Sapucaia Real 18 Years

Sapucaia Real 18 Years Cachaca review by the fat rum pirateSapucaia Real 18 Years. Sapucaia is a brand of cachaça from Pindamonhangaba, Sao Paolo state. The Sapucaia brand began way back in 1933 on the Sapucaia and Coruputuba farms. The farms were run by local entrepreneur Cicero da Silva Prado.

“Sapucaia” is a majestic tree found in the Mata Atlantica forest in Brasil. “Real” translates to Royal in English. Sapucaia have a range of cachaca’s – this cachaca’s story began in 2007.

Sapucaia hired a beverage consultancy at Senac Renato Frascino to make an overall assessment in their stocks. Around 500,000 litres of cachaça!  Stored in various tanks, 500 and 250 litre Oak, Peanut and 3o litre Jequitibá-rosa barrels. All holding long aged cachaças. With this review, Sapucaia would make a general balance of stocks and assess the quality of their aged cachaças, aiming to check if we still had the stocks necessary to produce an older cachaça.

The Sapucaia Real 18 Years that is available today is from stocks of Oak Aged Cachaca from 1990. The cachaça was fermented using maize flavour before being distilled in small batches on Copper Pot Stills.

You can actually buy a bottle of this cachaça if you are in Europe as The Cachaca Company stock it. The cost is €145. It is bottled at 40% ABV. Presentation wise it’s not bad with a tall long bottle with a very short neck. The label is fairly simple and perhaps not as premium as the price tag might suggest. That said its the contents that really matters.

Sapucaia have a website which can be translated into English. It’s quite an informative site so should you wish to learn more about the brand I would advise having a little look around the site.

In the glass Sapucaia Real is a golden to dark brown colour.

The nose is very much influenced by the oak and the extensive ageing. Vanilla and oak spices fill the nose alongside caramel and toffee notes. A slight milkiness brings things together along with a touch of nutmeg. If I was given this blind I am not entirely sure I would identify it as a cachaça. Maybe an aged Agricole but it does have a lot of similarities with molasses based rums. Which shows just how much influence long ageing in a tropical climate can have on a distillate.

Such is the sweetness on the nose I was curious to see how it faired with a Hydrometer – it came up clean so no added sugar.

Sipped you are instantly reminded this is a cachaça and not a molasses rum. The sweetness on the nose is replaced in part by a slightly vegetal note and some very mineral heavy notes. It is nowhere near as sweet as the nose suggested. Big wafts of ginger, nutmeg and a slight peppery heat but for an initial sip it’s very agreeable.

Further sips reveal more of the complexity and the sweetness of this cachaça. Vanilla and some pineapple juice maybe a little banana. This is a very nicely balanced cachaça and the mid palate and finish flow nicely – really nice balance from the oak spices and the toffee and caramel. The finish is quite long and leaves a nice fade of rich spicy oak.Sapucaia Real 18 Years Cachaca review by the fat rum pirate

One of the best things about this cachaça is the balance. It’s all just so well put together. As a spirit it could compete with anything. There are no off notes or anything that shouldn’t be there. It keeps it’s identity as a cachaça as well once you begin sipping.

Further sips reveal more subtle flavours of almond and pecans – a slight nuttiness which mingles nicely with the ginger. It would be very interesting to put this in a flight of aged Agricole or molasses rums and see what people make of it.

If they know anything about good spirits they will be mightily impressed – cracking stuff.

 

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