Germana Cachaça Caetano's
This is the kind of drink I just love - and that's even before the bottle is open. The bottle (which is surely just a re-purposed beer bottle) is too big for the 60cl it contains, so it only looks three-quarters full. It's sealed with a crown cap, for goodness' sake, as if you are meant to drink it all in one sitting. The label proudly declares the contents to be of "indeterminate validity", whatever the heck that means. Frankly, I find all these eccentricities very appealing.
The liquid does not disappoint. It smells and tastes like nothing else I have ever experienced. The nose has three distinct and very different phases. Initially is is very green, vegetal and herbal, with sour-sweet notes of dill and fermentation aromas. Then there's a much sweeter phase, with buttery honey, chalk, and cherry. The third phase is savoury, oscillating between olive brine, dill balsamic vinegar, and olive honey. And that's just the nose.
The palate is sweet, and very new-make spirit or grappa-like. It's a little hot or peppery initially, then there's a very strange flavour which I can best describe as something like an olive and honey tapenade on buttered bread.
This is a deeply interesting and unusual spirit which got me quite excited - I'd rate it as most excellent.
Cachaça is a kind of rum - unique to Brazil - made from sugar cane juice. This makes it roughly comparable to rhum agricole, such as is produced in Martinique or Guadeloupe. It's probably best know as the spirit ingredient in a caipirinha. Most cachaça is unaged, and according to David Wondrich it "looks like vodka and tastes like it was aged in old truck tyres".