Charbay Distillery's American Tequila

A distiller with innovative chops


Distill Thrill

A distiller with innovative chops

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We'll be turning to Charbay the next time we're looking to purchase a special bottle.

This Northern California distillery has been producing fine booze for nearly 30 years, turning out everything from wine to black-walnut liqueur.

But a few of Charbay's most recent releases have us looking at the distillery anew.

In 2009 the team released the first American-distilled tequila ($53; click here to buy), after multiple trips down to Jalisco, Mexico, to harvest and treat mature blue agave. Helping them through their tequila-making experience was Carlos Camarena, master distiller of the rare, famed Tapatio tequila.

The relationship between the two distilling families didn't end with Charbay's tequila release. The two distilleries struck a partnership to import Tapatio ($34; click here to buy), which was previously only available in Mexico. The venerated 75-year-old distillery's tequila is finally on domestic shelves, and is an ideal addition to your private stash. More complex than a typical blanco, Tapatío is spicy with agave and notes of white pepper and roasted chiles.

Next on the Charbay family's plate: R5, a whiskey made from distilling beer–Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA, to be specific. The spirit amplifies the assets of a robust IPA through a nine-day distillation and time spent aging in French oak.

Make space on your bar.

NEXT STEP: Buy Tapatio Tequila

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