That, in the photo, is pisco in a specially designed pisco glass and how you sniff the pisco in advance of swushing it about in your mouth to adjudge its subtleties. It was a very informative talk that Pisco Portón founder Johnny Schuler gave on Saturday at Tutuma Social Club‘s Happy Hour, an event lubricated by samples of the beverage mixed and neat. It cleared up for me where to place pisco as a spirit, that it belongs to the brandy family rather than with grappa and orujo because it is distilled from the original grape rather than the leftovers. It does not have the amber color, and retains the flavor profile of the grape itself, because it is not produced, as brandy is, in wooden barrels. Peruvian pisco is, moreover, distinguished from the Chilean because it is not fortified but rather aged to proof. The premium Portón we sampled was delicious neat, or in a sour, and when I return for more I will happily pay the extra dollar to experience it again.

For more information on Pisco Portón, click here.