Cachaça is the national spirit of Brazil and the chief ingredient in a Caipirinha, so it’s certainly worth knowing. But until recently, the spirit was misclassified in the United States as “Brazilian Rum.” This resulted in some consumer confusion, but it also marginalized cachaça. Thankfully, that changed in 2013, so while spirits enthusiasts have been knowingly enjoying cachaça for years, it’s now receiving the mainstream recognition it deserves.
Around the same time, we saw a new entrant hit the market: Avua Cachaça. Avuá Cachaça produces two single-estate, limited production spirits: an unaged Prata and the aged Amburana. Both are distilled from fresh sugarcane juice on a small farm outside Rio de Janeiro. Let’s see how they taste.
Avuá Cachaça Prata
Avuá Cachaça Prata is rested in steel tanks for six months, but since it never touches oak it’s crystal clear. On the nose it’s full of bready yeast, floral notes and citrus. It’s crisp on the palate, with more fruit, grassy notes and spice. It finishes clean and dry, and we can attest that it does indeed make a fine Caipirinha. 42% ABV / $35
CE Rating: ★★★
Avuá Cachaça Amburana
The Amburana is named for a type of wood that’s indigenous to South America. The spirit sits inside Amburana casks for up to two years before bottling. It’s a light straw color in the glass, and it’s an overall warmer, softer package than the Prata. On the nose you’ll find mild wood, baking spices and honey mingling with hints of raw vegetation. Drink up for more of the same, plus nutmeg and a pronounced herbal accent. It finishes warm and easy, with some lingering wood notes. 40% ABV / $50
CE Rating: ★★★
For now, Avuá Cachaça is available via a handful of online retailers, plus select bars on both coasts. Check the website for more detailed availability.
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