Havana Anisio Santiago Aguardente de Cana

Havana Anisio Santiago Aguardente de Cana Cachaca rum review by the fat rum pirate2Havana Anisio Santiago Aguardente de Cana. In Brasil, Havana is not necessarily noted first and foremost as the capital of Cuba. For many spirits enthusiasts Havana is the “Temple of Cachaca”.

Over the past 2 to 3 decades Havana Farm has become an almost sacred place where Cachaca was almost single handedly resurrected as a quality premium spirit.

Some commentators go as far as to say there was a Cachaca universe before Havana and a second one after its inception. I dare say Havana Farm may well be the Foursquare Rum Distillery of the Cachaca world. If you are in Salinas, Minas Gerais you simply must visit and see the masters at work. So I am told.

This aged Cachaca is commonly known as both Havana and Anisio Santiago. Named after the “Genie of the bottle” who created this premium aged Cachaca.

Havana Farm is situated in Salinas, Minas Gerais. A region which is widely considered to be the home of traditional Cachaca. Havana produce 8,000 to 12,000 litres of Cachaca per year. Production of this Cachaca is limited. Demand far outweighs production. Other Cachaca producers distill hundreds of thousands of litres of cachaça and arguardente de cana per year

Another reason why Havana is often referred to as “Anisio Santiago”, is that from 2001 to 2005, following a dispute with Pernod-Ricard, the owners of Havana Club rums Havana was renamed as Anisio Sanitago. Since then the local government in Salinas, Minas Gerais have seen sense and granted Havana Farm the rights to use Havana, as a trading name again. Sadly Anisio Santiago passed away in 2002, so did not see his Cachaca return to its traditional name.

Price wise Havana Anisio Santiago is pretty expensive in sterling a bottle would be around £80. It is currently available in 600ml bottles. Which makes export to Europe tricky. The ABV of this cachaça is 47% – which is the limit, before it legally has to be called AguHavana Anisio Santiago Aguardente de Cana Cachaca rum review by the fat rum pirateardente de Cana.

Havana Farm use Java sugarcane which is more suited to a dry arid climate. They do not use chemical fertilisers in the growing of the sugarcane. Once distilled in Copper Pot Stills it is aged for 8 years in Balsam (or balm) wood. Balsam wood is said to make cachaça more mineral and herbaceous in flavour.

In the glass Havana Anisio Santiago is a straw/white wine colour. Maybe a shade darker than most white wine. Nosing Havana Anisio Santiago is a very light, creamy and buttery experience.

Despite the 48% ABV it is very flowery – nice notes of lavender and hints of rose petals. There is a light olive oil like note which smells a little of soap. This Cachaca’s nose is so well-balanced with some really great notes of vanilla and just enough spice from the wood to bring it all together.

It is not at all grassy nor does it have any “off notes” or anything which is out of place. It’s very balanced and very elegant to nose. The nose is rounded off by some nice light notes of lemon and a touch of star anise.

Sipped Havana Anisio Santiago is as good as the nose. It has a wonderful spicy entry with a lot of citrus fruit and some really nice notes of oak and wood (TBC). Despite the 48% ABV it is very smooth and quite light for a spirit close to 50% ABV.

All the notes on the nose come through on the sip giving a really elegant and easy going Cachaca to sip. As with aged Cachaca this is not a huge tear your nostrils out type of experience. Aged Cachaca is more akin to Cuban style rons than big Jamaican or Demerara monsters. It is perhaps best described as a lighter style of Aged Rhum Agricole.

Balance is the key with this Cachaca. Lovely aromas and flavours of vanilla, lavender, cinnamon and a touch of aniseed combine beautifully with the zesty aged “wood” notes to produce a very elegant sip. A creamy butteriness, like sweet shortcrust pastry also adds a good depth of flavour to this cachaça. There is even a sliHavana Anisio Santiago Aguardente de Cana Cachaca rum review by the fat rum pirateght nuttiness.

The finish is great as well with a really good length and a really enjoyable spicy and zesty finish. This is complex but at the same time very approachable. I am confident that most peoples misconceptions of what Cachaca is would be tested if they tried this spirit.

Initially it seems pleasant but pretty straight forward but each sip reveals something new. This is a Cachaca which is lauded and mythologised about.

And with good reason as it is really good stuff. By any standards this spirit is world class. Sadly its production is limited to Brasil if you can find a bottle it may prove costly. If you visit Brasil however seek this out urgently. You won’t be disappointed.

Excellent stuff. I just wish I had more of this

 

 

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