Back in 2011, Charbay Master Distiller Marko Karakasevic released a whiskey called Doubled & Twisted, a white whiskey (of sorts) distilled from an IPA beer. Now the brand is back, and the new D&T has no resemblance to the 2011 creation.
Today’s Doubled & Twisted whiskey is the real deal, a blend of whiskeys — all aged — that includes 50% straight malt whiskey (3 years old), 30% stout whiskey (7 years old), and 20% pilsner whiskey (3 years old). Those latter whiskeys are probably familiar to those who’ve followed Charbay for any amount of time.
Boldly hoppy, the whiskey has much in common with those aforementioned spirits, which are distilled entirely from a single type of beer. On the nose, notes of coal fires, smoked meats, and match heads dominate, with hints of molasses and cloves behind. The palate is heavy with hops again, woody and accented by notes of cinnamon sticks and dark chocolate — but the bitter hops tend to overwhelm and muddy everything, which is particularly unusual considering that half of this is a (non-beer) single malt.
The finish is tannic and bitter, with just flecks of sweetness in it, a bold IPA of a conclusion that echoes the toasty grains and dense beers from which this whiskey was born. That’s a necessarily acquired taste — but for some reason, Doubled & Twisted just doesn’t hold together quite the same way that some of Charbay’s whiskeys born from a single beer manage to do.