Magnifica de Faria Bica do Alambique

Magnifica de Faria Bica do Alambique Cachaca Rum Review by the fat rum pirateMagnifica de Faria Bica do Alambique. This may be a brand you are familiar with if you live in the UK and have dined at Las Iguanas in the past. Last year I reviewed the white Magnifica de Faria Tradicional, which is available at Iguanas both to drink in cocktails or neat in the restaurant. You can also buy a bottle to take home.

Today I am reviewing a fairly recent arrival to their portfolio, which was released in 2018 Magnifica de Fara Bica do Alambique (The Tap of the Pot Still). This unaged cachaca was released following feedback from cachaca enthusiasts in Brasil. As the name suggests this cachaca is actually bottled directly from the still.

Magnifica de Faria was originally established back in 1985 by the Joao Ruiz de Faria who still owns and controls the brand, along with his family. Until the arrival of this cachaca they had 4 cachacas in their portfolio. One of these the Reserva Solera was voted the 2nd best Premium Cachaca out of over 1300 entrants in the 2014 “Cupula de Cachaca” which is one of Brasil’s premier judging events for cachaca.

Magnifica de Faria use a unique (in the world of cachaca) 3 Copper Pot Still set up. I’m not an expert on distillation so I am not entirely sure how this works. The first still is used as a Chauffe Vin (Wine Heater) which is more commonly used in Brandy/Cognac and Armagnac production. So I am told.

Magnifica de Faria is produced at the Fazenda do Anil  (Indigo Estate) Rio de Janeiro  between the cities of Vassouras and Miguel Pereira. The distillery is situated some 800m above sea level. All the sugar cane used to produce Magnifica de Faria cachaca is grown at Fazenda do Anil. Once harvested the cane is milled and pressed on site and the resulting fresh sugar cane juice is then fermented naturally using only native yeasts. Fazenda do Adil do not use any pesticides or any other chemicals at any stage.

Partly thanks to the link up with Las Iguanas and a growing awareness if mainland Europe of cachaca, Magnifica de Faria are one of only a few cachaca producers that sell more of their product to the export market than in Brasil itself.

Which is no surprise because as you can see from the presentation they are geared up for the European market. They have a very strong and modern branding throughout their line up. The Reserva Solera does not look out of place when put on the shelf with “Super Premium” (urgh) rum (or should that be ron) brands.Magnifica de Faria Bica do Alambique Cachaca Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

So let’s take a look at what I have up for review today. Firstly this cachaca is currently available in the UK. Which is a good start! At the moment Master of Malt are stocking  this. From what I can see this particular cachaca is only available in a 500ml (1/2 litre) sized bottle. It is bottled at the maximum strength for a cachaca 48% ABV. Any higher they must call it Aguardente de Cana under Cachaca legislation. It is retailing at £14.95. As this is bottled at 48% even though it is only a 500ml bottle that isn’t leaving much profit for anyone once the tax man has his cut. In Europe it is more commonly priced at around £25. I kind of expect this to be a one off. So it might be worth getting a bottle of two – if I recommend it of course……

Presentation wise its nicely done with a nice contoured bottle with a short neck and the labelling, whilst mostly in Portuguese does have some information in English as well. They are also making an effort on their website, which translates really nicely into English.

I eagerly opened my bottle by picking off the plastic covering of the screw cap, which came away fairly easily. Twisted the screw cap and tried again. I then noticed I had cut my hand a little applying too much pressure. I looked a bit closer at the lid and couldn’t see any threading. So how was I supposed to get this bloody thing off?

I then remembered that some cachaca in Brasil can be popped open using a bottle opener – no suchis wasn’t the right size. My next option was a corkscrew to bore a hole in the top of the lid to get some of the cachaca out but I didn’t fancy doing that as it would leave it expowhen not being used.

In the end I followed Steven James advise and prised the bottom of the cap away from the bottle using a sharp knife. I then made a small cut and pulled around the bottom half of the cap. Cutting my finger again in the process. Still at least it is open now and i can still seal it. I will however try and dig out a cork as it still has a bit

Magnifica de Faria Bica do Alambique Cachaca Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

of sharp edge to the bottom. Needless to say I’m not too impressed with this and they definitely need to get it sorted.

Anyway lets move onto the actual review, instead of listening to me moaning on like a big girls blouse.

In the glass Magnfica de Faria Bica do Alambique is crystal clear. The nose is very fruity and slightly vegetal. Lots of sweet aromas of fresh sugar cane juice. A nice hit of light citrus fruits – lemon and a twist of lime. A littlle note of satsuma as well.

Time in the glass allows the vapours to settle a little and the creamier notes of this cachaca show themselves. That said this is quite a clean, crisp sort of cachaca and it doesn’t have a great deal of mikly/creamy notes – just a touch really.

At 48% ABV it carries a bit more weight on the nose than many cachacas. However, it is not aggressive or boozy in anyway. It’s not massively complex (it hasn’t been aged after all) but it’s nicely balanced and there I get the feeling it will be quite flavourful. It’s well defined.

Sipping Magnifica de Fara Bica do Alambique, whilst it will no doubt not be as intense as trying some rum straight from the still – at a much higher ABV, it’s stil got a lot of flavour being delivered onto the tongue.

It’s not as sweet as I thought it might be from the nose. It actually has a more mineraly kind of note to it. A touch of smokiness as well. There is a touch of citrus but not a great lot. It’s a very clean delivery, very palate cleansing.

After the intial few sips the mid palate seems to evolve more with a nice burst of ginger. A touch of red apple putting in an appearance. Finish wise with the extra ABV you do get quite a long burn. There isn’t a huge amount in terms of flavour but it certainly doesn’t disappear quickly. It’s quite “stony” towards the end.Magnifica de Faria Bica do Alambique Cachaca Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

At the price I paid (and even at around £25) it’s worth using as a mixer – it’s recommended as both a sipper and a premium mixer on the bottle. It works really well particularly when compared with other cachaca at only around 38-42% ABV. It adds a really good weight to drinks such as Caiprinha’s that call for unaged cachaca. Magnifica de Faria Bica do Alambique adds an extra layer of intensity – it’s just a bit more “boozy” and a bit more defined in terms of overall flavour.

A clean, very crisp and well put together unaged white cachaca. Well worth seeking out at the bargain price MoM have it for.

One comment on “Magnifica de Faria Bica do Alambique

  1. Waiting for Reserva Solera review! For me one of the most complex aged cachaça we have here in Brazil.

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