Pisco Brandy

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Pisco Brandy is produced in Peru and Chile, there are distinct differences between the two countries styles of making Pisco Brandy.


Peruvian Pisco

Peruvian Pisco is distilled from freshly fermented grape juice, and not from aged wine.

Peruvian Pisco is only produced in copper pot stills, like some Scotch whiskies, and not in continuous stills, like most vodkas for instance.

Peruvian Pisco is never diluted after it is distilled. The Pisco is distilled directly to its bottling strength, meaning that it is more flavoursome than its Chilean counterpart.

Another (Peruvian) Pisco peculiarity is that the first part of the distillation (heads) is kept, and then mixed in with the rest of the distillate. The ’heads’ adds more character to the Pisco, which is the way that the Peruvians like it.

Pisco is officially recognised as a distinctly Peruvian product by the following countries: Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Cuba.

Peruvian Pisco Classifications

There are five classifications of Pisco brandy:

Pisco Puro

Made exclusively (100%) from one of the following ’non-aromatic’ (i.e. no aroma) grapes: Quebranta, Mollar, Negra Corriente.

Pisco Aromático

Made exclusively (100%) from one of the following ’aromatic’ grapes: Italia, Moscatél, Torontél, Albilla.

Pisco Acholado

The Peruvian equivalent of ’Blended’, a Quebranta base is mixed with at least one of the ’Aromatic’ grape varieties.

Pisco Mosto Verde

Translates as ’Green Must’, this refers to the fact that this Pisco is distilled before the fermentation of the grape juice is complete. This leaves a sugar content of c. 6% in the pre-distillate, the finished product is no sweet, but has a different character, compared with other piscos, as a result of this.

Aromatised Pisco

Before the fermented grape juice is distilled into Pisco, fruits and/ or berries are added. This imparts, of course, a fruity flavour to the Pisco.

Historical References

""Campaigns and Cruises, in Venezuela and Ned Grenada, and in the Pacific Ocean; from 1817-1830", By Richard Longeville Vowell, William D. Mahoney, 1831

"A barrel of Pisco aguardiente, sent them from on board, completed their joy."

"Medical lexicon", By Robley Dunglison, 1854

"In Peru, the common brandy obtained from grapes is the Aguardiente de Pisco, so called, because [ it is ] shipped at the port of Pisco."

"What I Saw on the West Coast of South and North America, and at the Hawaiian Islands", by Henry Willis Baxley, 1865

"The largest export from Pisco is the product of the vine, the Aguardiente de Pisco, of this district of Peru — "Pisco" as it is commonly called..."

"The Underground World...", by Thomas Wallace Knox, 1883

"It is really pure, Unadulterated brandy, distilled in Peru, from the grape known as Italia, or La Rosa del Peru, and takes its name from the port of Pisco..."

Pisco Brandy Cocktails

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