The Viejo Tonel distillary, founded in 1997, is located in the Ica Valley, about 150 miles south of Lima, Peru. This distillery has won many, many awards and prides themselves on making a great product, only offering 4 varieties when they have the capability to make many more with the number of grapes they grow. The Mosto Verde Quebranta uses the Quebranta grape, a non-aromatic variety but uses a much higher amount of grapes (21 pounds per bottle) in order to get that strong Mosto Verde quality.
Unlike my last pisco that I reviewed, Quatro Gallos Italia Mosto Verde, this is actually a Pisco that can be purchased in the United States, albeit only in California. Personally, the quebranta is my favorite grape for pisco so this is a spirit I was excited to review.
On the nose it is easy to notice that this is a mosto verde, with a lot of sweetness still intact. There are some distinct spice notes on this, I get some pepper and maybe a touch of coriander. The dominant scent, as you would expect, is the grapes. It is almost like a Riesling with how sweet and grape the nose is, clean, but strong.
In the mouth this is very refreshing and crisp. The dominant flavors are citrus and almost a bit of a kale or green bean vegetal flavor, very clean again. There is some heat and a little spice but no noticable flavors, just a hot pepper style warmth that does not tend to linger for very long. The aftertaste is pure grape, with the citrus notes sticking around for long after it is gone. This pisco is smooth but not to the extreme, you definitely know that you are drinking an 84 proof spirit.
Looking online I have seen cocktail recommendations for this pisco, including on Viejo Tonel’s website, my advice there is NO. This is not a spirit to use for a cocktail, with how delicate these flavors are you would be doing yourself a dis-service to waste this hard to find gem in a cocktail. The typical citrus juices that you normally mix with pisco would immediately cancel out the great citrus qualities of this spirit, and to me would ruin it. If you happen to have so much of this that you feel the need to make cocktails, shoot me and email, I will gladly come pick them up from you to enjoy properly.
Overall the Viejo Tonel Mosto Verde Quebranta is possibly my favorite pisco I have ever had, I will be very disappointed when my only 500 ml bottle is dry. However, I guess that would mean I need to take another trip to Lima soon!