Maristela Cachaça Review - Moonshine White Dog San Basile Review - Code 9 Single Malt Review



“And Now For Something Completely Different”


Introduction:

With respect to Whisky, Brazil is still a developing country. Everybody knows the main Blends such as Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and Ballantine's of course. But the demand for Single Malts is still very limited and so is the offer. The very high prices don't help here either. But the main reason is perhaps the climate. Most people consider that Beer and Cocktails like the Caipirinha simply combine better with the tropical climate. It's not for nothing that Cachaça (Sugar Cane Liquor) is the national distillate and the main ingredient of Caipirinha. But Whisky is slowly becoming more popular in Brazil and it's time to give a bit more attention to this fact. Today I'm looking at a White Dog produced in Sao Paulo state that seeks to attract the attention of young people and a Single Malt Whisky from the Southern state of Santa Catarina. To put their performance in perspective, I will compare them to an artisan Cachaça, also from the state of Sao Paulo. All in all, it's quite different from my usual Whisky tasting sessions so I'm looking forward to it!
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Spirit Review # 876

Country: Brazil
Region: Caçapava (Sao Paulo State)
Brand: Maristela Prata
Type: Brazilian Artisan Sugar Cane Liquor
Age: NAS (Six Months)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Stainless Steel tanks
Chill Filtration: Not Applicable
Average Price Range : US$ 6-8 (June 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍Good and cheap basis for Caipirinha.
Buying Advice: 😐 See above. It's not good enough as a sipping Cachaça.

Colour:

Water (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Prata expression did not mature in wooden casks and consequently does not provide us with lots of Aromas and Flavours. The Nose is Clean, Soft and Sweet with Sugar Cane Alcohol as the main driver. A few modest Fruity and Floral notes.

Main Aromas:

Sugar Cane Alcohol, Yeast, Dough, Grass, Green Leaves, Lime and Cloves.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Concentrated Pear Juice, Mandarin, White Flowers (Marguerite). A distant hint of a Petrol station.


Palate:

The Young Sugar Cane Alcohol really prevails right now and you need to dig deep to identify a few additional Flavour components. The Palate is Sweet, Medium-Dry and slightly Oily and Hot.

Main Flavours:

Sugar Cane Alcohol, Lime, Bitter Orange, Grass and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Pear, Dusty Earth, Green Leaves, Salt, Nutmeg and Cloves.

Finish:

Short/Medium-Long. Light and mainly Sweet. Some increasing Bitterness towards the "Hot" end. I find Sugar Cane Alcohol, Lime, Bitter Orange, Pear, Grass, Green Leaves, Pepper, Salt, Nutmeg and Cloves.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Cachaça as it drowns easily.

Rating: 60

Nose: 17 - Taste: 14  - Finish: 14  - Overall: 15

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay

As a Basis for Caipirinha: Good

Conclusion:

The site of the company tells us that the Brand was founded in the 70's by an employee of a still in the Vale do Paraiba region who always dreamed of producing his own Cachaça. Only in Mid 2010 though the copper still was assembled and the first Cachaça was distilled in 2014. Next to the Silver (Prata) I'm reviewing here, the company also produces the Gold that matured in Oak barrels for at least a year and the Premium that matured for 2 years in Ipe Oak and, quite recently, the Amburana. A whole range of (mostly) Fruit Liquors is distilled as well.

The Prata rests for 6 months in Inox steel tanks before being bottled. This is not a sipping Cachaça as it lacks sufficient Aromas and Flavours due to the fact that it did not have Wood contact. It's okay on the rocks I suppose but it mainly serves as a good basis for Caipirinha thanks to the Citric nature of this Maristela Prata. I can hear the White Dog howling so let's see how that compares!


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Whisky Review # 877

Country: Brazil
Region: Tuiuti (Sao Paulo State)
Brand: San Basile White Dog (Moonshine)
Type: Single Malt without Maturation in Oak barrels (New Make Spirit)
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Not Applicable
Chill Filtration: Not Applicable
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price: US$ 18 (June 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍Good and relatively cheap basis for Cocktails
Buying Advice: 😐It's nice to try it out but it's not my regular kind of drink.

Colour:

Water (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Moonshine San Basile was produced with a 100% Malted Barley. There are some similarities with the Cachaça of course due to the fact that both Spirits did not have Wood contact after distillation. But there are some differences as well. The Moonshine shows more Fruity and Nutty characteristics besides the obvious Grain influence. It's not as Sweet as well. Personally I like this better but that might be a result of the fact that I've smelled and tasted lots of New Make Spirit during my visits to the Whisky distilleries in Scotland.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Malt Biscuits, Green Apple, Banana, Nougat/Marzipan, Almonds and Alcohol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Yeast, Dough, Wax, Pear, Milk Chocolate, Caramel, Flowers, Peanuts, Mushrooms, (Lemon) Pepper and a light Meaty note.

