Gnista Spirits launches no-abv Barreled Oak

Millie Milliken

Millie Milliken

16 June 2020

The Swedish startup has followed its first no-abv spirit, Floral Wormwood, with its second expression designed to fill the no-abv whisky gap

Gnista Barreled Oak is described as 'a complex and full-bodied' no-abv spirit with a dry and smokey character, and 'tones of warm spices, chocolate, rye and oak'.

Mai Tai(ish)
by Erwan Le Bonniec, Kester Thomas (@its_all_about_the_grape)

Glass Libbey pineapple glass
Garnish Mint sprig, dehydrated lime wheel
Method Shake all ingredients together and strain over ice.

50ml Gnista Barreled Oak

50ml Pineapple purée

40ml Lime cordial

10ml Almond orgeat

Handmade in Sweden in small batches, the liquid's botanicals include loveage, oak, almonds, malt, rosemary and cinnamon, while other ingredients are rhubarb, syrups and sea salt. It will be bottled this August.

'We’ve planned for Barreled Oak since starting to develop Gnista early 2017,' said Gnista's founder and CEO Erika Ollen. 'In fact, the drinks made with this one was the most appreciated by our customer bars and their visitors during a live test last year. But given the more complicated methods included, and us wanting to nail the degree and character of the smokiness, it’s taken a bit longer to get the Barreled Oak launch ready.'

Primarily, it is to be used as a base for no/low cocktails, but Ollen also suggests serving it on the rocks after dinner; with soda (in line with the Whisky Highball trend) or as an Oak Sour. 

On the nose, Imbibe found initial notes of rosemary before moving into marzipan and rhubarb notes. On the palate, it is extremely heavy on the smoke, before moving into notes of bitter dark chocolate and a touch of heat from the cinnamon. We'd prefer this mixed in a cocktail, such as the Mai Tai(ish) (or in a Manhattan as suggested by the American Bar's Stefano Bussi) or lengthened with soda.

<0.5% abv, POA,

Related content


Angostura launches oak-aged 16yo No.1 rum

Angostura's got a nice little present for the UK on-trade: hitting our shores this December is its new limited edition Cask Collection expression, cal

News |  Spirits & Cocktails

Could no-abv spirits be the next gin?

Everybody has an opinion on which category will be the next to 'do a gin'. Here, we make the case for non-alcoholic spirits.

News |  Spirits & Cocktails

10 of the most exciting recent spirits launches in the UK

From vintage Cognacs and limited-edition whiskies, to Norfolk and wine-barrel-aged gins, we've rounded up some of our favourite launches this week.

News |  Mixers & More

No abv, no problem? Imbibe taste-tests 12 non-alcoholic spirits and aperitifs

How it workedWe called in a selection of no-abv spirits – everything from ‘alt-gins’ to ‘not rums’ to booze-free aperitifs – and sampled them two ways