Monday, June 18, 2018

Encanto Pisco

January 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews

I am relatively new to pisco, having assumed from some early samplings years ago that it was universally harsh. Thankfully, I’ve had the chance to meet two of the three founders of Encanto Pisco, taste some samples and be re-educated.

Pisco is a fairly old, primitive, and frankly vibrant and muscular spirit. In the case of Encanto it is also hand-bottled in the Ica Valley of Peru, “sustainably harvested, vinted and distilled according to the strictest standards set by the Comisión Nacional del Pisco of Perú: distilled only once, nothing added, no preservatives, no sugar. Not even a drop of water.”

Pisco can be aged, and in the case of Encanto it is for one year, which helps marry the grape varietals used in this spirit. For the bottle I sampled, the blended grapes were Quebranta (76 percent), Torontel (6 percent), and Italia (18 percent). The Encanto website also lists Moscatel as a grape in rotation.

Nose: Some alcohol, a slight sweetness and quite earthy. A hint of must and white pepper.

Taste: Salts, minerals, grape skin and a fruity/berry taste between blackberry and currant. Peppery and warm to the mouth, but very smooth and moderately sweet.

Finish: The sweetness and fruit fade away first, leaving lingering minerals, earthiness, salts and pepper.

Notes: It is a bit warm, but I think this is an excellent and enjoyable spirit to sip on its own; a number of awards given to Encanto in Peru and San Francisco concur. But I really think it also will work well in cocktails, beyond the traditional pisco sour and pisco punch. But the other ingredients must take a back seat and allow the fruit and terroir to shine, or you’ve wasted a fine spirit.

Encanto Pisco, (Agro Mistral S.A.C., Ica Valley, Peru), 85 proof, $43.80 in Oregon Liquor Stores

(Sample provided by Encanto Pisco.)

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