Leblon

Leblon

Product of:  Brazil
Aged:  up to 6 months
Price: $30
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context:  White Cachaça 
RG Rating: 8.5

Tasting Notes
Very Smooth.  Leblon cachaça is clear in color, just as you should expect from an unaged rum.  The aromas reveal nothing artificial, just cut and skinned sugar cane, earthy and more grassy than sweet, with pear a touch of anise. The alcohols are gentle.  Initial tastes of raw cane are as expected, but with a welcome distinction: a reduced sweetness makes way instead for a more leafy cane flavor.  A medium and clean body is more robust than you’d expect from an unaged cachaça that’s intended for mixing, but culminates in a slightly anise finish, becoming slightly sweet of cane stalk at the very end. 

Anecdotes
Leblon is produced in Minas, often regarded by Brazilians as their premier cachaça producing region. Leblon cachaça originates from fresh cane juice, then proprietary yeasts are introduced.  The resulting must is fermented for about 15 hours, then distilled in a French style using alembique copper pot stills.  The spirit is further refined in casks previously hosting XO Cognac.  What sets Leblon apart in the USA from the other up and coming spirits that are trying to steal a slice of the (vodka) cocktail crowd, is much more than their contemporary marketing; Leblon delivers a spirit with delicious natural flavors. 

Opinion 
Thankfully, the Leblon group are serious about introducing new cocktail recipe’s to expand the party, not just steal a page from the typical bartender’s recipe book.  The makers got it right:  their cachaça seems purposely distilled to achieve flavors that cry our for lime, mint, and a little sweetness, with especially agave nectar being a particularly nice complement.  For evaluation purposes, I made three very different cocktails 
using Leblon.  The Leblon Caipirinha was my favorite, followed by the Piranha, a close third was the Mango Passion. While I could drink anybody’s caipirinha’s on hot afternoons, starting with Leblon makes the cocktail that much more enjoyable.  The other drinks expanded my cocktail repertoire to better suit the mood of my guests.  Finally, Leblon cachaça is flavorful and smooth enough to sip. I call that success. 

Reviewed:  May 2009 at the Rum Gallery, USA. 

© Dave Russell 2017