Cachaca Reserva do Zito Ipe

Cachaca Reserva do Zito rum review by the fat rum pirate Cachaca Reserva do Zito Ipe. Our journey through Brasil continues, with another cachaca this time from the north of Brasil.

The history of the Reserva do Zito begins in 1945, when José Rufino, known as “Zito”, fled the drought of the Piauí backlands and began working at an old sugar cane mill in the city of Passagem Franca, Maranhao. Over time Zito became the owner and began his quest to create artisanal cachaca.

Cachaça Reserva do Zito is produced on Copper Pot Stills, from fresh sugar cane juice harvested on site. Cachaca Reserva do Zito is then aged in new Ipê barrels. It is aged for two years in Yellow Ipe 200 litre barrels which are then smoked by hand, which gives a yellow-brown color. It is bottled at 40% ABV.

Cachaca Reserva do Zito is commonly found in the tall, short necked rounded 500ml bottle you can see in the photos. It’s label is a classic but quite modern and aside from the metal screw cap it doesn’t look to shabby at all.  From what i can see Cachaca Reserva do Zito also have a cachaca which is aged in Oak Barrels as well. That seems more widely available than this offering.

Cachaca Reserva do Zito sadly do not have a website they do however have a presence on Facebook and Instagram.  Cachaca Reserva do Zito, is not currently available in the UK or Europe. In Brasil it retails at around R$75.

In the glass we have a rich golden brown spirit with an orange/yellow hue.

On the nose you are immediately hit by a smokiness. It reminds me very much of Laphroiag whisky – though not quite as peaty. Just very smoky. Lots of burnt bacon and pork scratching on the nose. This noses very much like a cachaca that would appeal to a whisky drinker.

Cachaca Reserva do Zito rum review by the fat rum pirateVery savoury with a really malty whisky like aroma. It smells as if it was finished in a whisky cask. Even at 40% ABV the nose is very pungent and can be nosed from a distance. It’s big and brash and it will be a real opinion divider. Real love and hate kind of thing going on.

Time in the glass does not diminish the smoky and bacon like aroma. Beneath this there are hints of light vanilla and more familiar cachaca like notes but they are hard to come by.

Luckily (for me anyway) when sipped we get more of a cachaca feel rather than Scotch Whisky. It’s still got a lot of burnt smoky aromas but we do get more vanilla and double cream, to add some balance and some sweeter notes. This balances this cachaca. It’s smoky aroma is tuned down, particularly on the entry and mid palate. This has a nice kind of vanilla ice cream sweetness to it and a touch of nuttiness.

The mid palate is complex with a lot going on – chewy red peanuts, smoked meats, a touch of marzipan, a kind of “stony” quality. It’s a woody yet well balanced affair.

The finish is long and very smoky. Smoked cod, bacon bits and some Frazzles (a maize snack). The smoky nature of this cachaca, makes for a very interesting spirit. Much removed from a lot of cachaca out there. This may come as a bit of a shock even to a more experienced cachaca drinker. It is certainly not like any cachaca I have tried before.

This is quite an experiment. Fortunately I quite enjoy something a bit out there. From the nose, I wasn’t overly keen but this really grows on you.Cachaca Reserva do Zito rum review by the fat rum pirate

If you like a peated whisky this will be perfect for you. Even if you aren’t that keen there is enough cachaca here to keep you interested.

This may well split opinion. I will be interested to try some more cachaca aged in Ipe barrels – though I fancy the “smoking” of the barrels may have contributed a lot to the profile. This certainly tastes a lot different to another cachaca I also enjoyed Saliboa, which was also aged in Ipe barrels.





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One comment on “Cachaca Reserva do Zito Ipe

  1. Sounds really interesting. As an occasional cachaca drinker and a big peated whisky fan it sounds intriguing.

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