81

Score

Charbay Hop Flavored Whiskey, Batch #2, 55%

Price: $325.00 Issue: Spring 2009 Reviewer: John Hansell

A unique and quite intriguing whiskey. A “bottle ready” California pilsner beer was given an extra dose of hops, then distilled in a pot still and aged in new oak for six years. Then it was “aged” in stainless steel for another three years. Five barrels were bottled. When I traveled through Europe, some of the breweries let me taste “Hop Schnapps” they’d had a distiller produce from their own beer. It was always just for their own private consumption, not for sale. This Charbay release reminds me of that, only aged into a mature whiskey. It’s a complex whiskey, naturally accentuated by hops, exotic teas, marijuana (seriously!), candied fruit, lavender, dark berries, raspberry (red and black), juniper, freshly ground tellicherry pepper, and light Caribbean rum. A nice “change of pace” whiskey.