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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Charbay Winery & Distillery (CA)

Charbay Whiskey

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2008, Charbay Winery & Distillery remains a small family business - owned and operated by Miles, Susan, Lara, Marko & Jenni (soon-to-be-a) Karakasevic.

 

The family is one of the early pioneers in the modern American artisan distillery movement.

 

Their commitment to exceptional quality ingredients & slow wine-making and distilling is recognized by the world's foremost authorities and home enthusiasts alike.

 

Based in Napa Valley, the family lives and works amidst peaceful pine trees on Spring Mountain in St. Helena - affectionately known as "The Still on the Hill."

 

Creativity and passion are grounded with a powerful professional background.

 

Miles Karakasevic is a European winemaker and Master Distiller. Born in old Yugoslavia, he apprenticed in the tradition followed by the Karakasevic family since the 1750's.

 

Following in their footsteps, learning the secrets of his forefathers, he eventually became certified as a Master Distiller, a title earned by equalling or bettering the work of another Master. Along the way, Miles studied Enology and Viticulture at the University of Belgrade.

 

Emigrating to the New World in 1962, Miles first stopped in Canada and Michigan before eventually settling in California in 1970.

 

In 1972, he and Susan purchased the seventeen-acre property on Spring Mountain that now is home for the family as well as Domaine Charbay.

 

In the following years, Miles was employed by a number of wineries, including Beringer Vineyards, where he was assistant winemaker. Longing to distil, he convinced a client to import an Alambic Pot Still from Cognac.

 

Miles started two of the three distilleries in Mendocino County.

 

In 1983, he and Susan began making their own wines and brandy under the name Domaine Karakash. Being comfortable with all aspects of fermenting and making many wines, even champagne, now he was excited to begin a brandy program. Miles has been distilling with his family ever since.

 

Charbay Whiskey

 

Whiskey is distilled from what  is basically a fermenting beer

 

Normally referred to as "low wash" or "distiller's beer," it's not something you'd reach for on a hot, sunny day.

 

In 1999, Charbay  distillers, Miles & Marko, said, "What if?"

 

They decided to distil 20,000 gallons of great Pilsner to create Charbay Whiskey.

 

It took them 3.5 weeks of 24/7 distilling, taking shifts to check on the Pot Still every 3-4 hours.

 

In 2002, they released the first 2 barrels. Just 3 years old, it was dangerously smooth at cask strength (124.9 proof).

 

Six years later, they are  pleased to announce that Release II is ready!! Miles & Marko selected 5 barrels - 124 cases.

 

"There is no other whiskey out that you can really taste the beer that it's made from," says Marko.

 

"The spice from the hops and the barley flavours are very well balanced with just the right amount of oak."

 

Miles started two of the three distilleries in Mendocino County.

 

In 1983, he and Susan began making their own wines and brandy under the name Domaine Karakash. Being comfortable with all aspects of fermenting and making many wines, even champagne, now he was excited to begin a brandy program. Miles has been distilling with his family ever since.

 

Charbay Whiskey

Whiskey is distilled from what  is basically a fermenting beer

 

Normally referred to as "low wash" or "distiller's beer," it's not something you'd reach for on a hot, sunny day.

 

In 1999, Charbay  distillers, Miles & Marko, said, "What if?"

 

They decided to distil 20,000 gallons of great Pilsner to create Charbay Whiskey.

 

It took them 3.5 weeks of 24/7 distilling, taking shifts to check on the Pot Still every 3-4 hours.

 

In 2002, they released the first 2 barrels. Just 3 years old, it was dangerously smooth at cask strength (124.9 proof).

 

Six years later, they are  pleased to announce that Release II is ready!! Miles & Marko selected 5 barrels - 124 cases.

 

"There is no other whiskey out that you can really taste the beer that it's made from," says Marko.

 

"The spice from the hops and the barley flavours are very well balanced with just the right amount of oak."

Charbay Winery & Distillery

Visit the 'Still on the Hill'

4001 Spring Mountain Road

St. Helena, Napa Valley, California

 

TUESDAY THRU SATURDAY

10AM TO 4PM

Call: 707-963-9327

 

Please Check Before Travelling

Charbay Whiskey Brands

 

Whiskey II

Whiskey III

 

Whiskey Doubled & Twisted

 

Whiskey R5 aged

Lots1,2,3

 

Whiskey R5 Clear