March 20, 2007

Beleza Pura Cachaca Review

CaipirinhaA couple weeks back we got a package in the mail containing two bottles. Within these bottles were two variants of Beleza Pura Cachaca - one the straight deal, and the other a Caipirinha liqueur made with the stuff. We've heard good things about Beleza Pura, so we were fired up to give that a try, but we've had less than awesome experiences with pre-made cocktails.

So how did the two variants measure up to our expectations? Read on to find out.

Beleza Pura Cachaca
"Super Premium Cachaca Brazillian Rum"
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: About $30 for 750ML
Product Page

Company Line:

Former NYC Sommelier Olie Berlic searched for three years and tasted 800 cachaca before working with a distillery and making his own handcrafted, perfection driven, specifically made for top shelf cocktails. Great Caipirinhas should be made with high-end unaged cachaca so that the cocktail is clean. This product is all about purity and truth to the sugarcane spirit. It is single distilled and cold filtered once - this was not about making a lighter style cachaca-vodka, it's about making a Herradura Silver from Brazil.

Beleza Pura comes in a squat, round-shouldered bottle decorated in green and yellow, festooned with a Brazilian flag. We liked the look of the bottle, as well as the colorless liquor that awaited us inside.

The nose had that tropical sunniness we've come to expect from higher quality Cachaca - a fruity, sugary nose without any tang of bitterness. There was a floral scent floating on a delicate limey tang, and there was the overall smell we could only attribute to raw sugar cane. All in all, it was enticing and much preferable to just about any white rum we've tried.

We can classify all the Cachacas along a spectrum, from heavier, sweeter and (for the lack of a better term) rummier, to the lighter tequila-esque ones. Beleza Pura falls on the tequila end of the spectrum, and we have to say we appreciate that. The flavor was reminiscent of the nose, with a bright, sugary (but not too sweet start). The citrus flavor stayed as well, and there was a nice smokiness present as well. We liked the flavor straight, and we found it very tasty on the rocks.

As with any Cachaca we've tried, however, the true strength of Beleza Pura was mixed into a Caipirinha. When made correctly, the sugar (or in our case, simple syrup) and the lime mix with the liquor to create something breathtaking, and Beleza Pura made a Caipirinha as good as any we've mixed.

Beleza Pura falls on the higher end of the spectrum of the Cachacas we've tried, both in terms of quality and price. Considering the fact that our small crack team of reviewers plowed through three fourths of a bottle mixing Caipirinhas when they really only needed a few sips apiece, we'd say they liked it. We rank Beleza Pura right up there with Fazenda Mae de Ouro, our reigning favorite Cachaca, and we say it's definitely worth it to pick up a bottle if you can find it.

* * * *

Beleza Pura Caipirinha Cocktail
"A Classic Brazilian Cocktail Made With Lime, Sugar Cane, and Beleza Pura Cachaca"
44 Proof (22% ABV)
Typical Price: About $20 for 750ML
Product Page

Company Line:

This is a handcrafted, great cocktail in a bottle. It is made with all natural ingredients of lime, sugarcane and Beleza Pura Cacha├ža - and is 44 proof. This product is about "Instant Gratification", created so that you wouldn't be muddling drinks all night at a party. We did the work, so you don't have to...

The Caipirinha bottle is the same shape as the regular bottle, but it is distinct in the fact that it's frosted. The drink itself is pale green, and the color looks natural instead of the bright green hue you might expect from something that's been artificially dyed.

The smell was tart and strong, without any overwhelming whiff of alcohol.We could smell the limes, we could smell the sugar cane, and we could smell the Cachaca. Since that's what's in a Caipirinha, we felt we were on the right track.

The first thing to hit our buds was lime, followed closely by a sweeter taste. We felt the lime and sugar balanced each other well, without being too tart or too sweet, which is often a problem we find in pre-mixed cocktails. The drink also avoided the trap of being too syrupy, and it had the same consistency as the drinks we mixed ourselves. We never mistook them for hand-made Cachacas, but we got the impression they would do in a pinch.

We didn't feel the pre-made Caipirinha could hold a candle to the real ones we were whipping up at the same time, but if we hadn't had that point of reference we get the impression we would have been content. Not too sweet or syrupy, this was the drink we imagine you'd bust out when you don't have time to make simple syrup or muddle limes. In fact, one intern termed it to be like the comparison of a fast food burger to one you grill yourself - it's not quite as good, but the price is right and it'll hit the spot when you're in a hurry.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at March 20, 2007 7:48 AM
Recent Comments


Posted by: Scooterboy at May 29, 2009 7:09 PM

I agree with you guys. Beleza Pura is, by far, one of the best cachacas I've had in the United States. I've tried a LOT of them; but few hold a candle to this one.

It's a pity that it's not as widely available as others (like Leblon) since, in my humble (but rather well-informed) opinion, it blows them out of the water. It's even MORE of a pity that most bars carry swill like Pitu or 51. That's a crying shame that hurts those of us that love the spirit & want to see it succeed in the US.

Thanks for the good review.

Posted by: Fernando J. at May 12, 2008 8:08 PM
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