Thursday, May 31, 2012

Charbay LAWS Edition 1 69.1%

1. Charbay 12yo 69.1%
Los Angeles Whiskey Society


A lot of companies/distilleries like to present their whisky as Unique, Rare, Limited and/or Special. This is often more marketing trompets than reality.

Any single cask can be described as the above if you feel like it. But what whisk(e)y can REALLY be described as the above?? 

This bottling can. This bottling IS different. It IS all of the mentioned. 

It's Unique. It's made from bottle ready pilsner made at Sonoma Mountain Brewry

Limited. Yes. 40 bottles

Rare. Yes, Charbay is a winery and a distillery. Their main product is not whiskey and they releases are rare as a hens tooth

Special. Yes. This tastes like nothing else in the world of whisk(e)y

Nose : fantastic nose. Pilsner ?. I would have thought a double IPA. Hops detoriate quite fast in beers, but in distilled spirit it seems to be preserved and also intensified. This nose is bombasticand intense. I can smell the glass from across the room. Licorise, wood. Tea. Hops

Palate : The alcohol is high but surprisingly not that overwhelming. The hops is again very dominating. I think I notice it because it's not a flavour you otherwise would find in whisky. Mint, licorise, tea, wood in a nice melting pot of flavours. This whiskey for sure benefits with water. Water adds some delicate sweetness and balance to this.

Finish : Very Long

Comment: A fantastic whisky. It's spectacular complex with unusual flavours, layered on a background of a solid whiskey in itself. 

Rating 91

I really like this dram. IPA is also my favourite beer style. Who thought this could be part of a whiskey in a succesful way ? 

LA whiskey society has an excellent website here :¨
It's a great source of whisk(e)y reviews

I visited Charbay Winery 1½ years ago:

Back label

Big thanks to Adam from PLOWED to introducing me to Charbay, getting me this bottle and also hosting a Charbay vertical where I experienced various stages of this whiskey, samples of upcoming products, and the beers they are made from. Sonoma Mountain Brewery is out of business. The upcoming products were made from Bear Republic's Racer 5 (IPA) and a stout, also from Bear Republic 


  1. Always happy to share, Steffen. Glad you enjoyed!

  2. Great review! BTW I really like your 100 point system key.