The booze masters at Charbay never seem to know when to quit. Already the home of numerous types of vodka, rum, wine, grappa, whiskey, and more, their attention has now been turned to tequila, just one more world to conquer.
We got a taste of the not-yet-released blanco tequila, 100 percent agave of course and grown and distilled in Mexico (not the company’s California home), to which we now turn our full attention.
Charbay is an extremely spicy, peppery expression of this classic spirit. That pepper — both of the black and jalapeno chile variety — is immediately obvious on the nose, and it only expands as you sip the spirit. Short of pepper-infused versions, this is the raciest tequila I think I’ve ever experienced. If you like your tequila with a good bit of bite to it, you’ll absolutely love Charbay’s work here.
The theory with Charbay’s version is to let the tequila speak for itself (hence no aging in oak), and that’s refreshing in an age of tequilas that spend so long in the barrel that they start showing more like whiskey or cognac than their true base spirit. But Charbay’s blanco is so heavy on the spice that it doesn’t leave much room for a lot of nuance. If you’re a fan of classical, in-your-face styling, you’ll really enjoy this. Those looking for tertiary floral or fruit notes may not be as appreciative.
A- / $49 / charbay.com