Review: Novo Fogo Silver Cachaca / by Jason Hambrey

Novo Fogo 1.jpg
1 Year in Steel Tanks
From molasses
Distiller El Dorado (Guyana)

Cachaca is a spirit produced in gin from fermented sugarcane juice. This is similar to rum in that it is a sugarcane product, but distinct from rum in that it is not made from molasses, rather, unprocessed sugarcane juice. Novo Fogo is a prime example of cachaca, and is made from certified organic sugarcane in a carbon-negative distillery. The sugarcane juice is fermented for 18 hours before being distilled in a copper pot still and then aged for 1 year in steel tanks.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: Distilled in 2006

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

This is night and day compared to most white rums. The nose here is very heavy – I expect it turns many off but I love it. I have very limited experience with cachaca – but this is closer to a whisky new make than a white rum, to me. Banana, a rich vegetal character – I do get sugarcane and sauteed cilantro – but also roasted root vegetables and spicy sprouted greens. It’s quite a bit different, but I really like it and it continues to grow on me. The palate is lightly sweet, with some arugula, brown sugar, and terrific herbal notes. Lightly sweet. The finish is quite light and clean, as one might expect for a clean spirit.

It makes a really nice caipirinha, one of my favourite cocktails. The bitterness of the lime perfectly matches the big character of this spirit. It is also nice in a daiquiri, in a small proportion (~1/4 oz) of the spirit with the rest remaining white rum. It adds lots of complexity there.

It mixes really well.

Assessment: Highly recommended.