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, gnistaspirits.com

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