12 Apr 2012

Legalize Cachaça – For Real!


Let the Games Begin!

Many of you have participated in our grassroots campaign to have Cachaça recognized in the United States as a distinct spirit of Brazil. Starting with the Declaration of Cachaça Independenceat the Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in July 2009, we have been working hard to educate and mobilize support to‘Legalize Cachaça!’ Driven by our grassroots organization – C.R.N.V.L. (Consumers for the Repeal of Needlessly Vague Labeling Laws!) – many of you have participated in our ralliesand have signed our petition to ‘Legalize Cachaça’, which was proudly presented to Mr. John Manfreda at the U.S. Government Authority, the T.T.B.

As a result of your support, the U.S. government has agreed to begin proceedings to allow the recognition of Cachaça as both ‘Cachaça’ and as a distinctive product of Brazil. In return, the Brazilian government has agreed to recognize both Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon as distinctive products of the United States. This week, U.S Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade Fernando Pimentel exchanged the official letters that launch the process of formal recognition.

In addition to your support, this is the result of a lot of hard work and persistence from people behind the scenes, including John Manfreda and his team at the TTB; Carlos Lima, Tony Haynes and the Institute of Brazilian Cachaça; and government officials at the USTR and the Brazilian equivalent, the MRE. In particular, many of our customers and distributors wrote directly to the TTB, which was very helpful in getting the TTB’s attention and support.

This is a big step in our mission for people around the world to recognize the greatness of Brazil’s national spirit, Cachaça. Made from fresh sugar cane, and not molasses, Cachaça is truly something special. Distilled in a single batch alambique potstill and polished in XO Cognac casks, Leblon Cachaça is even more special.

So to celebrate the ‘Legalize Cachaça’ news (as well as Leblon’s winning of the ‘Best Cachaça’ and two Double Gold medals at last month’s 2012 San Francisco Global Spirits Awards), we are hosting this week ‘Legalize Cachaça’ Happy Hours at these dates, times, and locations:

New York: Lani Kai – Friday April 13, 6-8pm
Miami: Novecento – Thursday April 12, 6-8pm
Chicago: Union Sushi – Thursday April 12, 6-8pm
Philadelphia: Alma de Cuba – Friday April 13, 7-9pm
Rio de Janeiro: Fasano – Friday April 13, 6-9pm
São Paulo: Mocotó – Friday April 13, 6-9pm | Mani – Friday April 13, 6-9pm

Delicious Leblon Caipirinhas will be served, including celebratory special Leblon Açai Caipirinhas made with Leblon and Cedilla (a cachaça-based liqueur infused with açai berries and made by the Maison Leblon) in the US, and shots of Reserva Especial in Brazil.

Please visit our Facebook Page and Website for announcements of other ‘Legalize Cachaça’ parties around the country and around the world.

5 Apr 2012

Best Cachaça and Double Gold award at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition !



Taking the Double Gold – Twice!

We are proud to announce that Leblon Cachaça has once again won the Best Cachaça and Double Gold award at the 2012 San Francisco Global Spirits Competition!

What is even more exciting this year is that we have won two Double Gold awards: one for our Leblon Cachaça, and the other for our new Maison Leblon – Reserva Especial, a special limited edited Aged Cachaça that we recently introduced in Brazil!

We are extremely honored to receive this recognition, as we know the San Francisco Global Spirits Competition is no joke. Conducted over 3 days in March 2012, the judging is based on ablind process by a panel of spirits experts from noted restaurants and hotels, well–known spirits journalists from major media, spirits buyers for large purveyors, and spirits consultants. Leading the event judging are Anthony Dias Blue and Tony Abou-Ganim, with 34 top tasters including Patricia Richards, Audrey Saunders, Derek Brown, and H. Ehrmann. Over 1,215 products from 61 countries are evaluated, including Cachaça as its own separate category.

For Leblon Cachaça, this is our 7th consecutive year to win a Gold award, and the 6th time Leblon has won the Double Gold honors. To win a Double Gold medal, panelists must rate the product at its highest level – unanimously. And remember, this is a blind tasting! As such, this is truly a special award for anyone to receive and we are truly honored.

In addition, we received a very special honor this year by winning both the ‘Top Cachaça’ and a second ‘Double Gold’ award for a new member to our Leblon family – Maison Leblon Reserva Especial.

To say the least, ‘Reserva Especial’ is a very unique product – and we’re glad somebody has taken notice. This special distillate is aged for two years in the highest grade new Limousin French oak and expertly blended by Gilles Merlet. Like Leblon, it is single batch distilled in alambique potstills. The sensory result is different than any Cachaça you have ever tasted: a complex smooth taste with notes of Honey, Doce de Leite, and Pine Nuts. Tastes great neat, and truly spectacular with a cube of ice, some chocolate, and a Brazilian cigar.

Maison Leblon Reserva Especial is currently available only in Brazil, and will be introduced shortly in limited editions to select markets outside of Brazil (please be patient – now that we won this award, we’re trying our best to get the product to your markets as soon as possible).

We want to thank everyone who made these awards possible. Clearly, the big winners are the team at the Maison Leblon in Patos de Minas who created these wonderful products. We want to thank Gilles Merlet and Carlos Eduardo Oliveira, and we want to especially thank Helen Fonseca, our cellar master who not only managed the aging process of Reserva Especial, but also designed Reserva Especial’s label (click here to see it). Helen is a talented artist and calligrapher, and we thank her for the wonderful handcrafted design!

And of course, we again thank you, both for reading this announcement, as well as continuing to support our mission to create and enjoy truly great alambique Cachaças – a Brazilian treasure that the world is now starting to understand and enjoy.

Um abraço grande para todos,

Steve Luttmann

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