The market for Pisco hasn’t been this good in the United States since prohibition started. Unfortunately for Pisco, prohibition all but killed Pisco (and Pisco cocktails) in the United States. Fortunately, Pisco has been making a strong comeback over the last decade One of the newest entrants, Pisco Portón is being brought to the market by the Hacienda La Carvedo, the oldest continuous operating distillery in the Americas, which has been in operation since 1684 (and they continue to use some of the original ovens and stills).
Pisco is a grape brandy produced in Peru and Chile and is the national drink of Peru (much like Cachaca in Brazil). The Spaniards originally brought grape vines to Peru to vinify for sacramental wine and also brought a pomace grape brandy to drink. It wasn’t long before the Peruvians figured out how to take those grapes and make Pisco themselves.
The Pisco Portón arrived in an impressive bottle. It’s shaped to resemble the Hacienda with an impressive stopper (and a picture of the actual Hacienda on the bottle). And it is seriously one of the heaviest bottles that we have ever received. Pisco Porton represents a substantial investment in the Pisco industry with the renovation of the Hacienda La Caravedo and a libation created by Master Distiller Johnny Schuler.
Pisco Portón is a combination of three grapes, Quebranta, Torontel and Albilla (not varieties that you see every day), done in a Mosto Verde style. In a Mosto Verde style, the grapes are distilled before the grapes fully ferment similar to Port production, which results in higher levels of residual sugar and more sweetness in the alcohol. In Pisco, Mosto Verde also represents the highest level of production.
The Pisco Portón is clear as is all Pisco. It has an aroma of grapes (and definitely smells like wine) and citrus with a muskiness. On the palate, the Pisco Portón has flavors of grapes, stewed apricots and peach, pistachio, minerality and finishes with spiciness and heat. Pisco Portón is a smooth Pisco that still packs the heat that Pisco is known for.