçaThe spring is here in full force and people are beginning to shed their clothes and finding their way to the sunny terraces of the bars as the summer approaches and the weather gets warmer.

 

This is the perfect time to enjoy refreshing cocktails such as the Caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail. An authentic Caipirinha can of course only be made with authentic Cachaça, a spirit that can only be made in Brazil and must be made from fresh-pressed sugar cane juice and distilled to no higher than 54% abv and bottled between 38% and 48% abv.


Cachaças are generally made either by distilling in column stills or alambique copper pot stills. The Cachaças produced using the latter method are made in small batches, as opposed to the first method, and are referred as Artisanal Cachaças.


Leblon Cachaça is an artisanal Cachaça produced at Patos de Minas in Brazil by Gilles Merlet, the master distiller of Maison Leblon, where he uses techniques used in wine making in France, his home country.

 

The cane used in Leblon Cachaça is grown in a nearby sugar cane field, hand harvested and delivered to the Maison in less than three hours for pressing. The fresh pressed juice of the sugar cane is fermented for approximately 15 hours and left to rest before transferred into the alambique copper pot stills for distillation.


Like many distillers do, only the heart of the distillation is used and aged in Vintage XO Cognac casks for up to 6 months after which Cachaça from 4 to 8 different casks are blended together according to the characteristics of each one.


Before bottling, Leblon Cachaça undergoes a triple organic filtration process, which is performed in order to remove any impurities from the colour and taste of Leblon. The filter composes of several layers made of wood coal, cellulose and diatoms.


Leblon Cachaça is presented in a tall, clear and simply yet elegantly decorated bottle topped by a cork. The colouring is mostly green with some yellow like Brazil's flag. The label on the back is actually shaped like the Dois Irmãos or the Two Brothers, the split peak visible from Leblon beach. A very nice touch if you ask me.

 

KA-SHA-SA

Leblon Cachaça Care Package

 

Appearance

Leblon Cachaça has a very clear appearance with the slightest yellow tinge and forms viscous medium to thin bodied legs in the glass.

 

Nose

The aroma from the bottle nose is extremely fruity, and has some yeast and slight leather aromas to it as well. It is also very sweet and warm with an undertone of alcohol.

 

In the glass Leblon is extremely smooth and warming with dry woody notes, yeast and pear like fruit aromas like the website suggests. As the Cachaça breathes, the overall aromas become warmer and the woody aromas blend in with the rest of the aromas to the point of almost disappearing while the yeasty and fruity aromas become more evident.

 

Taste

There is certain woody dryness upfront which quickly blossoms into a sweet, pleasantly warm sugary taste with some yeast and fruit flavours.

 

Aftertaste

Leblon Cachaça leaves a long, coating aftertaste with a pleasing nip of citrus fruit and a little vanilla to smoothen the finish.

 

Leblon Cachaça as an Ingredient

 

KAI-PUR-EEN-YA

 

Caipirinha2 oz. Leblon Cachaça

1/2 Lime

2 tsp Superfine sugar or 1 oz Simple Syrup


This is a really good Caipirinha, probably the best one I have ever had, even if I did make it myself.

 

In more than one occasion when I've ordered a Caipirinha at a bar in Finland they've used Vodka instead of Cachaça!

 

After trying a Caipirinha with real Cachaça there can be no alternative ingredients in my Caipirinhas anymore.

 

 

 

Mint Pineapple Caipirinha


Mint Pineapple Caipirinha2 oz (5.9 cl). Leblon Cachaça

4 Chunks of pineapple

2 Mint leaves - torn

2 tsp Superfine sugar or 1 oz (2.9 cl) Simple Syrup


Continuing with the Leblon recipes I decided to do the Mint Pineapple Caipirinha.

 

I used 4 small chunks of pineapple and two medium sized mint leaves, 2 teaspoons of sugar and two ounces or 5.9 centilitres of Cachaça.

 

This cocktail is lovely and refreshing with the pineapple and mint harmoniously giving fresh, piquant hints of flavour at the same time while being perfectly in balance.


The Spiced Pear Caipirini


Spiced Pear Caipirini2 oz  (5.9 cl) Leblon Cachaça

2 oz. (5.9 cl) Pear Nectar

½ Fresh lemon

½ tsp simple syrup

Small piece of ginger

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of ground cinnamon


As with the previous cocktail the ingredients are nicely balanced and while there is only a pinch of each spice, they really bring this cocktail in to life!

 

I would have assumed the lemon would have made this drink sour but the pear nectar nicely counterbalances the sourness of the lemon.

 


The Champagnirinha


The Champagnirinha2 oz. (5.9 cl) Leblon Cachaça

1 Orange slice

1 Lemon slice

1 Lime slice

Dash of simple syrup

Champagne to top off


I'm not sure I did this one correctly, must be all the drinking, pardon, "researching" I've done.

 

Mine is more yellow than clear as depicted on the Leblon Cachaça website. It is not too bad but I probably topped it with too much champagne. The fruits give it a delicious aroma, however.

 


Final thoughts

A clean, crisp flavoured Cachaça with one of the most delicious aromas I've yet come across in white spirits. Leblon Cachaça is smooth enough to be enjoyed on its own but where it really excels is in fabulous cocktails.

 

Country: Brazil

Aged: Up to 6 months

www.lebloncachaca.com

 

Do you have any interesting recipes to try with Leblon Cachaça? Share them in the forums!

 

 

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