A guy walks into a bar and orders a Pisco Sour. That’s not a joke – that’s pretty much any East London bar these days, so you will no doubt welcome a new player in the category – we certainly do.
Coming to us straight from the city of Pisco in Peru – via San Francisco, where some of the team is based and where it was launched in 2010 – Campo de Encanto's Grand & Noble prides itself in being 'the most complex, oldest white spirit on the planet'. Here's why.
It's made with a blend of grapes from old vines – mostly Quebranta, with Italia, plus a little Moscatel and Torontel thrown in there too. Every lot of grapes is fermented and then distilled in a copper still, with generous cuts on heads and tails to retain flavour.
Next comes what's most interesting about Encanto: the eaux-de-vie head into a solera, the only one for pisco according to co-founder Duggan McDonnell. It's a neutral plastic container, in which the spirit is aged in the open air, under the sun, for an average of four years – but there's stuff in there dating back as far as 2004. It's then bottled and rested for a year.
Upon tasting it has a light, citrusy nose, with notes of bitter almond and elderflower. The palate is much warmer, sucking you in with chocolate and orange zest flecked with peppermint notes, then evolving into a slight savoury finish, and a ripe stone fruit aftertaste.
This will be great for mixing – and McDonnell was quick to tell us that 'Encanto was and is created by the world's best barkeeps as every blend is made by a different group of world class [bartenders]. The cocktail unites and inspires everything we do.'
Still, it's got enough flavour, with freshness retained, that we wouldn't be against seeing it served straight or on the rocks.
£39.99, 40.5%/75cl, Hi-Spirits, 01932 252100