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2022 NCBS Barrel Picks

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Stellum Bourbon

Barrel# Vega D2

Barreled: 2016

Bottled: 2021

Proof: 118.4

Mash Bill: MGP High Rye - 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley.

Named: Make My Day Stellum

Nose: light floral and honey notes.

Palate: buttery maple syrup, some dried fruit jam, and the rye come through with light herbal tea notes.

Finish: mild upper palate spice that fades and the returns, hints of pepper corn.

On a late July 2021 evening, the NCBS Barrel Selection Team was able to spend the afternoon sampling some Stellum Bourbon barrel samples. These were all MGP High Rye varying in proofs from 109 to 118. 

As we continue to look for new and exciting things for our Society, it was an easy decision when the folks from Barrel Craft Spirts asked us if we want to try these samples. Of course the selection team wan not expecting the likes of a 10 or 15 year MGP; however, was presently surprised by the profiles offered. Vega D2 stood out as nice battle between the up front buttery and herbal notes against the spice at the end.  Cheers!   


Old Forester Barrel Proof

Barrel# 6169

Barreled: 26 July 2017

Wearhouse: G - 1st Floor

Proof: 123.8 (when sampled)

Mash Bill: 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% barely.

Named: Alright, Aright, Alright 

Nose: buttery, marshmallow.

Palate: viscus yet creamy, toasted caramel, marshmallow, some black pepper.

Finish: long toasted notes, sweet to start then the spicy of the pepper comes in.

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On 21 October 2021, the NCBS Barrel Selection Team went to Old Forester and had the opportunity to work with Tyler Mirt again on selecting another great Old Forester Barrel Proof Single Barrel.

This visit included three offerings, from three different warehouses. All three of the proofs were in the 124 range with traditional Old Forester notes; however, each had there own personality. The team had a tough time (wanted all three...) and had to blind them to make the selection. We hope that you enjoy it!

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Wild Turkey Charity Bottle

Barrel# 21-0995 Floor 3, Warehouse K

Barreled: 21 December 2012

Bottled: 17 November 2021

Proof: 110

Named: NCBS Charity

Nose: nice floral and malted cereal notes.

Palate: baked goods, hints of maple syrup, light notes of toffee and dried fruits.

Finish: begins with the dried fruits, walks away with a little spice at the end. 

13 June 2021, the NCBS Barrel Selection Team was able to spend the afternoon sampling some Wild Turkey Bourbon barrel samples. You might remember that this was the same pick as the MOGWAI bottle.


Unfortunately, the 2nd barrel that the team selected was a short barrel. So short, that Wild Turkey said that they could not sell it to us. We explained that we needed this barrel for our annual charity event.  It was at this point the Eddie Russell said he would pick a barrel for us and make sure that it would arrive before the event. Eddie did not disappoint us and keep his word!!! Additionally, JoAnn Street came to the Charity Event to represent Wild Turkey and this Charity Bottle.   

RR Charity


Smooth Ambler Andy

Barrel# 24554

Barreled: 12 November 2015

Bottled: January 2022

Proof: 112

Mash Bill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barely.

Named: Andy - Ambler On

Nose: fruity.

Palate: baked goods, dried fruit, hints of plum.

Finish: smooth, like a 90 proofer, yet complex. 


Smooth Ambler KUMITE

Barrel# 24460

Barreled: 12 November 2015

Bottled: January 2022

Proof: 119.2

Mash Bill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barely.


Nose: baked goods but not sweet.

Palate: stone fruit, honey, semi-sweet chocolate.

Finish: great mouth feel, packs a heavy spice punch... so in this case the barrel defiantly hits back. 

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On 5 March 2021, the NCBS Barrel Selection Team went to Smooth Ambler and had the opportunity to work with Andy Robinson again on selecting two great Smooth Ambler Old Scout Barrel Proof Single Barrels.

This visit included eight offerings. We wanted all eight barrels; however, narrowed it down to two. These two selections are so different, it is hard to believe they are the same age and same mash bill.  One is laid back, yet mischievous. While the other one is ... well, like a KUMITE match. We hope that you enjoy them!

SOAS Kumite
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Smooth Ambler Rye

Barrel# 16853

Barreled: 2016

Bottled: 2022

Proof: 111.2

Mash Bill: MGP 95% rye, 5% malted barely.

Named: NCBS Rye

Nose: dilly rye, toffee, black tea, vanilla and dark fruit.

Palate: caramel, dilly rye, complex spice (hints of mint, clove, nutmeg), caramel with a bit of vanilla cream and some dark fruit.

Finish: complex and long, has a dilly spicy the walks away slowly leaving dark choco and vanilla notes.

This barrel is such a treat. Back on 4 August 2020, when we selected the SOAS Salute to Service bottle for The Unit Scholarship Fund, we also had the opportunity to check out the current stock of Rye barrels. Although Smooth Ambler had not started their Rye Single Barrel Program back up, we found one that was AMAZING and placed an NCBS sticker on it...  just in case the program did come back.   

Over the next couple of years, each time the we stopped in at Smooth Ambler to pick a new single barrel bourbon barrel we would also check in on the Rye Barrel. Finally the Rye SiB program was back up and running and in the late spring of 2022, we pulled the trigger and bottled this gem. Cheers!