Thursday, January 22, 2015
Charbay's Amador Hop Flavored Whiskey
Charbay is probably my favorite craft distillery with their bold, hoppy whiskeys, so I'm always excited to try a new whiskey from them. Their newest hop flavored whiskey was bottled for Trinchero Family Estates (makers of Sutter Home Wine) under the label Amador Whiskey Co. (not to be confused with Amador Distillery, which was responsible for bottling the Corti Brothers Exquisite Whiskey I enjoyed last year).
According to the hang-tag, the Amador Whiskey is a blend of 60% straight malt whiskey and 40% hop flavored whiskey distilled from an IPA (the front label confusingly states "straight hop-flavored whiskey" which is a bit of an oxymoron). The two components were aged separately for over two years in French oak and then married in Chardonnay barrels for another year. They made ten barrels total.
Amador Hop-Flavored Whiskey, Batch 1, Barrel 2, Bottled June, 2014,
48% abv ($100)
The nose is bold and hoppy with fresh mint leaves. The palate comes on sweet and syrupy with wildflower honey and some vanilla notes making it almost Scotch-like at the end of the palate. Then it explodes with hops before trailing off into an intensely long finish with more hops and spice. It finally settles into the traditional, hoppy Charbay finish.
I'm a big fan of these hopped whiskeys, and I really enjoyed this one. It's similar to Charbay's R5 (which may well have been one of the components) though it's a bit more refined. It might have some more age on it, or it could be the influence of the straight malt. In any case, if you're a fan of hop flavored whiskey, this is definitely one to check out.