Next Century Spirits (NCS) is a fairly new producer based in Raleigh, NC, which launched in 2018. The genesis and purpose of NCS has such an interestingly transparent take, it’s worth an introduction in their own words:
Established in Raleigh, NC in 2018, Next Century Spirits blends together traditional techniques and unique finishing technologies to create enhanced distilled spirits. Our patented post distillation filtering and finishing technology creates a tool for the traditional distiller to expand their repertoire of achievable flavors and aromas while improving quality, maintaining consistency, and reducing supply chain issues. This technology allows for tight control over the entire production process, resulting in the ability to create bold and unique flavor customization options for brands to choose from in order to expand product portfolios and fulfill market needs.
They currently have three brands in the market – two American whiskeys and a ready-to-drink canned cocktail (made in collaboration with Greg Norman).
Today we review Bear Fight Whiskey, which is NCS’s entry into the growing American single malt whiskey category, with its high-tech filtering/finishing process incorporated. Per the company, the whiskey is aged for three years in first fill bourbon casks then finished in “peated-smoked oak and sherry casks.”
Let’s get started.
The nose shows the soft characteristics of blended Scotch with malted sweetness akin to toffee mixed with buttered Parkerhouse rolls. The palate reveals herbal, mulled cherry-infused cider elements, with some thyme-forward spiciness, dry cinnamon sticks, and burnt bananas. The spiciness becomes the driving note in the finish, hovering between honeyed oak and dry cocoa powder. There is a lasting cola syrup note with undertones of roasted pecans that hovers and lingers on the back end — making for a bit of an edgy experience. Though not complex, the finishing adds some well-toned notes of peat and a weighted sweetness that makes for a casual yet versatile experience.
B+ / $40 / bearfightwhiskey.com