A smooth and nicely done Pisco. Made with a view towards mixability and suppleness in a cocktail. Reccomended.
Notes: Conceived and/or fathered by a trio a Distiller (Carlos Romero), a Sommelier (Walter Moore) and a Bartender (Duggan McDonnell) “Made by bartenders for bartenders” this Pisco is one of the new wave of Pisco that are finally and thankfully reaching our shores. Prior to this Pisco renaissance (starting say 5-10 years ago) Pisco and the consumption of Pisco was grim – most of the fw products out there tasted like bad grappas or lighter fluid and virtually no one had ever heard of Pisco Sours unless you were a cocktail geek of some kind, never mind any other Pisco libations like Pisco Punch. Pisco had been relegated to the stuff people brought back from the airport duty-free shops and put on shelves as souvenirs. No one really drank that headache inducing lighter fluid. It was down there with Tic Tac (An El Salvadoran spirit that sold for about 25 cents a bottle and came with its own plastic table-cloth that double as a rain cover when you were sleeping it off in a ditch somewhere) in terms of taste and respectability among drinkers in North America.
Distilled only once with no water added ( bottled at the proof it comes off the still) from old vines at the Atalaya Vineyard in Ica, Peru in a cognac style alembic copper pot still. This is a Acholado blend of cuvee of many different small batches, across vintages, and four different varietals: Quebranta (74%), Torontel (6%), Moscatel (4%) and Italia (16%). We also reviewed the Quebranta single varietal Encanto Distillers Reserve here.
Appearance: Clear, on swirling leaves a thin coat on the glass
which rapidly becomes legs and droplets
First Impression: Completely different than it’s quebranta sibling in aromas or aromatics. Less amarone grape like and more aromatics, more your standard “grapey’ aromas with more lemon or lemon grass and grass or sugar cane type notes
Taste: More complex and multilayered in taste but in somewhat disparate ways.Lots of dark berries, salt and minerals. Traces of cinnamon, barberry, red sumac, with the minerality of a highland tequila with spices or a tomato type of alkalinity and stone like finish.
Drinks: Pisco sours were excellent and very smooth with the Acholado blend complimenting the sour juices and bitters in a nice way. Also the recipes I came up with worked nicely but in a different more mineral backboned way with a tang of alkalinity
Bottle: A very complex but attractive package starting with the good quality standard cylindrical clear glass bottle. Packed with a lot of graphics using multiple ornate colors to simulate engraving on an off white/cream background. Reverse side of label has a print of a antique photo of a crowd of sailors in front of the House of Pisco. Smaller label on the back with some info and required warnings.The bottle is topped by an attractive red neck foil and lettering is stamped out in attractive old style graphics. Cork is tan composite – what it looks in visual appeal it more than makes up for in sealing integrity. Well done,attractive package,easy to spot on a store or bar shelf.
Other: Grapevines grown in Franco-Arenoso soil, Mineral-Rich from the Andes, Denominacion de Origen Contralada, Valle de Ica, Perú . Sustainably harvested Campo de Encanto means “Field of Enchantment” in Spanish
Cigars : A mild Claro or Conneticut shade grown wrapper.Probably a smaller ( larger than panatella but smaller than corona
Final Thoughts: A nicely flavor forward Pisco that strikes a balance between enough flavor to be an ingredient but plays well with whatever you care to mix it with.
Think of it as a more gentlemanly Pisoc than most that seeks to blend adding it’s unique contributions rather than dominate .
A fairly minimal website with some information,but not a lot.