Spiritless, a non-alcoholic bourbon hailing from bourbon country

2 Jul 2020

Much as the name indicates, a new, alcohol-free bourbon has appeared on the U.S. market. Called Spiritless Kentucky 74, this libation hails from the heart of bourbon country and became available at the end of June.

The company touts its appeal to the “conscientious cocktailer” and is distilled in a similar manner to traditional bourbon except that it does not contain corn. It does, however, have notes of whiskey-warmed caramel, vanilla and oak. The barrel-aged, alcohol-less spirit has no more than 0.5% ABV, which is the equivalent to what is in a bottle of kombucha.

Spiritless, a non-alcoholic bourbon hailing from bourbon country
Photo Courtesy of Spiritless

People are drinking less alcohol for a variety of reasons and a movement toward low- or non-alcoholic spirits has taken hold. According to IWSR data cited by Bon Appetit, sales in this category are anticipated to grow 32% between 2018 and 2022.

This sobering future has grabbed the attention of major alcohol companies the world over. At the same time that sales of alcohol-free options are growing, beer volumes are declining dramatically and so many Big Beer companies are looking for milder options to cater to consumers. Diageo, which owns Guinness, has its Open Gate Pure Brew and Heineken has its 0.0% MAXX. The Dutch brewing company has gone even further and embraced the Dry January trend last year when it released its January Dry Pack. AB InBev has also jumped on the bandwagon and has committed to increasing its non- and low-alcohol portfolio by 20% by 2025.

In fact, this changing landscape has garnered such a following that beverage companies that are not traditionally competing in the bar are taking a shot. Coca-Cola debuted its non-alcoholic cocktail alternative, Bar None just in time for Dry January last year.

There are, of course, a whole menu of non-alcoholic spirits available as well. The UK’s Seedlip is often credited with jumpstarting the movement when it became available in 2015. Since then, brands like Som, Alko, Mr. Fitzpatrick and Mocktails Brands have appeared and offer variety to adults looking to mindfully indulge and avoid inebriation.

The move toward less alcohol consumption appears to be a trend that is gaining momentum. Therefore, it is likely that more varieties of bourbon will appear on the market to compete with this new brand that comes straight from the heartland of American bourbon whiskey.

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