Cachaça isn’t something that gets a lot of regular coverage around here. Some might say that that’s because cachaça isn’t rum, but I say that it’s because I’m lazy and indecisive when it comes to choosing which of the roughly 200 rums and cachaças I have at home to review.
Novo Fogo is a relative newcomer to the cachaça market here in the US. They produce their spirit from freshly-pressed sugar cane that is grown near Brazil’s Floresta Atlantica. After the cane juice is collected in the town of Morretes, it is fermented and then distilled in copper pot stills in accordance with Brazil’s laws regarding the production of cachaça.
After the distillates are collected, the silver cachaça is rested in stainless steel tanks for over a year. According to Novo Fogo this is done to mellow the spirit, removing some of the rough edges.
Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça is crystal clear both in the bottle and in the glass. The bottle is nicely shaped and stylish, reflective of the fact that it is made by hand. In the glass the cachaça has the expected thin legs that cling fast to the sides of the glass.
A single sniff of Novo Fogo Silver is immediately yeasty and grassy. There are strong vegetal notes that are very up-front and dominant. Behind them are smells reminiscent of honey, citrus, and green apple. A small touch of pineapple shows up at the very end and it’s easy to picture one’s self drinking this while relaxing on a nice pile of hay after a long day’s work.
The nose seems to capture the greenery of the rain forest along with the gritty, down-home qualities a day’s work in the cane fields being rewarded with a refreshing drink.
Once the cachaça crosses your lips you find a rich, full-bodied spirit on your tongue. Like the nose, the initial flavors are yeasty and round. At the midpalate notes of green apple, hay, and green banana come to light before the very pleasant and clean finish leaves you with just a hint of pineapple again.
The cachaça is incredibly smooth and even without ice or any mixer is simply refreshing. This is an incredibly approachable cachaça, even for someone new to the spirit. Somehow Novo Fogo manages to accomplish this without sacrificing the flavors that make cachaça cachaça. The spirit is simultaneously smooth and easy while being exotic and delightfully vegetal.
Let’s see, smooth, vegetal, and refreshing. There are lots of ways you could go with this, but honestly how could you not use this in a Caipirinha – the national cocktail of Brazil?
With just a touch of lime and sugar the Novo Fogo is unabashedly good in this simple riff on the classic rum/sugar/lime combination (we can argue over who invented what first some other time, maybe after having a few of these).
2 oz Cachaça
2 tsp Sugar
Slices of 1 lime
Combine all in a glass and muddle limes thoroughly. Add ice and stir (optionally toss in a shaker).
The softness of this particular cachaça in comparison to others does mean that you don’t need to go hog-wild on the sugar or the lime. While some more, shall we say, ‘brusk’ cachaças benefit from some covering of their harsher elements, the Novo Fogo glides from your glass and down your gullet so effortlessly as to be almost dangerous.
The Long & The Short Of It
Novo Fogo has really done a fantastic job with their silver cachaça. They have managed to create a spirit that captures the essence of what cachaça is supposed to be while still making it something that anyone could drink. Whether you’re someone just getting started with the Spirit of Brazil or you’re a long-time fan of Caipirinhas and grassy, vegetal spirits, you’re going to find yourself enjoying a glass or seven of Novo Fogo.
Dood’s Rating: 4 Bottles of Rum Out of 5
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