Uruapan Charanda Blanco Pure Single Agricola

Uruapan Charanda Blanco Rum Review by the fat rum pirate Uruapan Charanda Blanco Pure Single Agricola. Today I’m continuing my journey into what our Mexican friends call Charanda. For those unaware about Charanda, it is a alcoholic spirit which derives from sugar cane. This particular brand Uruapan, is also one the biggest cities in the state of Michoacan, were Charanda is exclusively produced.

Charanda is protected and recognised by a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). Charanda is produced through the distillation and rectification (double distillation) of sugar cane cold-extracted juices. The result is a colorless crystalline spirit. Like rum it is often then aged in oak and other native woods.

Uruapan Charanda Blanco, may be familiar to you. Particularly if you are in the US, where a Uruapan Charanda Blanco has been available for a few years. However, I am reliably informed that this is not the same spirit that you may have seen in the blue coloured bottle.

You may note on the front of the bottle to the right it is noted as being a

Uruapan Charanda Blanco Rum Review by the fat rum pirateSingle Blended Rum. Whereas the bottle I have taken my sample from, is noted as being Pure Single Agricola. The “blue bottle” Uruapan Charanda Blanco is produced from both Sugar Cane Juice based distillate and Molasses based distillate. 50/50 I understand.

The bottle I am reviewing, is produced solely from Sugar Cane Juice. hence the Agricola tagline.

Both of these Charanda’s have been bottled at 46% ABV. The Charanda I am reviewing today was produced on a Copper Pot Still. It is an unaged Charanda which has only been rested in steel vats before bottling.

The “blue bottle” Single Blended Uruapan Charanda Blanco is quite easily available in the US. It retails at around the $25-30 mark. It has also received a fair amount of praise and attention in the drinks world.

This Charanda is more tricky to find for sale. However K&L Wines do seem to be stocking this, though it is more pricy than the Single Blended effort at $39.99. I’ve been unable to find a stockist in the UK or Europe for this Pure Single Agricola but the blue bottle Single Blended Charanda is available here. Though I have never used this online store before.

The distillery that produces Charanda Uruapan goes by the same name and is one of only 6 or 7 distilleries left. At one point there were hundreds, such has been the decline in the popularity of Charanda. The distillery also produces the Tarasco range of Charanda’s one of which I have reviewed previously.

So there really is little else to say. Having heard some of the comparisons of this Charanda with the likes of Clairin, Rhum Agricole and even Jamaican Overproof rum I am keen to taste the liquid.Uruapan Charanda Blanco Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

In the glass Uruapan Charanda Blanco Pure Single Agricola is crystal clear. It looks to all intents and purposes like vodka. However, the pungent aromas coming from the glass give a clear indication that this is far from being a boring, neutral spirit.

It’s rich and creamy on the nose with layers of double cream and vanilla ice cream.  This is backed up by pungent grassy Rhum Agricole like aromas of freshly cut cane.

A smoky yet very spicy aroma also comes from the spirit which immediately reminds me of spicy nachos covered in a dusting of peppery spice. Allowed to rest in the glass the nose becomes much more rounded and approachable given around 15 minutes. When initially poured it is much more spicy.

At 46% ABV sipping this Charanda is a very pleasant experience. It has quite a spicy peppery kick to it particularly on the initial sip. Black Pepper and some chilli oil are the first things I think of. As the initial spicy notes die down the mid palate sees the vanilla and more creamy notes from the nose return. These mingle nicely with some grassy notes.

Finish wise it is surprisingly light much of the spicy notes are contained in the initial entry and this Charanda flows nicely into what is quite a short finish. If I saw this predominantly as a sipper this might be a fault. However, it would be unfair to rate this Charanda as a sipper. Clearly it is more for mixed drinks. That said what is there on the finish is nice and gentle and it fades out nicely without any rough edges.

This is Uruapan Charanda Blanco Rum Review by the fat rum piratedefinitely something quite different from most white “rums”. That is because whilst this is similar to rum, in that it is derived from Sugar Cane – it is a spirit very reliant on its terroir. For once that is not some marketing bullshit. Charanda is only produced in a very small part of the a state in Mexico. So the soil the cane is grown in has very distinct characteristics of its environment. You might not even identify this as being a “rum”, if you tasted it blind.

It is mixed where this Charanda really comes out to play. In mixed drinks such as a Caiprinha it gets to show both its lighter vanilla/creamy side. It is also able to show its “funkier” side with a nice range of banana and fruity flavours. The 46% ABV certainly works well in mixed drinks and cocktails giving the drink just a little bit extra oomph.

This is certainly worth keeping an eye out for – if you do see it for sale at around the £40 mark or less then I wouldn’t hesitate in picking up a bottle. Especially, if you are seeking out something a little different.

 

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