Charbay Doubled & Twisted Whiskey
To celebrate its 35th anniversary, the pioneering Charbay Distillery in Ukiah, California recently released the 90 proof "Doubled & Twisted" whiskey (an old distilling term for when “the best stuff” begins to run off the pipe from the still). It is a blend of single malt whiskey and two distillations of bottle-ready California beers.
Specifically, Doubled & Twisted is a blend of 3-year-old single malt (50%); 7-year-old Stout Whiskey (30%) and 3-year-old Pilsner Whiskey (20%). The beers that Charbay distilled for this project were custom brewed by Bear Republic in Sonoma County. The blend matured in French and American oak.
Coincidentally, the result is a unique, funky experience that reminds me of another weird California whiskey, the delicious Sonoma County Black Truffle Rye.
Color: Golden apple juice. Thick legs on the Glencairn.
Nose: Earthy funk jumps out of the glass - I get mown grass, musty malthouse, and a tinge of lavender. A bready, pungent beer quality lingers, and it's confusingly pleasant.
Tasting Notes: The aromas carry on to the palate. Earthy funk dominates up front; savory mushroom and lively apricot notes make things really interesting. In the end, peppery spice and subtle smoke make for a satisfying, medium finish.
Overall: B+. It's been a while since I have been this excited to share a whiskey with friends- it's so different. Doubled & Twisted is complex and unique, but it's very drinkable neat.
* Thanks to Charbay for the sample; as always, the thoughts expressed here are my own.