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Singani 63 Bolivian Brandy

Singani 63 Bolivian Brandy


By Robert Plotkin

Stocking the same selection of products on the backbar as your competitors is hardly the path to success. On the contrary, consumers today are highly motivated by the pursuit of discovery. Thoroughly enjoying something new and exciting is a guaranteed way to break up the week. And should the product be something exotic, so much the better.

Welcome to the United States Singani 63, an unforgettable clear brandy handcrafted in Bolivia with a lineage dating back to 1530. Long considered the national spirit of Bolivia, the government created a Domain of Origin (DO) and Geographical Indication (GI) to preserve the sanctity of origin and establish strict production standards to ensure utmost quality.

This extraordinary spirit is very much a product of its environment. The quality of the soil, nature of the climate and the character of the groundwater all contribute to the personality of the finished spirit. Singani 63 is made in the high altitudes of the Andes from a single variety of grape, the Muscat of Alexandria. Prized for their brilliant aromatics, the grapes are cultivated at 6,000 feet above sea level, which makes them among some of the highest vineyards in the world. After the grapes have been harvested, crushed and fermented, the resulting wine is distilled in traditional pot stills. Then, prior to being bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof), Singani 63 is rested in non-reactive vessels to allow the constituent aromatics and flavors to fully integrate.

Be prepared to be wowed. Singani 63 has a shimmery appearance, a medium-weight, lushly textured body and an enticing floral bouquet with light spicy notes. The longer you let the brandy breathe, the more intense and alluring the aromatics become. The smooth, warm entry quickly bathes the palate with dry herbaceous flavors that soon give way to the long, spicy, fresh citrus fade. From start to finish, Singani 63 is a holiday for the senses. Kudos!

Spirit enthusiasts will note that Singani 63 is not dissimilar to pisco. Both brandies hail from South America; piscos are produced in Peru and Chile, singani is made exclusively in Bolivia. That said, there are substantial differences. Singani is crafted from a single variety of grape, while piscos can be distilled from one or more varietals. Then there's the terroir to consider and the singular impact the high altitudes of the Andes has on the finished spirit.

Mixologists and cocktail aficionados are going to love Singani 63. However, do yourself a favor and before you go off and start making drinks with this venerable spirit, sample the Singani neat and undiluted. Its exuberance will make a believer out of you.

The brand has a patron saint, so to speak. Singani 63 is owned and imported by Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh. As the story goes, Soderbegh was in Bolivia filming the movie "Che," and during the months of production, his crew and he became so enamored with the spirit that he created the brand and brought into the United States for us to enjoy as well.

On behalf of a thirsty nation, thanks Steven. ¡Salud!