Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Next Century Spirits. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Bear Fight American Single Malt Whiskey is inspired by traditional Scotch flavors and methods, but at its core, is as American as it gets. It’s a little sweet, not too peaty, and packs a punch from nose to finish. The whiskey is produced by North Carolina-based Next Century Sprits, a company that specializes in creating and branding libations. Though not exactly your typical distillery, Bear Fight’s easy drinkability and complex flavor proves that their process works.
Bear Fight has a lot of characteristics of a traditional Scotch whiskey. It uses a 100% malted barley mash bill and is distilled in copper pot stills. It then ages in bourbon casks and is finished in peat-smoked oak and sherry casks. The whiskey is aged for a minimum of three years. Next Century Spirits prides itself on its secret “advanced filtering and finishing” technology, which ensures a smooth yet complex finish.
This award-winning whiskey only recently hit the shelves, but has already racked up awards, including a double gold medal at the 2021 New York International Spirits Competition. Bear Fight is branded as a “bold yet approachable” single malt, with notes of “pecan, honeysuckle, ripe red apple, dried figs, black currants, sweet sherry, and peat smoke.”
Tasting Notes: Bear Fight American Single Malt Whiskey
Vital Stats: Aged a minimum of three years in bourbon casks, finished in peat-smoked oak and sherry casks. 45% ABV. Malted barley mash bill. SRP $54.00/750ml bottle.
Appearance: Amber and caramel with yellow-green undertones
Nose: The nose opens with toasted pecan, as promised. Fruity and floral flavors of honeysuckle, neroli, and red apple follow. Touches of cookie dough (sugary and buttery) follow. Altogether a sweet and easy opening. You can taste the effects of the bourbon casks.
Palate: The palate hits strong after the easy opening, with an oversized punch of peat. It’s tempered by notes of fig, currant, blackberry, and honey. It’s full-bodied and smooth. There are hints of sherry and milk chocolate at the finish.
Bear Fight American Single Malt is sweet, full-bodied, and easy to drink. I found the peat finish overbearing when compared to the more delicate flavors of the nose, but it is still overall a good choice for mixing or sipping.
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Olivia is a word and whiskey lover living in the Pacific Northwest. She works as a writer by day, and incidentally enjoys it so much that she's always looking for great publications to contribute to after 5. Which, of course, is also the best time for a drink.