Peruvian Pisco - what makes Peruvian Pisco a special liquor?
Peruvian pisco is part of the Peruvian lifestyle
Peruvian Pisco is the elixir of the Peruvians. The Peruvian people are very proud of their national spirit Peruvian Pisco, and enjoy it preferredly in a Peruvian Pisco Sour.
To honor Peruvian Pisco and the Peruvian Pisco Sour, two official Pisco public holidays have been established by ministerial decrees. These public holidays are always a great reason for extensive parties, of course with a lot of Peruvian Pisco. The day of the Peruvian Pisco (el dia del pisco) takes place on the 4th Sunday in June, whereas the first Saturday in February is the official day of the Peruvian Pisco Sour (el dia del pisco sour).
The Peruvian government strictly regulates the quality of Peruvian Pisco
Based on this national identification of the Peruvian people with their national Pisco, the Peruvian government prohibited the mass production of pisco to differentiate itself from Chile, the latter focusing on mass production of pisco. To defend the high quality of Peruvian Pisco, legislation introduced strict rules to which the production of Pisco in Peru has to adhere. As early as in 1991, Peru issued a "Supreme Decree", which regulates especially quality relevant aspects of spirit production and refers to a technical norm of how Peruvian Pisco has to be elaborated. Therefore, Peruvian Pisco is subject to highest standards of quality and purity.
Peruvian pisco must be produced according to traditional, small-batch methods
The most recent version of this technical norm dates back to 2006. All Piscos produced in Peru have to fulfil this regulation. The norm clarifies that Peruvian Pisco has to be distilled from the freshly fermented must of the pisco grapes. In contrast to the widely present opinion, Peruvian Pisco thus has nothing to do with pomace, which uses the residual parts left over after extracting the juice from the grapes (e.g. for wine production).
Furthermore, the norm requires Peruvian Pisco to be produced according to traditional, small-batch distillation methods of high quality spirit production, clearly differentiating from the industrial methods used for Chilenian Pisco. This is shown very clearly on page 11 of the technical norm, where accurate drawings of the permitted distillation pot stills are illustrated.
Peruvian Pisco is categorized into three different types
The following three pisco types are officially categorized:
- Pisco Puro - A Peruvian Pisco produced from one single grape variety. Example: Pisco Barsol Primero Quebranta
- Pisco Acholado - a blend of different Pisco grapes. The blend may be done either before fermentation, before distillation or after distillation. Example: Pisco Barsol Selecto Acholado
- Pisco Mosto Verde - a Peruvian Pisco distilled from a must that has not been totally fermented. A characteristic sweetness remains in the must, as only part of the sugar has been transformed into alcohol. Example: Pisco Barsol Supremo Mosto Verde Italia
Only eight grape varieties are permitted for the production of Peruvian Pisco
The Peruvian pisco legislation explicitly defines which grape varieties may be used for the production of Peruvian Pisco. Only 8 grapes may be used, in order to ensure a distinct taste of Peruvian Pisco and maintain its high quality. The allowed grape varities are separated into aromatic and non-aromatic grapes as follows:
|1. Quebranta||1. Italia|
|2. Negra Criolla||2. Torontel|
|3. Mollar||3. Moscatel|
|4. Uvina||4. Albilla|
The juice is extracted from the grapes and fermented. Distillation of the must has to follow immediately thereafter.
The classification "Non aromatic" should not be taken too literally. Even a Pisco distilled from non aromatic Quebranta grapes has nice fruity grape flavors, but typically not as prominent as for example the Italia grape or the distinctive Torontel grape.
Peruvian Pisco has to be produced in traditional batch distillation
The regulation states that Pisco has to follow traditional distillation methods of high quality spirits. Peruvian Pisco may only be distilled directly and dis-continuosly (in batches). The head and the tail of each distillation have to be separated and only the heart of each distillation batch may be used for Peruvian Pisco. The pot stills to produce Peruvian Pisco have to be made of copper or pewter.
Peruvian Pisco is subject to a strict purity law
Peruvian Pisco has to rest for at least 3 months after distillation. To maintain the authentic taste of the pisco grapes, only storage vessels that do not influence the aroma of the stored content may be used. Such vessels can be made of steel or glass, but not of wood. Adding additional ingredients to the distilled pisco is prohibited. There is no possibility to alter the taste of the distilled pisco in the aftermath of the production. No sugar or other flavors may be added. Therefore the quality of the used grapes and the experience of the Bodega in the production of Pisco have a direct, unaltered effect on the taste of the final product.
As not even water may be added after distillation, Peruvian Pisco is bottled at barrel proof. The alcohol content of Pisco has to be between 38% vol and 48% vol. The exact alcohol content can vary over the years, as many influences (sugar content of the grapes, temperature, atmospheric pressure,...) can have an impact on the alcohol content.
Pisco BARSOL is an excellent Peruvian Pisco
To summarize, Peruvian pisco is a grape brandy with a strong emphasis on maintaining traditional production methods to ensure a high quality spirit with an authentic grape taste. The Peruvian Pisco "Pisco BARSOL" boasts with its very high quality standards, based on using only the best grapes from the Ica Valley and the many years of experience the Bodea San Isidro accumulated with production of Pisco throughout the years.
The result is Pisco BARSOL, a spirit with outstanding quality, which was internationally recognized and received numerous awards. Read more on the next page about the extraordinary quality and taste of Pisco BARSOL.