Cachaca Santa Terezinha Canela Sassafraz

Cachaca Santa Terezinha Canela Sassafraz Review by the fat rum pirateCachaca Santa Terezinha Canela Sassafraz. Back on the cachaca today with another review from the Santa Terezinha brand. I previously reviewed their Arte release. Santa Terezinha hails from Espirito Santa and have producing cachaca since 1943.

I covered Santa Terezinha’s production methods in my last review. So I won’t repeat myself. I will however cover the make up of this particular cachaca. I have not come across a cachaca which has been aged in Canela Sassafraz before. Being perfectly honest ,I have little idea what this might be other than some kind of native Brasilian wood or woods. I have come across Sassafras Root before (both in the form of being an ingredient in Root Beer and by way of a Green Day song on the album Dookie). At this stage I am unsure if there is any link. So I best find out.

Canela Sassafraz (or Sassafraz) is an Evergreen tree native to Brasil. It is more commonly known as Brasilian Sassafras or American Cinnamon. However, neither a true Cinnamon or Sassafras.

Sassafras is found in It is native to Brasil and found in the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Sao Paulo. It is endangered due to habitat loss, so you will rarely see it used for cachaca. Upon looking this kind of cachaca up I could only find this expression and one from the Weber Haus brand.

Cachaca Santa Terezinha Canela Sassafraz has been aged 4 years in Canela Sassafraz barrels which have been re-charred. As with Santa Terezinha Arte this cachaca has been distilled in small batches on authentic Pot Stills. In Brasil this cachaca retails at around R$80 which works out at just £15 in sterling. Were this to enter the UK market I would expect to see it for sale at around the £40-45 mark. It has been bottled at 38% ABV and is/was (I found it hard to find a bottle for sale) available in a 500ml bottle.

Presentation wise it’s a little on the gaudy side with a bright pink/purple label. It has a screw cap but you do get a card sleeve to store the cahcaca in. You can find more information on their website as well.

So lets see how I find this particular expression.

In the glass we have a very dark spirit by cachaca standards. It’s a very dark slightly reddish brown colour. Nosewise Santa Terezinha Canela Sassafraz is also very different to many aged cachacas.

It has an almost molasses rum like nose. Lots of stoned fruits and red grapes. It smells almost like a Spiced Rum. Lots of sweetened apricot and canned fruit in syrup. Further nosing reveals a bit more cachaca character. A slight butteryness and some hints of cream. Touches of vanilla and a dusting of mixed spice.

So far it is a very unusual cachaca. In fact I am wondering if this would class as Cachaca Dulce (sweetened cachaca). Certainly it does as the hydrometer reads only 24% ABV which indicates around 40g/L of additives.

It makes a bit sense now when they say the barrels are “coated”, I see…….

Sipped it now pretty clear this has some form of additives. It’s a sweet kind of dessert spirit. A nice array of spices – cinnamon, touch of clove, tiny hit of ginger and some sweet toffee and caramel notes. It’s a touch too sweet for me.

With the sweetness comes an initial burst of sweet fruity flavours and sugar but this quickly fades leading to a less than inspiring mid palate and finish.

Pretty much nothing really a slight touch of buttery cachaca once the sweetness goes but there is nothing left on the finish.Cachaca Santa Terezinha Canela Sassafraz review by the fat rum pirate

All in all this is a kind of almost Spiced Cachaca. It is noted on some websites as being “Gourmet” Cachaca and its advised to use it in cooking or drinking as a mixer. One such suggestion was coconut water which did dial the sweetness of this cachaca down a bit.

From speaking with the producers this a cachaca produced to be used in cooking, rather than drinking, though it can be drank in a conventional manner as well.

It still wasn’t really for me though. That said the Santa Terezinha do make a good job of their regular cachaca with is more for my tastes.







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One comment on “Cachaca Santa Terezinha Canela Sassafraz

  1. This cannot be considered a cachaça by law, in its aging process they add fruit essences inside the barrel and then burn it. The cachaça law says cachaça cannot be aged in any barrel (except virgin ones) that wasn’t used sticktly for fermented or destiled products without any artificial fruit flavout in it. So that’ why you don’t see “Cachaça” on the label. Canela Sassafrás is very rare indeed (weber haus one is very smooth, although there is not much complexity in it), this name is used for Ocotea odorifera trees, but you’ll find a bunch of Cachaças aged in Louro Canela, mostly in blended cachaças. Louro canela is a name used for about 3 or 4 trees in the Ocotea family, that are very similar (if not identical) to the Sassafras one.

    In Brazil we drink sugar canne juice (it’s called Garapa here) very often from our very first childhood, also our sugar market is 100% based on canne sugar, so the cachaça aroma is very familiar for us, even the ones who doesn’t drink alcohol. I always like to see how people from other countries describe cachaça without these cultural references. 😀

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