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Porto Morretes (Prata) Cachaca

Review: Porto Morretes (Prata) Cachaca   82.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on March 7, 2014

Last fall a good friend of mine visited Brazil. I had asked him before the trip if he could find me a bottle of the Brazilian rum known as Cachaca (pronounced Ka sha sha). I was pleased when he returned just prior to Christmas with two small (170 ml) bottles of Port Morretes, the Prata (silver) and the Ouro (3-year-old premium).

Porto Morretes Gift pack

In order to learn a little about the Porto Morrets Cachaca, I visited their website and with the help of Google Translate managed to decipher a bit about each spirit. The Porto Morretes Prata Silver is produced from sugar cane syrup which has been fermented with natural (home-made) yeasts without the use of chemical additives. The fermentation is carried out in a controlled hygienic process using stainless steel vats eliminating unintended contamination. The resulting fermented syrup is distilled upon modern copper pot stills, and the resulting distillate is rested for a considerable time period (the website indicates about a year) in stainless steel tanks. This resting period softens and prepares the spirit prior to bottling making it suitable to drink neat or to serve in cocktails like the Brazilian Caipirinha.

cachaca_prataIn the Bottle 4.0/5

The Porto Morretes Prata arrives in a flask style bottle which is sold in the gift box configuration shown above, as well as in the attractive white display box shown to the left. My only quibble is the metallic closure which cheapens the overall look and makes the flask style bottle seem more like a medicine bottle for cough syrup than a spirits bottle.

In the Glass 7.5/10

The silver Cachaca is a clear spirit which shows no evidence of colour or aging. It has a firm vegetal aroma which reminds me of mushy over ripe bananas and soft bruised apples. There are hints of white pepper underneath, and perhaps a touch of sugar cane sweetness. I also sense a Tequila-like quality which reminds me of soft  although this spirit would never be mistaken for tequila in any sort of blind line-up.

The overall aroma is, for lack of a better description, full of over-ripe mushy fruit with a strong vegetal presence. The scents and smells warn me that my Canadian palate may not be prepared for the full flavoured cachaca which was brought to me from the heart of Brazil.

(Note: It was very hard for me to get past this mushy fruity aroma which is very different from the normal Spanish style white rum I normally encounter. This strong vegetal aroma caused more than one of my friends to refuse a sip when I offered them a small sample.)

In the Mouth 51/60

Imagine my surprise (based upon the comments I made during the nosing) when I take my first sip of the Porto Morretes Plata, and I found myself enjoying it. The vegetal tones and the mushy fruity aroma had all but disappeared in terms of flavour. In its place was a mildly spicy white pepper, with soft undercurrents of mineral water, lowland agave, hints of butterscotch and grilled butternut squash. It was all at once soft and spicy, as well as sweet and earthy, with only traces of  vegetal fruit translating to flavour across the palate. The spirit appears to have a very strong depth of flavour with an abundance of complexity.

Of course, I needed to make a few cocktails to see if the flavour translated well in cocktails. I began with a recipe of mine I call the Amazing Tickle which is a Caipirinha style recipe using lemon and orange rather than lime. I followed that up with a Margarita style recipe called the Macharita which uses cachaca rather than tequila as the heart of the recipe. Both recipes were very nice with the soft flavour of the Porto Morretes enhancing each cocktail (see recipes below).

In the Throat 12.5/15

The Porto Morretes Prata has a warm soft finish with a touch of mineral water showing through the lightly mushy fruit flavours. After each swallow, I can feel a warm glow of white pepper which (as well as providing a touch of spice when sipped neat) also appears to add its character to the cocktail experience.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The secret to enjoying the Porto Morretes Prata is to get past the strong mushy aroma of over ripe bananas and bruised apples. Fortunately these impressions while very firm on the nose, are much weaker across the palate. This allows the light spiciness of white pepper and the soft mineral quality of this spirit to show through. The result is a very interesting spirit full of character and nuance.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Cane Spirit Reviews.

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Suggested Recipes

SAM_0884 CacharitaMacharita

1 1/4 oz Cachaca
3/4 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz fresh Lime Juice
1 tsp sugar
ice
Splash of soda (optional)
Lime slice for garnish

Chill a cocktail glass and rim the outside with coarse salt
Place the Cachaca, Triple Sec, Lemon and sugar  into a metal shaker
Shake well for 30 seconds to dissolve the sugar and until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into the chilled cocktail glass
Add a splash of soda if desired
Garnish with Lime slice

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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Amazing Tickle
(an Arctic Wolf Cocktail)

SAM_0827 Amazing Tickle1 3/4 oz  Cachaca
1/2 Lemon
1 oz Orange Juice
1 – 2 teaspoons crystal sugar

Cut the half lemon into four wedges
Squeeze by hand into an old-fashioned glass the juice from the two largest wedges
Place the other two wedges into the glass
Add 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 oz of orange juice
Muddle (mash the ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon)
Add 1 3/4 oz Cachaca
Stir to dissolve the remaining sugar
Fill the glass with crushed ice
Serve with a straw

Yumm!

And of course, I want everyone to remember that the aim of my blog is not to encourage you to drink more cocktails, it is to encourage you to drink better cocktails!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
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