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Here in the USA, true artisanal Brazilian cachaca is hard to come by. I've had a special order in for 2 other light cachacas for almost a month now and 1 was denied as it isn't offered by the importer anymore and the other is Salinas which hasn't arrived and is still offered by a large import conglomerate so, I don't know what the issue is. Anyway, I've been reading about cachaca and Leblon seems to be a recipe targeted for American consumption. This bugs me and I've gone out of my way to try to obtain an authentic model of which to base my nose and palate on. However, my impatience and frustration got the best of me and Leblon went on sale so, here we are. The "sale" price was still $24.99. For an unaged sugar cane distillate, that is premium territory IMO. Of course it came with the plastic muddler as to suggest a sole intended purpose, Caipirinhas.
Let's get to it. The bottle pops nice and loud and I immediately gave it a curious whiff. Yep... its vegetal,musty and peppery with a little black olive, cooked zucchini or squash and a little rubber tinge and slight breath of vanilla yogurt. Not much astringency on the nose which was pleasant. In the glass there is no missing that hefty bouquet but did seem to calm down quite a bit. In the mouth it is a light and watery but not overly so. It is pleasantly creamy as well. I immediately get a hint of sweetness and peppery-vegetal-grassiness that seemed quite relaxed compared to the strong nose. There was a little lemon and black olive on the back end that led to a crisp finish with minimal and refreshing warmth. I really thought the flavor was going to be much more vegetal as the nose suggested however, to my delight it was much more rounded. This was both lightly savory and lightly sweet. It makes great caipirinhas. I also made some where I cut back the Leblon 1/2 oz and substituted Wray and Nephew overproof white rum and made killer caipirinhas! Hopefully my other cachaca will come soon and I can get a better perspective. I say give it a try if the price is right.
I've added 1 more star because I've now bought a second bottle. It just pairs with the Wray and Nephew overproof white rum so well. Cheers!
This one is a little harsher than mae de ouro but a little fruitier and makes a better capairinha. For a much cheaper price Ypioca or 51 will make as good a mixer but are not as good if you want to sip occasionally.
One thing that is bothering me - I see people giving this low ratings of 2-4 because they don't like cachaca. That is not fair, a rating should be based on quality not on your personal preference.
I have not had much luck with cachacas, especially after drinking Ypioca many years ago. This one is not repulsive, especially compared to the few very bad rums that I have had the misfortune of trying recently over the past 3 months of intense research. It is distinctively cachaca, but the floral tones make it almost able to sip neat. After all, it was specifically intended for the USA market, which is only one percent of all cachaca produced. This one would also lend itself to more drinks than just caipirinhas. Now if only the Abelha brand could become available in the USA, I would be more than glad to try those.
As for the caipirinha that is the national drink of Brazil, it is nothing more than the original Cuban Daiquiri made with Brazilian cachaca instead of rum. Cachaca is basically the Brazilian version of rhum agricole distilled from sugar cane juice. The vast majority of rum is distilled from the by-product of sugar refining, which is molasses. The holy trinity of the Caribbean which the Daiquiri is based upon consists of lime, sugar, and rum. The vast differences in the tastes of rums and cachacas is what really makes the difference in cocktails, which is why we all need to learn from these reviews and other sources.
Update on March 22, 2018: I sampled three different juices mixed in equal parts with this cachaca while smoking some Jamaican jerk chicken outdoors on this gorgeous spring day. The results will describe the flavors of this one better than any other description. The first "juice" was one part lime juice and two parts simple syrup to three parts cachaca. This is based on the old Bajan rhyme, "One of sour, Two of sweet, Three of strong, Four of weak", with weak meaning ice cubes or water. This was basically my Caribbean version of the caipirinha and very close to tasting like the Brazilian version. This one worked best and was really good. Then came equal parts coconut juice and Leblon. This was good, but an artisanal cachaca would work better because this juice really allows the cachaca flavors to show. The third choice would have been my theoretical best, but equal parts pineapple nectar and Leblon basically obliterated any taste of cachaca. So if you happen to get a bad cachaca, pineapple nectar will disguise the taste much better than in a caipirinha. Adding equal amounts of the coconut mixture to the remaining pineapple mixture in the glass proved to be a very poor excuse for a Pina Colada that really needs rum. Hope this all helps!
Update March 25, 2018: There were no ill after effects after drinking too much Leblon, so my rating remains at a 6, which means that I would consider buying it again, especially when I get in a mood for a very different taste in my rums.
I'm inexperienced with cachaca, but was suitably satisfied with this one's bones tasted in a caipirinha or two.
