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The Cachaça Samba

Jack Bettridge
Posted: June 2, 2005

(continued from page 1)

Our impressions follow:

Beleza Pura, or pure beauty, is a clear cachaça with essentially no aging (it rests in stainless steel tanks for two months as the selected spirits marry). On the nose, it is grassy with a hint of fusel oil. On the palate, it's fiery and essentially clean and bright, except for a wisp of smoke. Drink in a Caipirinha. (80 proof, $27.99, 750 ml)

GRM Small-Batch Artesian is a two-year-old made in a copper pot still and aged local wood (tropical oak, umburana and jequitiba-rose trees). The color is yellow with slight olive. The nose is floral and sugary nose, turning to ginger, honey, tea leaves and graham cracker on the palate. The finish is slightly bitter. Sip it or mix. (82 proof, $69.99, 750 ml)

Armazem Vieira Rubi Solera Aged is pot stilled and aged in local aririba wood for eight years. The color is light yellow with slight lime. On the nose it shows honey, citrus, green olives and some fusel oil. The palate is fresh with salad greens and lime. The finish is very sweet. Excellent partner to a cigar. (80 proof, $47.99, 750 ml)

Rochinha Single Barrel is a little schizophrenic in its labeling -- calling itself both an "aged artesian cachaça" and a "Brazilian rum" -- but what's in the bottle is simply good. Again pot stilled, it is aged in oak. We tasted the 12-year-old (there's also a five). The nose is intensely sweet like cake frosting with eggnog, spices, and vanilla, bordering on maple. The palate is honey, spices, flowers and perfume. The finish is long, sweet and sparkling. Brings out nutty flavors on a cigar. Sip. (80 proof, $79.99, 750 ml)

Caipirinha:

1 lime

2 ounces of cachaça

Granular sugar to taste

Ice cubes


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