Vodka - Charbay
Notes: Notes: This vodka is produced in "The Still on the Hill," in the Napa Area, water, distilled four times in a stainless steel still, to 192 proof to ensure a clean distillation of only the heart of the vodka then cut to 80 proof for bottling. Thirteen generations of distillers, the Karakasevic Family have a line longer than the Beams (the only other family to come close).
They sell this vodka and the other varieties (Blood Orange, Green Tea, Key Lime, Meyer Lemon, Pomegranate, Red Raspberry) in 100ml bottles so you and a few friends can try them straight or in drinks without committing the money to a 750 ml. An important point, I think, because I hate spending money on a bottle I haven't tried especially something flavored -as what can you do with it if you don't like it? At least straight types you can mix with something. Anyway great idea for the 100 ml's for sampling before you commit.
Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with long thin legs. Wonderful bright appearance.
First Impression: Alcohol and grain, plump smell of grain. No trace of off notes or the smell of rubbing alcohol that many vodkas suffer from. A carefully done distillation.
Taste: Plump grain body slide past the tongue and a wonderful warm finish. Touch of corn sweetness with the higher notes from a good wheat grain. Slightly oily and wonderfully thick body but not too heavy- this is the kind of body that cheaper vodkas strive for by doping with sugar, glycerin, or vanilla but this vodka comes by it honestly. Unlike a number of other vodkas this one is not highly filtered so you have a great body and mouthfeel that would otherwise be lost .
Drinks: Already very clean to start with, chilling it down makes it even more smooth. Great at room temperature, amazing cold. Martini was excellent (with olive or twist). All the other drinks were greatly enhanced in smoothness and body by this vodka.
NOTE: Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Final Thoughts: One of the few vodkas that are actually worth paying over $25 for. About the same money as the Avian Fashion Victim Vodka, but much better- try this one and decide for yourself.
Bottle: Frosted glass with the Charbay sun/corona in blue. Tasteful graphics uncluttered look.
Great graphics, music, and a horde of information -also more products than many other small distillers.