Several years ago, Mapa da Cachaça, one of the foremost online publications on cachaça in Brazil , came out with an article, more of an analysis really, which sought to categorize cachaça into different schools. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to examine this separation a bit. I’m not here to merely translate what has been written, but to analyze the sentiment and see whether it aligns with my experience.
Who am I? Well, no one important really. But I do happen to have experience with a wide variety of cachaças from all over the country and am officially a cachaça sommelier or cachacier. So, my analysis will both examine the substance of the arguments put forth, and the general parameters that have been staked defining these schools.
Spoiler alert: I don’t think these are particularly well-defined schools. I believe that there are better ways to define cachaça differences, and I’ll do my best to develop a set of my own schools by the end of this series.
I’m going to approach his exercise knowing what I do about actual cachaça production in Brazil, and not simply focus on what Gringos may or may not know about production. Yes, this requires some understanding of modern Brazil, but I don’t think I’ll be writing anything that will completely go over your heads. I you’ve read some of my previous posts about production, you might get a head start.
Regardless, hopefully by the end of this, you’ll have a better idea of how to think about different cachaça producers and their philosophies. Because that, I believe, is the ultimate way to distinguish cachaça.
The ways that producers think about cachaça, and how it represents their thinking, is the most important way to divide cachaças into different schools. As best I can, I’m going to try to get those perspectives separated. We will see how it works out. Stay tuned.