Charbay R5 Clear, 49.5%

Price: $54 Issue: Spring 2013 Reviewer: Lew Bryson

Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA has long been a beloved California craft beer. Charbay distiller Marko Karakasevic liked it so much he made whiskey from it. The Clear (aged 22 months in stainless tanks) sings with hoppy citrus zest and pine notes set in a sweet background. It's nicely nuanced in the mouth, though, with a creamy body that sparkles with bitter orange and grapefruit floating over understated malt. Preferred over his Doubled & Twisted; this is more sophisticated.