Pisco - BarSol Quebranta
BarSol Quebranta Pisco
San Isidro, Ica Valley - Peru
Importer: Master Merchant LLC, Miami, Fla
INGREDIENTS: Quebranta Grapes
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not Applicable
TYPE: Small Batch
PRICE: $ 18.00 - 750 ML
Notes: Pisco is a form of brandy, in that it is distilled from grapes. Made in Peru and Chile, there is wide disagreement as to who has better quality Pisco. I have heard conflicting reports from both sides-so obviously we need to do more hands on research to settle this question. It is similar to Grappa or Marc in some ways, including the wild variation of quality depending on who makes it.
Once considered a "poor man's drink" in the areas of South America where they did not grow sugarcane, and a favorite of Hemingway - probably because it was cheap. It had a brief flare of popularity in California during the Gold Rush as passing ships loaded up on it and took it to San Francisco. After that period, it became a curiosity in North America and rarely found. It is now enjoying a renaissance in cocktail circles as a versatile and interesting spirit.
This brand comes from Peru and is made in one of the Western Hemispheres oldest alambic still (a form of potstill - mostly used in Cognac and armagnac distilling) dating from the late 1800's and is made from a single variety - the non aromatic quebranta grape.This is unusual as many Piscos use a blend of varieties (n much the same way Cognac producers use different varieties.Like a few Cognac houses, BarSol produces a single variety product to highlight a particular variety and it' s singular attributes.
Appearance: Perfect clarity, bright. Light coating on the glass when you swirl it, scalloped edges,then long legs, then finally droplets forming.
First Impression: Very wine grape almost burgundy or Pinot Noir smelling, hint of grapefruit, savory notes on nosing.
Taste: Nice oily entry with slight bite when drinking straight (as opposed to throat clutching, coughing etc., with the cheaper stuff). Nicely weighted body to it, with a slightly buttery mouth feel, nice tingle on the tongue.Savory, lime salt, brine, oily, grassy, some oak, pepper, lingering notes of tobacco (?). Medium-length finish. Paradoxically similar to a highland tequila but with a black grape finish.Wonderfully smooth and seductive.
Drinks: Of course we had to try it in the more or less signature Pisco Sour and the classic Pisco Punch both of which were excellent. Side note: you could also use their drinks recipes for a grappa of the same grape variety
Cigars: Works well with a mild cigar.
Bottle:The bottle is shaped like a armagnac or brandy bottle - frosted glass with a long neck. Rather simple label with silohoute of horse and rider on yellow field at top of label makes it easy to spot. Synthetic cork closure with red red neck wrap finish the package.
Final Thoughts: An excellent pisco that reminds us of a good Amarone grappa and at about 1/2 the money. More settled and less aromatic (read doesn't smell like lighter fluid) than a lot of pisco with nice round bass notes to the aroma The advantage to this spirit being cheap is you can experiment with it and not worry as much about regrettable outcomes. You could pay twice the money for something that doesn't taste as good as this.
Web site: http://www.barsolpisco.com (Importer)
Website is currently down for updating.