Cachaça is a national spirit of Brazil and Cachaça 51 is one of Brazil’s most common cachaça brands. Like all cachaça, it is distilled from fermented raw sugarcane juice. So it’s not a rum, which is normally produced from sugar production by-products such as molasses. Though rhum agricole is also made of sugarcane juice, it is a different genre. Cachaça can be produced only in Brazil. Cachaça 51 is produced by Companhia Müller De Bebidas. It’s sold 240 million liters annually, which makes it the second-biggest-selling spirits brand in the world. It’s unaged spirit so the color is clear like with vodka.
It’s bottled at 70cl, quite a typical booze bottle and has only a recipe of Caipirinha on the back label. This is quite a typical trick which the big producers use on cheap alcohol sold in supermarkets, trying to find new customers. A 70cl bottle was bought at SuperAlko for 12.69€.
Compared to white rums, cachaça have a lot more character. Nose has a grassy, vegetal flavor with a bit of sweetness of sugarcane and lime peel or lemongrass-like citrus notes. Taste has the same feeling as moonshine made from sugar. But it does not have the sugar wash bit musty taste, but more like grass and seaweed like aroma, with nuances of peppermint, yeast, honey and black pepper.
The taste is at the same time smooth but also harsh, fuel like, metallic and industrial. Drinking it neat, it is shouting some kind of mixer as a friend. I was using the bottle mostly on cocktails, instead of white rum. When most white rums are very neutral, cachaça brings clearly original nuance, which might need some time to get used. Here where I live, I can find only very big, industrially produced brands, which 51 is clearly representing. Anyway, it is recommended to be tested, if you like to do cocktails with white rum. 51 is really a mixer, there are also cachaças meant to drink neat, but they are aged many years in oak barrels. But these are not sold yet in the Baltic market.