You’ve got questions…we’ve got answers! Please find a list of the most commonly asked questions we receive below. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Just give us a shout and we will be happy to answer any other questions you might have.
The NCS process is a patent-pending advanced-finishing & filtration technology that takes into account various chemical and physical properties associated with the maturation of spirits. It allows the user to take young or un-aged spirits, and within a matter of hours, create a much more complex, smooth, and refined product with high-quality, oak-matured flavors. This process can both remove undesirable compounds while coaxing out the desirable components, improving consistency and minimizing risk for the distiller or brand. All of the technology phases were designed to conform to natural maturation and filtration processes used in spirits production.
With the NCS technology, you can extract compounds from biomass or plant-based materials into liquids. In the case of spirits, it allows you to utilize the process to selectively extract compounds from oak or other woods. The technology can both transform white/un-aged spirits into oak-matured products, as well as provide premium finishes on traditionally barrel-aged spirits.
Our technology can create many of the compounds found in aged spirits, and our primary focus is on speed, consistency, and cost-effectiveness. Our process minimizes the required time for barrel aging, reduces the amount of wood needed, and eliminates product loss caused by the “angel’s share” during barrel maturation.
During the extraction phases of our process, we are able to maximize the retention of wood components such as vanillin, syringaldehyde, cinnamaldehyde, and whiskey lactones. These create flavors of vanilla, toasted oak, cinnamon, coconut. During the reaction phase of our process, we can help push the reaction of harsh, carboxylic acids to their more desirable esterified forms, creating fruity and aromatic notes of apple, pear, and pineapple, among others. During the filtration phase of the process, we help reduce undesirable components such as methanol, isopropanol, and sulfuric compounds, which can create off-flavors in the distillate and are considered generally unhealthy.
The process itself is a combination of these different phases, which can be run in a cyclical nature, taking into account temperature, evaporation, level of wood charring/toasting, and alcohol concentration. Unlike other spirits technologies, we do not use non-traditional inputs, such as ultrasonic energy, pressure treatment, or the addition of artificial compounds.
We can’t claim to speed up time. However, our process replicates the natural reactions that take place in a barrel and creates flavors and levels of desirable compounds often found in aged spirits from one to 20 years of age, depending on the type of base distillate used.
This technology was designed with distillers and brands in mind. For those looking for speed to market, consistency, and flexibility, the NCS process stands alone. Not only can you create finished spirits in a matter of hours, but you can do so with greater assurance that every batch will meet your quality standards. This reduction in capital investment for traditional aging can save your distillery or brand up to 50% on the initial startup costs. For established distilleries, cost savings average from 10-30%, with some scenarios yielding even higher values.
Absolutely. NCS specializes in creating custom spirits for any and all brands, labels, distilleries, and bulk producers. We are happy to set up a consultation call to discuss your specific needs and how we can work to create exactly the product you require.
The NCS technology creates the ability for the customer to modify nuanced variables in the flavor profile of their spirits. This allows for a large degree of customization and flexibility. Some of the common desirable flavors/ aromas customers ask us to enhance in their products include caramel, coconut, fruit, smoke, butterscotch, chocolate, and toasted wood. We do not claim to create “replica” products, but rather, to create custom market spirits that can out-perform target products in terms of quality and cost.
While the NCS process is able to accomplish a vast number of feats involved in spirits maturation, it is still limited by the laws of science. Better base distillate will yield more premium flavor profiles, and some natural reactions take more than a few hours to reach completion. In order to maximize the value we can bring, we advise you to speak with our technical team in order to discuss end goals and product expectations. As with any new technology, we are constantly working to improve the process.
One of the most attractive features of the NCS technology is that it is more scalable than any other spirits technology in the world. We can produce anything from 60 to 300 gallons batches at a time with our current systems, yielding a maximum capacity of over 150,000 cases per year for most rums, whiskeys, and other oak-matured products on even our small (Martian) system. Our larger system can produce almost half a million cases a year of the same products.
Because the NCS technology was built to replicate the barrel aging process, we recommend following standard spirits production procedures prior to bottling. This would include final quality control steps, proofing, and adequate filtration.
NCS’s focus lies primarily on product development and spirits production. However, if you are looking for turnkey service, including bottling and packaging, we can work with our on-site and satellite partners to fulfill these additional requirements.
NCS is involved in the private label, private brand, and bulk spirits arenas. We make a point to protect the identity of our customers, though you will likely find products produced by NCS on many liquor store shelves. One of our fastest-growing brands, Creek Water American Whiskey, which has won an ever-increasing number of medals and accolades, is available in 23 states in the US.