Charbay Whiskey

Whiskey R5 (Lot No. 4) - Charbay Whiskey, III - Whiskey S (Lot 211A)

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!”

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.


Whiskey R5
(Lot No. 5) Firehouse Whiskey

With the release of this specially labeled bottle of the R5 whiskey, distilled from Racer 5 IPA by brewery Bear Republic, Charbay has proudly committed to donate $10,000 to Stand for Kindness, a nonprofit vehicle for relief donations. READ MORE

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.

> Learn more about our fire relief efforts

Alcohol 49.5% | 99 Proof

Doubled and Twisted
(Lot No. 1)

Doubled & Twisted combines the best of the years since that first thesis project (a departure from Charbay’s award winning hoppy whiskeys), a double Alambic pot distilled blend of 50% Aged Single Malt (3 year); 30% Aged Stout Whiskey (7 year); and 20% Aged Pilsner Whiskey (3 year). The final juice exudes floral, green spice notes, warm aromas of baking spices (nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, allspice) and oak-smoked malted barley. French and American Oak impart flavors from smoky, toasted vanilla to dark roasted coffee.

660 cases will be available this spring nationwide in select stores including Winfield Flynn (NY, NY), Sunshine Market (St. Helena, CA) and K & L Wine Merchants (SF & LA). D&T (45% ABV/90 proof) will be sold in 750 ML bottles.

Alcohol 45% | 90 Proof


We begin each batch of whiskey with bottle ready beer, and this blend includes distillations of two custom brewed beers made for Marko by Bear Republic. “We had a fun time picking these 10 barrels. Making a blend of three different types of whiskey really stacked up the flavor profile. Drinking this at 90 proof is pretty dreamy.”


By Joel Pfiefle of Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar – Archer Hotel (Napa, CA)

2 oz Charbay D & T
1/2 oz Ancho Leon Liqueur
1/4 oz Amaretto Luxardo

Combine all over ice, stir
Strain into coop glass
Garnish orange peel

Whiskey R5
(Lot No. 4)

Now in its fourth release, 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 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.

Alcohol 49.5% | 99 Proof


Marko double-distilled 6000 gallons of bottle-ready Racer 5 IPA beer for 10 days straight in our family's classic 1000 gallon Alambic Charentais Pot Still to create just 590 gallons of whiskey.

Aged in French oak for 29 months. Lot No. 4 was distilled in 2013 and bottled in 2015 - aged 29 months in French oak.



"exotic and exciting" - Christopher Null/Drinkhacker.com

"...an amazingly flavorful whiskey...rich in flavor and a must-try for the whisky enthusiast." - Oliver's Markets (Sonoma County, CA)


The David

2 oz. Whiskey R5 (Lot No. 4)
•1 oz. Carpano Antica
• 1 oz. Aperol
• 1 dash Orange Bitters
• 1 squeeze 1/2 of a Cara Cara Orange

Combine ingredients in a beaker and stir with a large ice cube and strain into a rocks glass over a large square cube. Garnish with small peel of the Cara Cara (The Cara cara navel, or red-fleshed navel orange is an early-to-midseason navel orange believed to have developed as a cross between the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia navel). Enjoy!

Credit: Manresa’s Restaurant, los Gatos, CA

Whiskey S
(Lot 211A)

In February 2011, Marko became intrigued by Bear Republic's Big Bear Stout - a beer that you can really sink your teeth into. The bold, roasty, caramel malt flavor is balanced by Centennial and Cascade hops.

"It's extremely complex. 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.

Alcohol 49.5% | 99 Proof


Charbay 'S' Whiskey was double-distilled in the family's copper Alambic Charentais Pot Still. Working 24 hours a day for 10 days straight, Marko distilled 6,000 gallons of beer distills into 590 gallons of whiskey (almost 10:1 ratio) to create roughly 650 cases altogether (10 barrels).

Aged in for 29 months in used French Oak


90 PTS/ Whisky Advocate
Distilled from Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout, alambic pot distilled, aged 29 months in used French oak. Gooey nose, with lots of dark chocolate, toffee, fruit (ripe honeydew, Asian pear, red plum); no hint of the 49.5% ABV heat. Deliciously layered palate: dry malt, juicy fruit, and savory wood spice, sweet malt and chocolate, and a finish that’s sweet, light, and quite refreshing and inviting. Lives up to the Charbay hype! (3/2014)

91 PTS - Wine Enthusiast Magazine
"...a sophisticated flavored whiskey." Cigar Aficionado Magazine

"Fruity and herbal aromas; Palate: Hard candy, lemons and honey burst onto the palate and are followed by the advertised hoppy flavor. A definite taste of the stout comes through. Develops an orange-peel note." - Jack Bettridge

Pilsner Whiskey
Release, III

"What if?" 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 3.5 weeks of distilling 24/7 in the family's classic 1000-gallon Alambic Charentais Pot Still. It took 20,000 gallons of great Pilsner to create just 1000 gallons (24 barrels) of Whiskey.

The result? Aromas of caramel and vanilla lead to maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, leather & tobacco. This whiskey is lush, with a full mouthfeel and lingering finish.

Notes: Aged 6 years in new American White Oak + 8 years in stainless. It’s the last of the Pilsner Whiskey. 228 case release.

Alcohol 66% | 132.4 Proof | 750ml


Charbay Whiskey was made from European Two-Row Barley, grown and malted in British Columbia, which has much more concentrated flavors than the more mainstream 6-row barley. Made into beer by professional brewers. Choice hops were added just before distillation to create the floral and spice notes that Marko envisioned in his mind. No peat was used during malting; our brewers, as well as Marko and Miles, the distillers, prefer to focus on the pure grain and hops flavors.

It took an amazing 3.5 weeks of distilling 24/7 in the family's classic 1000-gallon Alambic Charentais Pot Still to distill 20,000 gallons of great Pilsner into just 1,000 gallons (24 barrels) of Whiskey.

Aged 6 years in new American White Oak barrels (charred #3 'Gator skin') and an additional 8 years in neutral vessels to continue evolving without additional oak extraction.


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

"Out of the hundreds of spirits reviewed for this year’s Spirit Buying Guides, this list represents 50 of the best picks."
"Spirited Away: Singular Libations"

ROBB REPORT: Holiday Host's Guide (December 2014)

"...a knockout the likes of which you aren’t going to encounter anywhere else." - C. Null/DrinkHacker.com

94 PTS "Maverick Whiskey" - Distiller.com