Review: Pisco Porton

Review: Pisco Porton

pisco porton

I’ve learned more about pisco in the last 48 hours than I’ve ever wanted to know. In a nutshell, pisco is the Peruvian or Chilean take on brandy (the two countries are virtually over war over which pisco is “real”): Made by distilling wine then bottling it without aging, pisco is a white spirit that last had its heyday on these shores in the years before Prohibition.

Now pisco is attempting a comeback, and numerous brands are winding their way to the market. Pisco Portón is one of them, and it’s so new that it doesn’t even have a bottle design we can share with you yet. A “mosto verde” pisco, Portón is made using wine that is not fully fermented, which leaves a bit of sugar in the spirit and, ostensibly, a smoother, silkier body.

Pisco Portón is rougher than I’d thought it would be. At 86 proof that might be expected, but I imagined it would be balanced by the sugar content. Not so: Portón is hot and spicy, complex with a mix of wood, phenol, smoke, and then a finish that offers the sweetness that Portón promises: honey, lemon, and fresh satsuma. (Yeah, I just wrote “satsuma” in a review. Sorry.)

In today’s world of ultra-smooth spirits, the invariably funky pisco is an incredibly tough sell. That said, Portón is about as good as any I’ve tried to date.

86 proof.


Pisco Porton




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Edoc on January 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Sounds interesting. Thanks for the last few posts of more exotic, potentially interesting spirits.

  2. Obsessionist on June 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Up until a few minutes ago I had no idea there were other categories of liquor like pisco. How to get..

  3. Jeremy on July 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Hi there.

    I just bought a bottle of Pisco ABA, from Chile. After moving the bottle from the shelf, I noticed flakes in the Pisco. As this is my first time buying Pisco, I am wondering if someone could tell me if that is normal!



  4. Christopher Null on July 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Not normal. Take it back.

  5. John on December 2, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Did u even research this product. It’s the oldest distillery in the Americas. They don’t eve use electric to make this stuff. Why are you saying it’s new?

  6. Christopher Null on December 2, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    John: Old distillery does not equal old product. Even Porton’s website says “Pisco Portón, a new white spirit from Peru to make cocktails like Pisco Sour…” and the official product’s tagline is “Try something that is actually new.” ( Whether they use electricity to make the spirit or not is not really germane to the review, but consider it noted.

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