Companheira Extra Premium

Companheira Extra Premium Cachaca Rum Review by the fat rum pirateCompanheira Extra Premium. This is a Cachaca devised by a former Chemical Engineer Carli Bonicontro. In the laboratory class of a biochemical engineering class he was given his first opportunity to produce Cachaca. He was surprised and encouraged by his rudimentary efforts and fell in love with Cachaca.

In 1994 he began his own journey towards producing fine artisanal Cachaca, bulding his own sugar mill to produce Companheira cachaça. The name of this cachaça is inspired by the birds local to Jandaia do Sul, Parana the Joao-de-Barro who spend their entire life with a single companion. I guess once you have tried this cachaça you may stick with it for the rest of your drinking life?

Companheira Extra Premium is produced using strains of sugar cane which have a higher sugar content than usual and are harvested only in the winter months. Once distilled in small batches on Pot Stills it is aged for 8 Years in oak barrels. It is bottled in 700ml bottles at 40% ABV.

As you can see the presentation of this Cachaca is pretty slick and already geared up for the European and Western markets.

Companheira have a number of cachaca’s in their range. This is the second oldest cachaça they produce after the 12 Year Old. It retails at around 230 Brasillian Real’s which works out at around £45. I would expect to pay around £75-80 should this hit the UK by the time you take into account import taxes and the higher price of alcohol in general in the UK. If you would like to visit their website here is an English translation of the site. It’s all very nicely presented. Here you will also learn that Companheira Extra Premium has one a number of gold medals and other awards.

So even before I have tried this Cachaca the bar has been set pretty high. So lets see how I find it.

Companeheira Extra Premium Cachaca Rum Review by the fat rum pirateIn the glass Companheira Extra Premium is a golden to dark brown. On the nose it is very spicy – ginger, anise, cinnamon and some really nice woody notes of warming oak. There is a sweetness to this nose – a lovely note of honey and a slightly perfumed note. The interaction with the oak is very apparent and gives this Cachaca the air of a well aged Rhum Agricole.

It’s complex with a nice weight of sweet alcohol and a real nuttiness which mingles alongside the oaky notes. There is a slightly acidic note a hint of white wine.

Due to the more “traditional” (for me and Rum followers) ageing in oak this would easily pass in a blind nosing as a aged Rhum Agricole. It reminds me very much of Rhum JM and Clement.

The sip doesn’t give much away to make this an obvious Cachaca. For those of you, who may only have tried younger unaged Cachaca this will be a very different experience. I would urge anyone who has tried unaged Cachaca and not enjoyed it particularly but is found of aged Agricole and Molasses rums to seek out older Cachaca for a sipping experience.

Companheira isn’t perhaps as grassy as most Agricole’s when sipped. It’s quite heavy on the oak notes giving a really nice sweet/sour array of spices on the entry. An initial hit of honeyed sweetness is followed by bursts of ginger, lemon zest, apricots and some (funnily enough) Brasil Nuts.

Companeheira Extra Premium Cachaca Rum Review by the fat rum pirateIt has a really lovely balance on the palate. It moves beautifully into the mid palate which is a light, refreshing balance of warming spices, oak and just a touch of minty freshness.

The finish is in keeping with the rest of this Cachaca. It’s complex but not overly so and the interaction with the oak, coupled with the 8 years of ageing have left us with a very well-balanced and integrated spirit.

The finish isn’t huge but’s its rich, warming and satisfying. This is a Cachaca which I feel could be very popular in Europe. It is undoubtedly Cachaca but the oak ageing makes it a bit more familiar to the “rum” drinkers palate.

 

 

 

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