Sagatiba Cristalina Cachaca Pura

Sagatiba Cristalina Cachaca Rum review by the fat rum pirateSagatiba Cristalina Cachaca Pura. In all honesty I had quite forgotten this brand of cachaça even existed. Way back in 2009 before I had really started any kind of rum or cachaça journey I enjoyed the occasional bottle of Bacardi. Back then that was “premium” to me and yes we are talking about the Carta Blanca and flavoured variants.

I can remember, on honeymoon in Australia back in 2009, coming across Sagatiba. At the time the owners of the brand were trying very hard to market it. I saw it next to the Bacardi and asked a bartender what it was. Is it rum?

“Kind of” he said. “I’m not really sure what it is – it’s not very nice though tastes kind of funny” Armed with this knowledge, I asked for a shot with a coke on the side. To be fair at the time and to my fledgling uneducated taste buds it did taste kind of funny.

Upon returning to the UK, I noticed Sagatiba popping up at a few trendier bars, however upon asking what it was the best answer I got was that it was Brasilian rum. As I noted earlier I’d just about forgotten about this brand until recently. It kind of just faded away after the initial push to bring it to market.

I buy a lot of my mixing rums on Amazon as I have Prime so I get next day delivery and they work closely with some of the bigger supermarkets in the UK, so you often get their discounts. On browsing I noticed a bottle of Sagatiba Cristalina Cachaca Pura for £13.99. It seemed a cheaper less “premium” offering than those they had tried to bring to market back in 2009 but at £13.99 for a 70cl bottle – I thought I would give it a try.

It’s not usually £13.99, the price has now went up to £15.99 and in fairness I would expect to see a price tag nearer £20. Sagatiba Cristalina is as the name suggests a clear white cachaça or “cachaça pura” as the label indicates. It is bottled at 38% ABV which is the lowest ABV for a cachaça (it must be between 38 and 48% ABV to be labelled as a cachaça).

Back in 2009, I remember the Sagatiba brand being very much a “style” type of brand. However, this expression is slightly less “premium” in appearance. You get a standard bar bottle, albeit with a slightly shorter neck. Branding wise it uses the familiar Sagatiba typeface but it is fairly simple. Due to the clear nature of the spirit, the back label is visible through the front and they have decided to put a picture of a couple of parrots perching on some buildings on the reverse of the back label. Which adds a some colour to the otherwise green, black and see through colour scheme. An embossed “S” is engraved on the neck of the bottle.

It looks a bit more fancy than a bottle of Bacardi Carta Blanca I will give it that. The brand has its own website here.Sagatiba Cristalina Cachaca Rum review by the fat rum pirate

The website states that Sagatiba was formed 12 years ago. So the brand must have began in 2006/7, depending on how up to date the website is. Orginally the brand started with the two expression to the right. Sagatiba Cachaca now has four expressions in its range. Sagatiba Cristalina is their “white” cachaça.

The brand is owned by Campari and is produced by Campari do Brasil Ltda, Sorocaba SP, Brasil according to the back label. That doesn’t mean much to me to be honest. On further research Sorocoba is a city in Sao Paulo. A brief internet search on Sorocaba and Cachaca reveals links to Weber Haus. A well known cachaça producer.

The Sagatiba website states the Sagatiba Cristalina is produced in a unique way. Like vodka, it is distilled more than once. The website states that is to produce a cleaner, purer spirit. In my book that is probably a more flavourless, generic spirit. Very much like vodka.

Any further details on this cachaça are sketchy at best. It is safe to assume it is produced on a multi column still, rather than being an artisanal Pot Still product. As so many of the cachacas I have reviewed have been.

Before I start the review I will state that just because this is produced in a particular manner, will not affect my judgement of the liquid in the bottle.

Colour wise, I doubt anyone will be surprised to learn that is a crystal clear liquid which looks very much like a vodka or gin. No tinges of yellow or any other kind of discolouration. Such things might mean the mass market morons turn their noses up at the drink.

Nose wise is when things get a bit more serious with Sagatiba Cristalina Cachaca Pura. To be honest this is not at all bad. Creamy and buttery with just enough sugar cane to give it a nice burst of lemon juice and some slightly acidic white wine notes. It’s well balanced and easy going but it is not lacking a little bit of punch. It is probably pretty young. So it does have some fire in its belly but at no point does it smell overly boozy or overpowering.

I’m really pleasantly surprised by it. Sipping, again it is very easy going it’s a little spicy on the initial sip. Notes of ginger and a touch of cumin but it quickly moves onto the more familiar and slightly grassy sweet sugar cane notes. It is reminiscent of a slightly watered down or lower proof white Rhum Agricole. It’s quite tasty and very agreeable.Sagatiba Cristalina Cachaca Rum review by the fat rum pirate

In terms of finish and mid palate it is very short. You get an initial burst of spice and then some fresh sweet sugar cane. Sagatbia Cristalina Cachaca Pura then fades very quickly into what I can only really describe as “booze”. There is little to no finish and it just kind of floats off the palate. Such a bit of alcohol burn.

Mixed it works well but it doesn’t deliver a great deal of flavour. If you have had a few you might not even realise you have cachaça in your drink. It does become quite neutral, especially when faced with mixers such as Ginger Beer or Cola. Even Lemonade over powers it a bit.

That said it doesn’t really do anything wrong – there is nothing out of sync or any off notes with this cachaça. It is perhaps just a bit too clean to really appeal to a cachaça enthusiast. It is close to a standard white rum in many respects.

It’s best described as slightly above average but at the price point it’s worth having a little play around with.

 

 

 

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