While picking up some shipping containers at a nearby [primarily] wine store this afternoon here in Long Beach, I was cooling my heels while someone dug around for what I needed, and I spotted a small spirits section.

On the very top shelf (I'm six feet tall, with a 35 inch sleeve, and I couldn't have reached it on tiptoes), next to a bottle of Pappy's 20 and one of Kentucky Spirit, sat a bottle of Charbay Whiskey, priced at $299. (I checked the website for Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, and they list it at the same price. I've never seen it there; it may be in the locked glass cases, which I generally avoid. A pint of Mt. Vernon rye for $100? I think not.)

Does anyone have any information on this bottling? As you can see, the website is light on facts. The man at the store, who seemed to be more knowlegdeable about wine than whiskey, desribed it as having a fruity quality like cognac. It didn't occur to me to ask whether he had actually tasted it or was relying on second-hand accounts.

Will we be lobbying Jim Butler to add a "California Whiskey" forum in a few years?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield