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Pisco Portón

(70cl, 43%)

Pisco Portón
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5 different drams

Pisco Portón Bottling Note

Pisco Portón is produced at Hacienda La Caravedo in Ica, Peru, using the Mosto Verde method, which means it is made from grape must, which has not completely fermented. This allows it to keep some of the natural grape sugars from converting to alcohol, keeping plenty of flavours and aromas locked into the spirit. It takes 15 pounds of grapes to create each bottle of Pisco Portón. After distillation, the distillers let their pisco rest for five to eight months in cement containers, to let the flavours develop without adding any flavours from letting it rest in oak.

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Pisco Portón Reviews

Pisco > Grappa!

I'm a single malt drinker mainly (with curiosity in other spirits - brandies, bourbons, rye, tequila, etc.) The reason I tend to prefer most malts to most bourbons, ryes, cognac, armagnac and rum is the perceived fruity acidity - it's refreshing and balances out the sweetness. Other spirits are more cloying to me, even if they're rather dry and not sweet like rum.

I've only tried this Pisco Portón Mosto Verde and only one grappa - Moletto di Nebbiolo (also at 43%). I don't know if this is true of all piscos and all grappas, but my opinion is that pisco tastes fresher, fruitier and cleaner. Grappa is made from grape must (a byproduct of wine making) and it smells/tastes like that - more seeds and stems than grape, more grape seed oil than grape juice or wine. Pisco is made from actual grapes (wine) and Mosto Verde is made from wine that is not done fermenting and distilled only once, distilled to proof, with heads and feints discarded (not re-distilled). So this pisco tastes like a juicy cluster of green/yellow grapes (with hints of seed/stem). It has the bright fruity acidity to balance out the slight sweetness and the earthiness of seeds/stems. That's what my grappa is missing IMHO, it's a bit murky with earthy flavors, slightly sweet but without sufficient acidity for freshness.

Another observation: the eaux-de-vie that becomes cognac/armagnac is known to be very harsh until matured in oak for a while (even a young cognac like VS is more suitable for cooking than drinking), but this pisco is incredibly palatable. It is not harsh at all but has plenty of interest.

IMHO it's a better after-meal palate cleanser or digestif. I don't regret buying and trying my grappa for education but for the price I think pisco is a better value and a better dram.

21st June 2018

Pisco Portón Mosto Verde

My bottle looks exactly as pictured but clearly says Mosto Verde on it (but not a specific grape variety). It may be a newer bottling and is a blend of several grapes and several stills/processes of this distillery.

What a delicious spirit! Like a cluster of fresh white grapes (with seeds). The fresh nose is also reminiscent of a good reposado tequila, the fruity part of it, not the vegetal.

At 43% I didn't even add any water, it just doesn't seem to need it. I feel like even a drop of water might drown the already very light spirit. But really, for me there's no harsh burn at all. It comes across exactly the strength/bite that I dilute my cask strength and 46% single malts to.

It is not unlike grappa, my only experience with grappa being Moletto Nebbiolo Da Barolo grappa. But I think I may be enjoying the pisco a bit more. Perhaps it's a tad lighter and airier. I could see this being a great digestif for an Italian or South American meal.

My only gripe with pisco and grappa is perhaps the price. Being unmatured spirits with no expense of cooperage and many years of aging and waiting and stock management I don't see why it should cost this much, perhaps just because it's still a niche category. Sure, it's high quality, artisanal stuff, but good wine is cheap and abundant these days. Then again, if this becomes popular enough to be industrial, it'll predictably affect quality :) Of course, certain popular Scotch distilleries manage to be very high volume and maintain high quality. Time will tell.

15th June 2018

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