Charbay Whiskey

Whiskey R5 - Doubled & Twisted - Whiskey S - Pilsner Whiskey Release, III

Marko started brewing beer when he was in high school. Through his father he learned that beer was the base of whiskey, minus the hops. When he got older he wanted to know what whiskey would taste like if it were distilled from beer he liked to drink—Charbay Whiskey Release I was born in 1999, distilled from bottle-ready pilsner beer. Later, Marko wanted to distill whiskey from his favorite beer, Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic.

He talked to the Norgrove family (Bear Republic is family owned and operated, as is Charbay) about the concept and a new friendship was immediately sparked. Charbay R5 is the brainchild of Marko after four years of extensive research with the Bear Republic team. Marko Karakasevic on purchasing bottle-ready beer to distill into whiskey, “I buy the biggest car I can - it comes with a driver and 18 wheels!”

Whiskey R5

Lot No. 5

Firehouse Whiskey

Now in its fifth release, Charbay's R5 Lot No. 5 is double-distilled from Bear Republic Brewery's award-winning Racer 5 IPA beer (7% ABV).

Marko chose this IPA for its upfront aromatic hops, great dose of bittering hops, high quality two-row barley, balanced and a smooth, clean finish… See if you can taste how each of these is revealed in the whiskey.

With the release of this specially labeled bottle of the R5 Whiskey, Charbay has proudly committed to donate $10,000 to Stand for Kindness, a non-profit vehicle for relief donations. READ MORE
> Read the Wine Enthusiast article about our efforts to help those in need

A Whiskey for Beer Lovers - Kara Newman, Wine Enthusiast

"Hops continue to lead the way but with a little more complex flavors beginning to show up from the barrel (honey, vanilla, and smoke)". - Eric Stumbo, whiskey consensus.com

Alcohol 49.5% | 99 Proof | 750ml

Featured Recipe: Manresa's The David

Whiskey R5

Lot No. 4

Our fourth release in the collection, Charbay's R5 Lot No. 4 is double-distilled from Bear Republic Brewery's award-winning Racer 5 IPA beer (7% ABV). Marko chose this full-bodied IPA for its aromatic hops and smooth, clean finish, forming the base of R5's unique profile.

Its fourth release, Lot No. 4 was a 10 barrel release, distilled in March 2013 and aged for 29 months in French oak. It has an intensely hoppy nose mixed with orange and clove, and sweet molasses, smoky notes on the palate.

4 STARS / Highly Recommended - Spirit Journal

"Charbay is one of my favorite distilleries in America, and this whiskey is an education in a bottle". - Michael J. Neff, bar director, Holiday Cocktail Lounge, NYC

Alcohol 49.5% | 99 Proof | 750ml

Featured Recipe: Whiskey Sour

Doubled & Twisted

Lot No. 2

We named it "Doubled & Twisted" from an old distilling term that refers to 'the best stuff' that runs out of the Still, as a stream, doubling and twisting on itself. Like our Lot 1, Lot 2 is double-distilled in Charbay's Copper Alambic Charentais Pot Still but this is a blend of 4-year Straight Malt whiskey (50%), 8-year Stout whiskey (30%) and 4-year Pilsner whiskey (20%). This combination evokes aromas of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon with rich flavors of smoky, malted barley and dark roasted coffee imparted from the lengthy oak aging process.

SILVER MEDAL - San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2022

GOLD MEDAL - SIP Awards 2022

"It's unlike most anything on the market, and beer or whiskey lovers curious to see how pilsner and stout work together in distilled form will find it worth a try". - distiller.com

Alcohol 45% | 90 Proof | 750ml

Featured Recipe: Ancho Contorto

Whiskey S

Lot S 211A

In February 2011, Marko became intrigued by Bear Republic's Big Bear Stout.
"Single malts only use a single malt—this Stout has over five different malts, as well as adjuncts and several different hop varieties. All of these qualities come through into an extremely complex whiskey," explains Marko.

With a backbone of Stout, double distilled then aged for 29 months in French oak, Marko expertly entices aromas of dried apricot & honeysuckle, a rich palate of roasted coffee, chocolate malt freshened with orange zest, and a perfect finish of brown spice, dark malt and lingering traces of dry oak.

"Mind-boggingly good". - Clay Risen, New York Times

90 Points - "Deliciously layered palate...no hint of the 49.5% ABV heat. A finish that's sweet, light and quite refreshing and inviting. Lives up to the Charbay hype". - Whisky Advocate

Alcohol 49.5% | 99 Proof | 750ml

Pilsner Whiskey

Release, III

In 1999, Miles and Marko became fascinated by the idea of distilling bottle-ready beer into whiskey - a first in the whiskey industry.

They soon embarked on an amazing 3 1/2 weeks of distilling 24/7 in the family's classic 1000-gallon Alambic Charentais Pot Still. They decided to release their amazing creation over 5 bottlings, this the 3rd in the series. At only 10 barrels (224 cases), Release III has been aged for a combined total of 14 years, 6 years in oak and 8 years in stainless steel.
"When my father and I distilled this Whiskey in '99, we released it in waves, so whiskey fans can experience the evolving flavors, as if they were at our Distillery. Aging it for 14 years added a roundness, as the hops settled into the mid-palate and the richness from the barrels carries the bold main body", explains Marko.

The result is aromas of caramel and vanilla leading to maple syrup, dried stone-fruit and hints of marzipan. This whiskey is lush, with a sweet-hot finish.

95 Points / Top 50 Spirits of the Year - Wine Enthusiast

5 STARS / Highest Recommendation "A complete oak-aged spirit that's majestic and unique". - Spirit Journal

Alcohol 66% | 132.4 Proof | 750ml

Notes about the Pilsner Whiskey Series:

Distilled in 1999 from bottle-ready Pilsner Beer (Benzinger Winery & Brewery, which is now Benzinger Winery). It took 3 1/2 weeks to distill 20,000 gallons of beer into 1,000 gallons of Whiskey.