At the Project we have a certain affinity for white spirits, and especially rum, but Mae de Ouro stands apart. Cachaca is one the largest categories of a spirit made from sugar cane, and it sells a TON of product from many hundreds of producers in Brazil. There are an estimated 4000 artisnal producers in Brazil. Everybody's uncle makes it there, truly the beloved people's drink. Although most all are made with cane juice, and "aged" is defined as one year in the barrel by the government, after that anything goes. The very youngest white product is bottled almost immediately. The aged gold cachaça may spend time in one of many different exotic wood barrels or vats. These include chestnut, umburana, jequitibá, ipê, grápia, balsam wood, almond, jatobá, guanandi, brazilwood, cabreúva, tibiriçá, garapeira, or cherry. Even oak and old wine barrels. Methods and "styles" abound.
But it's not rum as sweet toothed Americans think of it. Almost all of it is destined for the Brazilian national drink - the Caiparinha - which is made with yes - more sugar (two tsp of a good cane sugar) - and with two or three well muddled lime wedges. The point: a good cachaca must be edgy and distinct enough to make the caiparinha sing. Thus the best white (new) cachaca's are not very sippable, and are not meant to be.
Mae de Ouro IS sippable and nicely so. Tangy, fruity and really quite sippable too, perfect for Americans with an open mind.
Horrific distillate. I have seen references to people liking this spirit, and I can only assume they are heavy cigar smokers with destroyed palates. It's truly terrible. Notes include burning plastic, sugar, band-aids, canned corn, black & white pepper and seawater with a strong saccharin bitterness. Thoroughly unpleasant with no redeeming qualities (drops mic).
I've only had a half dozen or so cachacas but this is my favorite so far, with enough flavor not to disappear in a caiparinha but pleasant to sip neat.
I don't understand why someone who has his own rum blog would go out of his way to post one scathing review of a spirit he doesn't even like. (At the time I write this it is his ONLY review on this site.) FYI, many cachaca lovers and critics like this one and consider it one of the better widely available in the US, and not all of us have destroyed palates due to heavy smoking or anything of the sort.