Cachaça: life over a barrel, Part Two

Cachaça: life over a barrel, Part Two

Cachaça aged in Amburana is one of the most popular forms of the sugarcane spirit. The Amburana tree, which is found in the Northeast of Brazil, is endangered. In fact, at the rate it’s going, it will likely become extinct. The tree shows wide-ranging health benefits, which a large public may never get to experience but it’s increasingly valued by the cachaça drinking public. As its popularity grows, in spite of its scarcity, producers from all over the country make Amburana-aged cachaça as a standard offering.

In multiple places, I’ve heard “experts” say that this type of cachaça appeals more to women. I’m not sure why they say that. Perhaps it’s true, but I’m pretty sure no one has done any kind of study on whether Amburana-aged cachaça is more popular with women than with men. As such, declarations that it’s a woman’s cachaça, though perhaps well-intentioned, are baseless.

The reason why people say that it’s a woman’s drink is because Amburana-aged cachaça is suave. It’s not bitter or harsh, and has a hint of cinnamon. Whereas other types of wood can leave a person wondering what kind of maniac ever decided it was appropriate for aging cachaça, Amburana is an obvious choice.

Cachaça can’t be aged for more than about three years in Amburana without overwhelming the flavor. So, if you ever see one that claims to be aged for longer, avoid it.

The following is a list of those Amburanas I’ve already tried, though I’d be lying if I said this was a complete list:


  • Harmonie Schnapps

  • Casa Bucco

  • Da Quinta


Perhaps because I’ve focused so much of my time on oak and blends (which I’ll get to later), I’ve let Amburana get away from me a little. But it’s a problem I hope to soon rectify.

What I can say with certainty, is that Amburana-aged cachaça appeals to a large public. It’s accessible and mixable. Besides oak-aged, Amburana-aged cachaça is likely to have a significant fan base outside of Brazil and is, without question, one of the great hidden treasures of the cachaça world.

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