This was my first Cachaca and my last. It has a strong smell of fermented grass that I found unpleasant. Sipping it straight was like tasting tequila but it will have to be a mixer. Not a nice vintage rum, which I prefer.
this taste exacly like tequila but with way more sugar than normal
Leblon Light Cachaca is easily available in the US, but far from the high quality Cachaca's found in Brazil. It's not a neat sipper like most of the high quality Brazilian Cachaca's are. Makes a decent Caipirinha, but there are dozens of better Cachaca's for you to try out.
I read someone say this has a flavor like tequila. When I smelled this, it had an offensive smell! Horrible! Like a fart and a rotten banana! Fortunately it did not taste like that when I fought my repulsed instinct and forced myself to drink it. It did not burn too badly, and mixed well with citrus and pineapple. That being said, I would not buy again. All I taste is rotten fruit, no complexity or "tequila" smokiness at all. I have tried other cachaca brands and absolutely did taste tequila but not in this. Not a good first impression of cachaca...
This cachaca isn't bad. You can enjoy it straight though does better mixed. Fruity, grassy and semi sweet Cachaca that is relatively smooth with no harsh flavors or strong burn at the back end.
Not as tasty as it looks. Maybe a better mixer but not meant to be ingested neat or on the rocks.
Clear, smells a bit like chocolate tequila. Not much of a sipper. But this is he first Cachaca I've had so my review is rookie.
In my opinion, this is the best cachaca for mixing. I believe it's a capirina..
To my understanding, this was formulated for the US market, yet the first time I had it was in a caipirinha in Sao Paulo. It's great for caipirinhas and other cocktails, but I wouldn't want to sip it as I would a true premium cacacha.
Ordered this and wished I hadn't. OK as a mouthwash perhaps or lost in a Rum punch
Not what I expected at first. On the nose this has the scent that instantly reminded me of long nights and Silver Patron. With that in mind, I did not put this near cola. I followed the directions to make a caprihana and it was actually delicious. I was extremely impressed in how the muddled lime and sugar could transform this very intense flavor into a tame beast. It still even tasted like Patron with lime. Taking that into consideration, it is much cheaper than Patron and I might try it out next time I have people over to see if they can notice the difference.
Don't be swayed by the haters...they admit that they don't like cachaca in general. This particular brand is naturally sweet and buttery, with some fruit and spice as well. Agricole lovers will really enjoy this one. It's wonderful on its own. Goes down smooth - it's very deceptive - and before you know it you're ready for another. Several anothers later, it's "Where are my pants?"
This cachaca is really good when you are making mix drinks caiphirinhas. Not good by itself is very aromatic and you can taste the anise on it.
I have to learn more about Cachaca, as a straight up rum this wasn't impressive but I need to try this again in Brazilian mixed drinks to give it an honest review
I took a leap of faith here and thought this rum would turn out alright as a mixer. I was wrong. There is no good way to drink this. I just don't like it.
I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about cachaca was. Tried this one. Never did I expect to wish I was drinking Valzola so badly! The aroma was pure alcohol with chemical undertones. The flavor was unprocessed garbage. Going down have me acid reflux for a few minutes. Avoid this at all costs.
bought this to try and recreate a mixed drink I really enjoyed at a restaurant. Didn't work out so well. Tried it in a blended frozen fruit drink, but has an odd taste that isn't even covered in the fruity drink.
I'm no expert on cachaca but of the three I've tried, this struck me as OK but it didn't grab me. Cachaca in general reminds me of a blend of light rum and tequila. It's hard to describe the difference but this seemed to have a lighter but sharper flavor than the other two (not yet rated). Considering that there's another I prefer that's cheaper than Leblon I was glad I got to sample this without buying the bottle.
Bought a bottle after reading about it. Didn't care for taste or smell at all. Ended up giving bottle away. I'll stick to my favorite rums.
I had Leblon for the first time about 5 years ago in a Caipirinha. The drink was awesome, it was like drinking a limeade in summertime. Five years ago, I would have given Leblon a 9, but now that I've had 4 to 5 other cachacas, I've found that this regional spirit is more diverse than I thought.
This is an excellent cachaca for everyday use or just Caipirinha use. This is not a sipping cachaca, but there are several options other there. If a Caipirinha is a limeade, Leblon is the water and sugar that makes it that way...with that said you'll notice it's a tad bit sweet. It costs $20 to $25, which is expensive in comparison to “generic” white rums, but if you want an acceptable cachaça add it to your home bar.