As one of my fellow buyers here at K&L always likes to remind us, one has to keep an open mind when tasting or else you might miss out on something great. It always seems to go something like this: I'm on my way out the door for lunch, just as I'm stepping out the door I get paged to the sales floor, a vendor is waiting there for me to taste something, and it's never, ever whiskey. Yesterday it was Pisco. While I love the grape-based spirits of South America, they're not exactly flying off the shelves. I've been very happy with both the Soldeica and the new Encanto de Campo already, so I wasn't optimistic that this Viñas de Oro would find a way into our selection. Again, this is why one is supposed to keep an open mind.
Pisco is a spirit that one is generally not meant to sip, but I've always felt that the great examples hold up against fine Italian grappas. They can be so perfumy, floral, fruity, and complex. The Viñas de Oro bottlings are in the league of Encanto quality, yet they have multiple expressions that are all completely different. The Acholado was incredibly floral and expressive. The Quarranta was mild, but vibrant like a tequila. The Torontel was wildly tangy, almost like it was distilled with sour lemon. The Mosto Verde Torontel was distilled from a grape must with a healthy amount of residual sugar, giving the spirit a creamier and more elegant texture. All four were mind-expanding.
Next week when I bring all four of these bottles into K&L, I will have to make space for more Pisco. While we are already cluttered as is, we have a duty to carry the best. Viñas de Oro Pisco is definitely the best.