Picture Credit: O Cao Engarrafado
Palate:

Malty, Spicy, Fruity and Floral. Medium-Sweet with a few Bitter notes. The Alcohol is more noticeable by now. It is similar to Gin and Grain Vodka but I find it to be a little more subtle.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Malt Biscuits, Green Apple, Banana, Almonds, Alcohol and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Dough, Yeast, Pear, Flowers, Lemon, Seville-Orange, Cardamom and Menthol.

Finish:

Medium-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Hot and Spicy. The Alcohol is quite present at this stage. I find Sweet Barley, Dough, Green Apple, Pear, Banana, Grass, Seville-Orange, Pepper, Cardamom, Menthol and Juniper.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Moonshine.

Rating: 71

Nose: 18.5 - Taste: 17.5 - Finish: 17.5 - Overall: 17.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

San Basile Distillery is run by Renato Chiappetta. Since 2019 the distillery offers 16 different distillates including Spiced Rum, Liquors, Gin, Limoncello & Absinthe.

It is understood that around 70% of all Whisky Aromas and Flavours derive from (extensive) wood contact. The rest comes from the distillation process, the Barley, the Water, the Yeast and the "Terroir". So you can't expect to find lots of Aromas and Flavours when nosing and tasting Moonshine. I did manage to identify a few but it took me a while despite the fact that I have nosed and tasted many New Make Spirits in Scotland. This San Basile Moonshine certainly holds its ground. You can sip it or enjoy it over ice but it's best used in cocktails. This New Make Spirit does show some potential and it would be nice to be able to enjoy a well-matured San Basile Single Malt in the future. Who knows!


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Whisky Review # 878

Country: Brazil
Region: Blumenau (Santa Catarina state)
Brand: Code 9
Distilled at: Xanadu Distillery, Blumenau
Type: Brazilian Single Malt Whisky - Pure Malt according to local law
Age: NAS (Around 3 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation:  Ex-Bourbons casks and Refill/Re-Charred American and French Oak
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price : US$ 30-35
Price/Quality Ratio: 😃Pleasant surprise. Okay/Good P/Q ratio
Buying Advice: 👍 It's a nice alternative for Scottish entry level Malts. 

Colour:

Amber (Natural Colour for the time being)

Nose:

Young, Clean and slightly on the Thin side. The Fresh French Oak is clearly there and reminds me of some recent West-European Whiskies. The Nose is Sweet but not overly so. Lots of Biscuity and Nutty notes alongside a little (Dried) Fruit. No significant off-notes.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Malted Barley, Vanilla, Butter Biscuits, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Sultanas, New and Refill Oak, Toasted Almonds, Dairy and Straw.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Syrup, Marzipan, Honey, Slivovitz, Toasted Pineapple, Cinnamon and Cocoa Powder.
  

Palate:

Young, Clean, Sweet and slightly Thin. No Off-Notes. You can sip this Malt and that's the first time I say that about a Brazilian Whisky (Product). The Alcohol is more present now.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Cocoa Powder, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Plums, Toasted Almonds, New and Refill Oak, Pepper and Cinnamon.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Marzipan, Citrus Peel, Straw and Licorice.

Finish:

Middle-Long, Young and mostly Sweet. A Little Bitterness from the Oak provides some balance. The Alcohol is quite present at this point and the Malt can't hide its Youth. But, again, no off-notes and without any doubt the best Brazilian Whisky I have tasted so far. I find Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Plums, Cocoa Powder, New & Refill Oak, Straw, Lemon Peel, Almonds, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cough Syrup and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that adds a Creamy texture to the palate. The Finish becomes too Thin though. Still, a few drops are okay.

Rating: 81

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The creator of this Brazilian Malt is Bruno Mafra. The product is distilled in the Xanadu distillery in Blumenau.

I'm pleasantly surprised by this Code 9. It's the best Brazilian Whisky product I've tasted so far. The main issue is its Youth. It would be nice to try a fully-matured Code 9 Malt, matured in Ex-Bourbon casks with a Sherry wood Finish. Maybe I'm day-dreaming here but this is a promising project and I wish Bruno all the best!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                          June 8, 2020

Xanadu Stills

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