Cachaça world: May 2014 – Goose liquor

2014 is another year in which the Seleta is one of the best cachaças.

In September 2014, 4124 Cachaça brands were officially registered in the Ministry of Agriculture. Around 25,000 manufacturers produce in Brazil either alone or in Cooperativos and some more also produce without a permit.

The 'Cúpula da Cachaça' jury selected 250 cachaças from the 4124 registered brands, which admittedly had to meet high quality requirements. So the chaff was separated from the wheat. Pitû, 51, Velho Barreiro, Lanius, and Delicana are not among the 250 selected varieties. After thorough analysis, the selection for the grand finale was reduced to 20 varieties, which also include Boazinha and Seleta.

What is striking is that the global brands that can be found in the supermarket do not meet the quality requirements of the jury. Thanks to globalization, a brand can now be distributed worldwide. This is inevitably associated with mass production, which requires efficiency and fast manufacturing processes in order to be able to offer cheaply. Thanks to the large quantities, the costs can be significantly reduced, but this requires industrial manufacturing processes.

That means you need a raw material that primarily provides a lot of juice. So at Cachaça, sugar cane. It is important that the fresh juice can be processed quickly. Turbo yeasts are used, which reduce the fermentation time to 4 to 6 hours and increase the alcohol content of the "wine" up to 20%. Flavors can hardly be broken down at this speed – which has the advantage that you can do without flavor-rich types of sugar cane. The subsequent distillation in a continuous process takes place in stainless steel columns. Within a short time, the cachaça was created, which is almost free of aromas, but costs almost nothing. In the worst case, maturation in wooden barrels is avoided and caramel and sugar are used instead. A liter costs less than one euro to manufacture.

The production is similar for industrial spirits. It doesn't matter whether it's whiskey, rum or cachaça. Only the basic raw material varies. Bacardi, Johnny Walker and Aperol have become global brands that can be found in every supermarket today. Pitû was the first cachaça in Germany and is still the cachaça with the highest sales.

But how can you create a spirit that delights the palates of quality-loving jurors? The Fazenda Seleta produces exclusively in the traditional way – emphasizes the owner Antônio Rodrigues. But what does that mean?

It starts with the cultivation of special types of sugar cane, not only optimized for the amount of juice to be produced, but rather for the flavor of the juice. The harvest takes place without the use of fire so as not to damage the sugar cane by heat. The juice of the sugar cane is fermented with natural yeasts so that the important aroma substances can also be tapped. This process takes about 4 times longer than with turbo yeasts. The resulting wine is time-consuming distilled in copper stills. This includes the separation of the distillate into three parts. Pre-run and post-run are not usable – only the middle section is used and can then rest in wooden barrels for at least 2 years before it is bottled.

In Brazil, it says: "A good cachaça rests at least 3 months before it is bottled." – A luxury that industrial distillates are usually withheld. The storage causes esterification and oxidation processes that noticeably change the taste of the spirit – they lose their aggressiveness and become softer.

Seleta and Boazinha are not the cheapest cachaças, nor are they the ones with the largest production volumes – but they can be found in the top spots when it comes to taste. You are playing in a different league. A Cachaça artesanal also won at the GERMAN RUM FESTIVAL 2014. The SALIBOA was awarded GOLD.