Appetite: WhiskyFest 2010 highlights, part one - Page 3

Meet Your Maker... hanging out with whisk(e)y master distillers

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10/6 CHARBAY SPIRITED DINNERWith a magnificent sunset from atop the Marriott's View Lounge as our backdrop, Marko and Jenni Karakasevic of Charbay hold an intimate spirited dinner annually. With plenty of time to hang out with the Karakasevics and meet fervent food and drink lovers at the two tables, the highlight was, of course, drinking Charbay's incomparable spirits. Starting off with refreshing Green Tea Aperitif paired with Kumamoto oysters on the half shell, we then moved to one of the stand-out white whiskeys in existence: Doubled & Twisted Light Whiskey.

We moved on to what qualifies as one of the best things I ever tasted in my life (now, and every time I taste it): Release II of Charbay Whiskey. This was the best food match of the night, paired with slow-smoked Berkshire Farms Pork Belly and a mini-tamale in Lagunitas chili mole. Surprise whiskey barrel tastings followed: the Release II, but aged 12 years instead of the 6 years of the current release. At a higher proof, it's superb, complex, rich.

A Meyer Lemon Vodka  ice intermezzo was a refreshing palate cleanser over basil ice, imbuing tart lemon with almost absinthe-like notes. Dessert was paired with their Black Walnut liqueur. As with most Charbay spirits, it's a stunning standard-setter in its genre.

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