Vodka Flavored - Charbay Blood Orange
Charbay Blood Orange Vodka
Domaine Charbay, Ukiah, California
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not Applicable
TYPE: Flavored, American, Grain
INGREDIENTS: Corn, Wheat, Blood Oranges
PRICE: $28.99 - 750 ML
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, Key Lime, Meyer Lemon, Pomegranate, Red Raspberry and Unflavored) 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.
Made with a blend of four different teas to achieve the complex flavor/bouquet profile. As they say in their literature it seems blended more like a perfume than a vodka (by that I mean a skillful balancing of ingredients- not an analogy to what is going on in Russia at the moment with the vodka shortages).
Appearance: Light honey/orange color, crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever (All important points - especially in a flavored vodka). On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with long thin legs. Wonderful bright appearance, lovely natural color.
First Impression: Alcohol and grain, plump smell of grain, heavy redolent smell of blood orange - like you are peeling a fresh one. No trace of off notes or the smell of rubbing alcohol that many vodkas suffer from. A carefully done distillation.
Taste: Plump grain body, Orange oil, and herbal, alkali, warm finish. Blood orange peel seems to yield some bitter notes to the orange oil taste. Slightly oily and wonderfully thick body.
Drinks: Their recipes show off this vodka to good effect. It is not overly sweet or cloying so it gives you a good orange flavor without all the sweetness many other orange spirits contain,making it a versatile mixer.
NOTE: Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Final Thoughts: One of the few orange flavored vodkas that actually use a maceration of blood oranges (or any oranges) in its production.Very faithful reproduction/rendition of the flavors. On the down side because of this some may find the bitterness from the pith (the white stuff beneath the skin-especially thick with a blood orange) a bit off-putting.
Great graphics,music, and a horde of information -also more products than many other small distillers.