About Peruvian Spirits

Pico is the signature spirit of Peru; a brandy distilled from wine grapes, it is categorized as an aguardiente. More than seven million liters is produced annually in the country.

It is distilled in copper pot stills, as in the method of single malt Scotch. Several types of grapes can be used to produce pisco; for the aromatic type (aromatica), the Muscat grape is used, while the acholado version is made from the must of several grapes.

Pure pisco, made from the Quebranta grape, is generally sipped neat, while other versions are generally used as the base for the famed Pisco sour cocktail; a few examples can also be used as a digestif. Pisco is exported in many markets, including the US; prices run from $20 up to $40 a bottle.

There are also a few premium rums produced in Peru as well; some are aged as long as 18 years and are of exceptional quality, with notes of coconut, baking spices and herbs.
Top Picks for Peru
219247
Ron Cartavio
XO Rum
Brilliant mahogany color. Woody, elegant aromas of fine furniture, soft tropical fruit, leather wallet, and warm cinnamon roll with a lightly tannic, crisp, off-dry full body and a tingling, nuanced, long caramelized nut tart, mango flan, orange caramel sauce, and vanilla bean and nutmeg finish. A rich aged rum for sweet palates.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219696
Ron Cartavio
12 Year Old Solera Rum
Bright copper color. Sweet, tropical aromas of vanilla, champagne cola, bananas and cream, and cigar box with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, delightful, medium-length honeyed fruit salad, Hawaiian rolls, and saffron finish. A silky, elegant dark rum with sexy, enticing wood spice flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219248
Ron Cartavio
Selecto Rum
Pale copper color. Fruity aromas and flavors of stewed pineapple and brownie batter with a lean, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a peppery, medium-length graham cracker, roasted caramelized nuts, and tiramisu finish. A charming rum for the masses.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219695
Ron Cartavio
Black Barrel Rum
Dark copper color. Aromas of dried mango, nut skins, caramel sauce, and coriander with an oily, soft, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, charming, medium-length suede, spiced apple cider, prunes, and Chinese 5 spice finish. A savory rum for sipping or craft cocktails.
90 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208613
Santiago Queirolo
Pisco Quebranta
Clear color. Interesting aromas and flavors of frosted raisin bran, sour cream and onion potato chip, and French bread with a supple, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, intriguing, medium-length finish revealing notes of flower water, white chocolate orange, pepper, and minerals. A warming pisco for punches.
89 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219249
Ron Cartavio
Silver Rum
Clear color. Clean aromas of coconut powder, fresh laundry, and toasted nuts with a satiny, crisp, dry light body and a breezy coconut powder, dried starfruit, and light caramel finish. A soft rum for daytime daiquiris.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208612
Santiago Queirolo
Pisco Acholado
Clear color. Lively aromas and flavors of apricot pastry, buttercream, cucumber salad, and celery salt on potato with a supple, bright, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, stimulating, breezy finish evoking touches of nougat, fig, and lemon pepper. A pleasant, easy drinking pisco that will be good in cocktails.
88 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204886
Control C
Pisco
Clear. Aromas of dried stone fruits, sweet cream, dried herbs, and exotic peppercorns with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an ironed linen, white pepper, limestone, and tea kettle like twang on the finish with lingering warmth. An interesting blend of fruitiness and rusticity that should pop well in cocktails.
88 points $22.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219694
Ron Cartavio
Black Rum
Golden amber color. Nutty aromas of almond shells, cinnamon sugar, fluffy nougat, and greenhouse plants with a supple, soft, off-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, snappy caramelized pineapple and coconut bar finish. An easy-going dark rum.
87 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213124
Santiago Queirolo
Pisco Quebranta
Clear color. Delicate, interesting, savory aromas of pickled green tomatoes, golden raisins, champagne vinaigrette, and dried banana and edamame with a satiny, lively, fruity medium body and a peppery, intriguing, medium-length reduced orange, pickled melon rind and peppers, honey, and pepper finish. A fun, zesty, savory pisco with interesting salinity that will cover a lot of bases cocktail-wise.
86 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab