Novo Fogo Tanager

Novo Fogo Tanager cachaca rum review by the fat rum pirateNovo Fogo Tanager. We have covered the Novo Fogo brand previously, when we reviewed their Barrel Aged Cachaca expression. They are a brand expanding rapidly and alongside the likes of Leblon, Avua and Sagatiba, are looking to push a more stylised version of cachaça into the US and European market.

However, much like those other brands it is not at the expense of well produced cachaça. There is no style over substance with Novo Fogo. Yes, the presentation is sleek and modern but the liquid inside is also of a high standard. I won’t say much more, as I might be pre-empting the review.

The brand has it’s own very informative website. Should you wish to seek out further information on the brand itself. For now, we will explore this Novo Fogo Tanager expression. First up what the hell is a Tanager? Well, it’s a bird. There are around 240 species of Tanager. 60% of Tanagers live in South America.

Hang on a minute. This is a Rum Blog not a frigging twitchers website. Enough of the bird talk, what the heck has this all got to do with cachaça?

Novo Fogo Tanager is part of the brands Two Woods series which consist of Graciosa (aged in American Oak and Brasil Nut Wood), Colibri (American Oak and Brasilian Teak) and finally we have Tanager (American Oak and Zebrawood). Zebrawood is often referred to as Arariba. It’s all Double Dutch to me. I’m still lost as to why this is called Tanager I guess it must just be the fact the birds are common in southern Brasil.

So we certainly have the most exotic sounding of the series up for review today! Novo Fogo Tanager was the first of the two woods series to make it to the US, when released in 2015. The two woods used are amongst the most popular in the Brasilian south.

Novo Fogo Tanager has been distilled in small batches on Copper Pot Stills, it has been bottled at 42% ABV.  It is currently available in the UK, at The Whisky Exchange for £38.25. Unfortunately I cannot find any information at present on the age of the cachaça.

So lets see how this latest cachaça tastes. In the glass, the Zebrawood has imparted a very distinctive red hue in the glass. This cachaça doesn’t just have a slight tinge of red it is actually red/orange. It’s very vivid.

On the nose, it’s pretty fruity. Mango’s and some light peach. A hint of Passion Fruit. Certainly not aromas I would commonly associate with cachaça. Beneath the initial burst of fruit come more familiar, buttery notes and a fair amount of baking spice and some really earthy notes.

Their is a nice backbone of spicy woody oak, as well running through the nose.

Sipped Novo Fogo Tanager is a very interesting cachaça and one which takes a little time to get acclimatised to. The initial sweet fruity burst is more of redcurrants and blackberries, than the tropical notes on the nose. The mid palate then comes along with a really earthy, almost sandy kind of note. It’s really hard to explain, it kind of tastes like what a sandy pebbly peach smells like. Yes I know that makes little sense.

Further sips reveal some more traditional cachaça notes – a slight vegetal note, especially on the finish which is long and surprisingly refreshing. A very nice warming tingle of mixed spice and ginger, is just the right side of warming to remain on the palate for a decent length of time.

Also the more you sip Novo Fogo Tanager seems to add extra layers of spice and complexity to the palate. It’s a very nicely balanced spirit but it does seem to get a little hotter the more you sip! There’s a real hit of chilli by the time you get onto the third of fourth sip. Again most unusual.Novo Fogo Tanager cachaca rum review by the fat rum pirate

I think the nose is better than the sip with this one. That said what you get as a sipper is a very interesting and complex glass of cachaça.

It may however not to be to everyones tastes. It might be a little odd for some. In fairness, it is one of the most unusual cachaca’s I have tried so far.

But certainly not the worst. It has received some very high scores at some tasting events and competitions. I won’t score it as highly as a 94 out of 100 here but its a sold 7/10 cachaça with perhaps just enough to unusualness to make it a 7.5 ish.

Makes a nice Tanagerac – so I am told. Check their website for the recipe.



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