Amendoim is peanut. So technically, this is a peanut tree. But it doesn’t, as far as I know, produce nuts that anyone eats. It is, however, used in cachaça production.
Found in the Mata Atlantica, or Atlantic Rainforest, and a few other places in Brazil, this tree is scarce and, like many others we’ve spoken about, endangered. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if fewer and fewer cachaça producers use this in the future. So if you have the opportunity to taste a cachaça aged in Amendoim do Campo, do it.
However, there are a few that still do. I’ve had the good fortune of trying a cachaça aged in Amendoim do Campo barrels. What’s most interesting about the impact of the wood is that there’s almost none. Literally, the wood does not impact color and hardly impacts taste.
I speculate, and here, I’m pulling everything out of my behind, that when cachaça was transported in barrels to remote destinations, Amendoim do Campo happened to be one of the woods used to make the barrels. And rather than getting rid of it, producers figured it couldn’t hurt to let their cachaça rest or age in such barrels.
In fact, the taste is quite light. I found my experience quite good. The cachaça was suave and gave a slightly distinctive flavor to cocktails. Overall, it was a surprise.
Yes, it’s strange that it has such a limited impact on the flavor and color of cachaça. Still, it remains one of the primary woods used to age it. If you get the chance, sip a cachaça aged in Amendoim do Campo.