When Kate found a bottle of Charbay S Whiskey for only $60, she just couldn’t pass it up, and my decision to marry her all those years ago was yet again justified. We’ve got a bottle of the Charbay R5 (distilled from Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA) which is one of my favorite bottles to break out when we are hosting a tasting because of how it ties my love of beer and whiskey together, and it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever had.
Charbay S is distilled from Bear Republic’s Big Bear Black Stout which is, per Bear Republic “a big, black, stout you can really sink your teeth into. The bold, roasty, caramel malt flavor is balanced by Centennial and Cascade hops.” Charbay’s site claims a 10:1 ratio of beer to whiskey, stating that it took around 6,000 gallons of the beer to produce just less than 600 gallons of whiskey. That’s nuts.
So, given that we just got this bottle, and that I saw a thing on Instagram the other day about a little cocktail contest being hosted by our friend Fletcher Whiskey Dog and Beehive Bitters, it seemed like a good time to do some experimenting.
Obviously I love both beer and whiskey, and among some of my favorite beers are big, imperial stouts, many with fun adjuncts like coffee, chocolate, and fruit. So, I used this as inspiration and wanted to create a cocktail that was basically a super amped up form of an imperial stout. My mission was to attempt to enhance the flavors from those beers that I love, and pull them out of the Charbay S as much as I could while imitating some adjuncts using bitters and garnashes. Using that Charbay S as my base, I threw in some Beehive Cacao and Coffee bitters, emulating a coffee and/or chocolate stout, some Beehive Spiced Orange Bitters to add complexity and spice, then a bit of brown sugar simple syrup to bring out some of that caramel sweetness normally present in imperial stouts. A splash of tonic will add a hint of carbonation, garnishing with an orange peel will bring out some of those citrusy hop notes in the whiskey, and a luxardo cherry because…well…I like to put luxardo cherries in freaking everything (or we could say it references a cherry adjunct).
Well I have to say, it turned out pretty delicious! I had to make a couple to dial in a few things, which is probably why this post is so long…oops. Anyways here’s the recipe!
The Barrels and Mash Imperial Stout:
2oz – Charbay S Whiskey
2 dashes – Beehive Coffee and Cacao Bitters
1 dash – Beehive Spiced Orange Bitters
1 teaspoon – brown sugar simple syrup
1 orange peel
1 luxardo cherry
1 splash – tonic or soda water
Mix the Charbay S, bitters, and simple syrup. Add a small amount of ice and stir briefly, just enough to slightly chill the drink (much like a stout, you don’t want to drink this very cold, just barely chilled). Strain into your favorite beer glass (I used my sweet Oak & Ore Teku) and throw in a splash of tonic or soda water. Garnish with the cherry and orange peel and sip slowly, allowing to warm, just like you would with you’re favorite beer.