Aimee O'Keefe
8 Best Non-Alcoholic Whiskies | Man of Many
When it comes to Man of Many’s list of the best non-alcoholic whisky worth buying, it goes without saying, that expertise is key. While we’ve tasted every whisky on this list, we’ve also turned to the wider public for their overall ratings. Our list takes into account three major factors to determine the overall rating. In addition to our own opinions, we take into account reviews via alcohol retailer Dan Murphys and the Australian non-alcoholic drinks retailers Sans Drinks and Craft Zero. We then collate the information together and measure the whiskies via overall flavour profile, reader ratings and commercial availability, meaning one-off special editions aren’t likely to make the list.
How Man of Many Chose this List of Non-Alcoholic Whisky
Ready to wrap your lips around a dram of the not-so-hard stuff? We’ve got a long list of beverages sans the spirit for you to enjoy. Here is a list of the best non-alcoholic whiskies you can buy.
Best Non-Alcoholic Whisky
We’ve been big fans of The Gospel since we first wrapped our gob around their original Gospel Rye, and being Australia’s only dedicated rye whiskey distillery, it was only a matter of time before they hopped into the fast-growing non-alcoholic category with the release of Australia’s first rye whiskey alternative – Responsible Rye.
1. The Gospel Responsible Rye
Expertly capturing the essence of a blended malt whisky with an unusual twist, Lyre’s Highland Malt is one of the best non-alcoholic whiskiess out there. It offers a unique and contemporary take on a traditional malt whisky, with flavours like oak tannin and nutty grain characters with a subtle smoke finish that contributes to a lift in the palate and balances the length which is firm and full. The end result is something completely new that we believe you just have to try.
2. Lyre’s Highland Malt
Marching to the beat of their own drum, Drummerboy is made in Australia and is home to some of the best non-alcoholic spirit alternatives on the market. The brands ‘American Dark’ is a great alternative to Bourbon and we love its rich nose full of caramel, vanilla, toffee and caramelised fig. One of our favourites for mixing with coke or blending in a cocktail this whiskey alternative is a must-try for those who want the flavour without the headache. In making ‘American Dark’ Drummerboy uses a combo of essence and extracts and distils it all down into the flavoured liquid.
3. Drummerboy American Dark
Monday Whiskey’s zero alcohol whiskey is something we just can’t get enough of when jumping into the realm of zero drinks. If you’re on the lookout for a premixed cocktail, they also have their dram and dry which is a beautiful blend of smokey malt flavours with a mellow dry ginger zing. If you prefer something with more of a fruity touch, their dram sour is also a favourite, blending a smokey malt taste with native Kakadu plum for a refined twist. These guys sure know how to make a quality-tasting beverage, and not to mention, they’re also sugar-free. Ultimately, the straight whisky is our favourite for its butterscotch, raisin, and toasted brown sugar nose alone.
4. Monday Whiskey
For a beautifully distilled non-alcoholic spirit, we can’t go past Kentucky 74. They use a  proprietary reverse distillation process, resulting in a smooth finish with notes of caramel, vanilla and oak. We reckon these flavours are so good that this one is good enough to be enjoyed solo. They’ve been raking up the awards too, with Kentucky 74 being named Best Non-Alcoholic Spirit and won a gold medal in the second annual L.A. Spirits Awards.
5. Spiritless Kentucky 74
The legends at Ritual Zero sure know what they’re doing when it comes to crafting a tasty non-alcoholic blend, with tequila, gin and rums also on their repertoire. It’s no surprise then that their whiskey is one of the best non-alcoholic whiskeys out there, with notes of oak, smoke, and caramel giving all those comforting warm feels you get from whiskey, without the alcohol or calories. We love mixing this one 1:1 in all the traditional whiskey cocktails, especially an Old Fashioned.
6. Ritual Zero Proof Whiskey
Gnista is a Swedish powerhouse in the world of non-alcoholic spirits, wines and cocktails. They like to keep things simple, and the same goes for their Barreled Oak non-alcoholic whiskey alternative. We love the flavour that offers a dry and smokey palate, with hints of warm spices, and chocolate rye on the nose. Like most spirits on this list, the character of the oak barrel is there, and the bottle also looks so good it could double as an ornament, once you’ve emptied the bottle.
7. Gnista Barreled Oak
This one is a little more on the pricer end of things, but it’s worth it after tasting its deliciousness. The Spirit of Bourbon is a rich, oaky, caramel-kissed non-alcoholic alternative to a great Kentucky Bourbon, with a velvety-smooth, toasted almond and brown sugar palate. If this isn’t enough to get you drooling, we love the fact it’s made with all-natural flavours, so you’ll never have to worry about drinking too much.
8. Free Spirits The Spirit of Bourbon
Not quite whisky, far from cordial, the non-alcoholic dram is an interesting premise. If you want to know a little more about how the alcohol-free option is made and what sets it apart, we’ve got you covered.
What is Non-Alcoholic Whiskey?
Most non-alcoholic whiskeys are made from three core components; water, citric acid and other flavouring components. Some may then be distilled so that the oils and compounds in the aromatic components can be expressed and captured. The liquid is then pumped into oak barrels to age for an often undisclosed period of time, just like many conventional whiskeys. Once it has matured, the liquid is ready to be consumed!
How is it Made?
In actual fact, you can’t. When you consider most of the whiskies on this list are made in the United States, they’re bound by American Whiskey law and can’t be called ‘whiskey’ by name. Instead, most brands choose to use the term ‘whisky alternative’ or ‘spirit’. While the laws for whiskey production can change from country to country, the rules below apply to America, where most of the spirits above are produced.
Wait, How Can You Call it Whiskey Legally?
Due to the zero alcohol, it may come as no surprise that non-alcoholic whisky is much better for you than alcoholic whisky. You get to enjoy the same tastes without the depressant properties that mess with your sleep, among others, as well as the social implications alcohol may induce on your mental wellbeing, not to mention the added calories (source: National Library of Medicine). However, some non-alcoholic whiskies still contain flavouring and sugars that are always best consumed in moderation.
Is Non-Alcoholic Whisky Good for You?
The taste of non-alcoholic whisky really depends on the brand and the type of whisky. Some may taste early similar to the whisky you’re used to, while others may not taste like alcohol (this is probably the majority.) Whilst it’s hard to mimic the ethanol flavour of booze, non-alcoholic whisky gains its similarities in taste from the spirit’s quintessential colour, flavour notes, and aroma instead.
How Does it Taste?
Ready to ditch the booze, but not sure if whisky is your best bet? The good news is that there are a host of great alternatives to non-alcoholic whisky, so you can still get out and be social without delving into the strong stuff.
Alternatives to Alcohol-Free Whisky
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