In February of this year, a group of Brazilian experts gathered in the town of Analândia, located in the southeastern state of São Paulo, to select the country’s top 50 handmade cachaça labels. I know this post is about 6 months too late, but I still wanted to put up a list of the best Bazilian brands and since this ranking will be valid until the next selection in 2016, I felt that a 6-month delay is still acceptable.
This year’s 1st prize went to none other than Vale Verde 12 Anos of Betim, Minas Gerais. This wonder patiently rests in oak barrels for 144 months and is a true treat to the senses. During the blind assessment, it reached a total score of 84.9, surpassing the 59 points reached by other labels.
The second place went to Magnifica Soleira from Rio de Janeiro and the bronze ended up with Boazinha from the town of Salinas. The Espírito Santo label Reserva do Gerente spawned the fourth, while the venerable Anísio Santiago / Havana completed the podium in fifth.
This cachaça ranking event was made up of three phases: The first was the popular vote when more than 5,300 devotees of cachaça from all states elected the 250 most beloved Cachaças of Brazil. In the second phase, the 12 members of the summit – a group of professionals closely involved with cachaça and dedicated to its research and the dissemination – joined 12 more specialists and selected the Top 60 Cachaças of Brazil. The third phase was the blind tasting, which was held on January 31 and February 1st at Chalet Macaúva in Analândia (SP).
The list does not bring any major surprises in regards to the cachaças occupying the first positions. But the order of which some of them appear certainly shows some interesting aspects.
The first is that two cachaças aged in oak occupy the top two positions on the podium. In Brazil, oak is wood that divides opinions, given the fact it’s not really native. In a country with Brazil’s diversity, many argue that we can find here the most “legitimate” woods for the aging of cachaça. Some examples include chestnut, jequitibá, or umburana.
I would love to comment more on the results, but I myself am no cachaça expert and have yet to try many of the labels listed below. If you are interested in tasting these labels for yourself, you might actually be able to find some of them on Amazon and some online cachaça shops. Some labels like Nega Fulô, Salineira, Leblon, Santo Grau, and Ypioca are sometimes even found in your local cocktail bar. I happen to be lucky enough to know the owner of number 24 on the ranking. Tabaroa is a great and true handmade cachaça.
Enjoy the ranking!
Top 50 Cachaças of Brazil
- Vale Verde 12 Anos, Betim-MG
- Magnífica Soleira, Miguel Pereira-RJ
- Boazinha, Salinas-MG
- Reserva do Gerente, Guarapari-ES
- Anísio Santiago/Havana, Salinas-MG
- Leblon Signature, Patos-MG
- Companheira Ext. Prem., Jandaia do Sul-PR
- Germana Heritage, Nova União-MG
- WeberHaus/Carv.- Cabr., Ivoti-RS
- Canarinha, Salinas-MG
- Nega Fulô, Friburgo-RJ
- Salineira, Salinas-MG
- Casa Bucco 6 Anos, Bento Gonçalves-RS
- Porto Morretes Ouro, Morretes-PR
- Ypióca Ouro Res. Esp., Maracanaú-CE
- Weber Haus Lote 48, Ivoti-RS
- Salinas Carvalho, Salinas-MG
- Seleta, Salinas-MG
- Canabella, Paraibuna-SP
- Bento Albino, Maquiné-RS
- Vale Verde, Betim-MG
- Dona Beja, Araxá-MG
- Da Quinta Umburana, Carmo-RJ
- Tabaroa, Bichinho-MG
- Rainha do Vale, Belo Vale-MG
- Germana, Nova União-MG
- Santo Grau Cel. Xavier Chaves, Cel. X. Chaves-MG
- Sinhá Brasil, Sumidouro-RJ
- Weber Haus Umburana, Ivoti-RS
- Velha Januária, Januária-MG
- Providência, Buenópolis-MG
- Cambraia, Pirassununga-SP
- Meia Lua, Salinas-MG
- Rochinha Cerejeira, Barra Mansa-RJ
- Werneck Ouro, Rio das Flores-RJ
- Tabua Bálsamo, Salinas-MG
- Piragibana, Salinas-MG
- Pedra Branca, Paraty-RJ
- Indaiazinha, Salinas-MG
- Leblon Prata, Patos-MG
- Beija-Flor, Salinas-MG
- Minha Deusa, Betim-MG
- Áurea Custódio, Ribeirão das Neves-MG
- Ferreira Januária, Januária-MG
- Espírito de Minas, São Thiago-MG
- Da Quinta – Pura, Carmo-RJ
- Coqueiro Prata, Paraty-RJ
- Maria Izabel, Paraty-RJ
- Século XVIII, Cel. X. Chaves-MG
- Sapucaia Velha, Pindamonhangaba-SP