...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bourbon and Rye Day Friday: Charbay Amador Hop Flavored Whiskey

I 💚 Charbay. Their infamous "Whiskey Release" series is, like, intergalactic, man. Their distillers, Marko and Miles, are madmen, so I'm happy to try anything they design. Unfortunately the whiskey world discovered that those Releases are superlative, so I can't afford any of them. But recently Karakasevics did some batches of cheaper whiskey experiments. There's Whiskey S, a distillation of Bear Republic Big Bear Stout. There's Whiskey R5, a distillation of Racer 5 IPA. Then there's today's piece of craziness.

Amador Hop Flavored Whiskey is, as per the official site:
A blend of 60% straight malt whiskey and 40% hop-flavored whiskey distilled from a craft IPA beer, the components were aged separately for over 2 years in French oak wine barrels and then “married” in our family Chardonnay barrels for another 2 years before being bottled.
So, no, this is neither bourbon nor rye. But it's American, so there.

Companies: Charbay and Amador Whiskey Co.
Distillery: Charbay
Location: St. Helena, California
What the hell is this made out of? See description above
Age: at least 4 years old
Batch: 1
Barrel: 2
ABV: 48% ABV
(Thank you to Sku for this sample!)

The nose has an intensely fruity side: lemonade, mango and grapefruit. It also has a rich sugary side: vanilla fudge, circus peanuts and a hint of maple syrup. Lots of hops that haven't gone Full Weed yet. The palate is wonderfully, violently tart. More lemon than lemon. Pine sap and grapefruit. Roasted grains, lots of hops. A bit of a sweaty, musty note. Its loooooooong finish is full of hops, pine, grapefruit and lime juice. A little bit of sweetness reins the tartness in.

Odd but joyous. There's no other way I can find to describe it. The IPA element is unmistakable and has run right over the malt. Everything is big and crazy and it's probably a good idea the thing wasn't bottled at full strength because it may have caused a tear in the space-time continuum. As intense as it is, I can see it as being a great spring or summer sipper because of its IPAness (don't say that word out loud). Great work, Miles and Marko!

Availability - At a few dozen American whiskey specialists
Pricing - anywhere between $75-$115
Rating - 87