Charbay Tequila Blanco

T Updated January 07, 2020
 
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Charbay Tequila Blanco

Tequila Review

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Charbay
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Charbay Tequila Blanco

The story of Charbay Tequila... After more than 2 years of perfecting Tequila production techniques in Mexico, Miles and Marko Karakasevic, the 12th and 13th generation Charbay Master Distillers personally fermented and distilled this 100% Blue Agave Tequila from a GPS Identified Plantation, at the Tequilera Los Alambiques, located in the Los Altos Tequila region of Jalisco, Mexico.

The Blue Agave in Charbay Tequila is estate grown at the altitude of +7,120 in the superior, intensely red volcanic soils (Las Teirras Rojas de Los Altos de Jalisco) in the foothills of  St. Augustine Mountain. They are cared for by  experienced Agaveros for eight years until ready to harvest. The Agave were hand selected and harvested while Miles & Marko were on site. The pinas are then transported to the distillery and halved or quartered by hand, and then stacked in old brick ovens. The Agave is baked slowly for four days, then crushed to extract the sweet agave juice ("Mosto") for fermentation. A selected amount of freshly made "Mosto" is pumped into small wood fermenters and allowed to ferment slowly. Once the "Mosto" ferments into dry "Mosto Muerte" it is ready to be distilled. Charbay Tequila is then double distilled by Miles and Marko in small (90-250 gallon) Copper Alambiques Tequilano Pot Stills, and barely filtered to preserve the true texture and viscosity of the Blue Agave.

This is the first 100% Blue Agave Tequila hand-distilled by California distillers, and under 1000 cases were produced. Charbay combines traditional Tequila distilling methods with their European proprietary techniques of double-distilling. It's a rare story of camaraderie amongst fellow distillers. Sharing techniques and both teams learning & growing.

First Batch GPS Coordinates: +20° 37' 47.37", -102° 9' 20.25"

Photo by Tequila.net


Editor review

1 review
Overall rating
 
89
Aroma-Nose
 
87
Initial Taste
 
90
Body
 
89
Finish
 
90
Enjoyability
 
90
Price
 
90
Presentation
 
84
Charbay Blanco * Tasted March 2010 * Riedel Tequila Glass

Appearance: clean / clear - full body and thick tears
Aroma: earthy and herbal, hint of green pepper
Initial Taste: sweet grass and agave
Spirit Body: warm, agave and lemon
Finish / Aftertaste: medium length olive and citrus

A tasty vintage Tequila from Miles & Marco, kudos to Charbay on their first batch.
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User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
90
Aroma-Nose
 
91(2)
Initial Taste
 
89(2)
Body
 
92(2)
Finish
 
90(2)
Enjoyability
 
91(2)
Price
 
88(2)
Presentation
 
93(2)
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Charbay Tequila Blanco
Overall rating
 
89
Aroma-Nose
 
93
Initial Taste
 
88
Body
 
90
Finish
 
89
Enjoyability
 
88
Price
 
90
Presentation
 
90
I was anxious to try this tequila since I had made two visits to the distillery where this product was produced. In fact, by sheer chance, the day I was at the facility for my second visit - this tequila was actually going through its second distillation. At the time, much was made of the technique that the distillers were using. It was supposedly a European approach rather than a Mexican one. I must say that the taste of this blanco is unusual, but, perhaps that is not enough to make it exceptional.
Looking at the bottle, the "wine" look was certainly well achieved. Using the GPS numbers that correspond to the location of the agave fields was clever and perhaps useful. But, for anyone that understands the French term "terroir" - a bit useless. It works for wine because every year there can be a new harvest of grapes from that identical location. This is not possible with tequila unless only a portion of the agave field is taken - and even then - when each individual agave is ready - it must be harvested. Agave fields are planted systematically with all new plants being approximately the same age. The agave from a given field, therefore, are most likely to be harvested over a very short period of time - say - one year. Then, that field, or GPS location, if you will - is not going to yield another harvest for 7-10 years. In other words, the next time you bottle some tequila (as a blanco), it is almost certainly going to come from a different field. This will make it taste different - and if it does not taste different - the taste is being manipulated or "averaged out" so it will taste the same. That sort of defeats the purpose.
The aroma of Charbay blanco in a Riedel glass is strong with agave; very floral and grassy. Its initial taste is very alcoholic with strong citrus, pepper and even green olives. Body is rich, thick, viscous: and legs in a glass are thick and slow to drain. To me, it is reminiscent of a lowland blanco because it has such a "rough" profile. There is no fading in the finish.This tequila tastes the same from first to last sip - with possibly a slight reduction in alcohol burn after numerous sips. I feel that sangrita between sips would be very much appreciated.
The price is fair at around $60.00 and the bottle is average. In fact, every time I look at the bottle on the shelf surrounded by other tequilas - I keep thinking that someone slipped in a bottle of wine as a trick. Since this was a limited production tequila, it should be interesting to see what the second coming has to offer. And, of course, it will most certainly have different GPS co-ordinates.
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Overall rating
 
91
Aroma-Nose
 
88
Initial Taste
 
89
Body
 
94
Finish
 
90
Enjoyability
 
94
Price
 
85
Presentation
 
95
Charbay blanco gives up its secrets openly and happily to the patient taster. Don’t expect a blunt hit of agave and other massive flavors. This blanco is all about the complex interplay of many different agave and distillation notes. From the 70 year-old yeast to the copper pot still, this is a true connoisseur’s hand-crafted delight.
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