Malt | Peat smoke | Hay | Green apple | Honey | Baking spice | Decidedly scotchy with a mild punch
Fig | Black currants | Mixed nuts | Honey | Grass
Dry oak | Peat smoke | Leather | Ramp up of heat | Medium length with lingering smoke
An American single malt that treads familiar Scotch grounds, yet still has something to say in its own right.
This Raleigh, North Carolina distillery calls themselves a “full-service” operation as they “specialize in the creation and processing of distilled spirits for private label, private brands, bulk, and craft markets.” Their website features plenty of marketing buzz words and it's clear they are aggressively marketing towards contract distilling and their own brands take a noticeable backseat to their overall mission.
One of their in-house brands is Bear Fight American Single Malt Whiskey. It’s a 100% malted barley whiskey that has been aged in used first-fill bourbon barrels before finishing in used sherry and smoked peat casks. The result is noticeably a Scotch-style single malt. Even from the nose, the peat smoke is front and center. The palate in turn features its sherry influence and is quite dark in its flavors. Deep fig and black currants dominate with only a slight reprieve in the form of honey and a grassy note. The finish is back to more traditional Scotch notes with heavy dry oak, peat smoke, and leather.
Bear Fight American Single Malt Whiskey isn’t what I expected, as I thought it would be more in the vein of modern American single malts. Its “Bear Fight” name serves it well, and even though it isn’t overly punchy, there’s a degree of potency to it. Its peat smoke is dominating but refrains from going overboard. I would have liked a touch more age on it to provide a heavier backbone throughout, however, it makes it a good gateway whiskey for those curious about peat smoke but have a fear of tasting it in their mouths for the rest of the day.