Frequently Asked Questions
We named it Spiritless because we are the first distilled, non-alcoholic American bourbon product, made from grain neutral spirit with the alcohol removed (all but 0.5%), creating a "spirit" but with "less" of it, because for us, Less is Yes! We were adamant on having a naming system that we could continue to carry over as we launch additional spirits. A sense of place and numerology felt like a great way to communicate what customers would experience in the bottle. Obviously “Kentucky” because we started at the start, with a bourbon like spirit. And, 74, because when we incorporated we would have been registered as the 74th distillery in the state.
Kentucky 74 is distilled in an innovative process, starting with a full-proof neutral grain spirit, which is distilled into a high-quality spirit with all of the flavor of a bourbon, then distilled a second time to remove all of the alcohol. Through our unique process, a small amount of the essence is added back in to give Kentucky 74 its authentic bourbon-like feel, with all-natural ingredients and 0.5% alcohol (the same ABV as kombucha).
We're three young moms (between the founders, we have eight kids under eight!), driven entrepreneurs, and passionate bourbon drinkers -- and let's face it, we enjoy an evening cocktail to wind down from the day. We craved a product that would allow us to have our nightly drink, but still feel clear-headed and ready to tackle motherhood, business, and whatever life throws at us the next day. Spiritless Kentucky 74 allows us the flexibility to go fully spirit-free, or to lower the ABV by enjoying our favorite cocktails with half Spiritless and half full-proof bourbon.
You'll miss a little bit of the burn, because frankly that's what alcohol does. But as bourbon drinkers ourselves, we knew a little bit of heat was necessary, so you'll find that in Kentucky 74.
Spiritless can be enjoyed as you would any full-proof bourbon, but we think it's best in a classic cocktail like an Old Fashioned or a low-ABV beverage.
Pair Spiritless with your favorite full-proof spirits in your cocktail of choice, we call these cocktails Halfsies. Or, go completely Spiritless and enjoy without the alcohol.
Kentucky 74 Is crafted in two distinct processes. The first, begins with select oak in a variety of chars and high proof neutral spirit. We use a still to perform an extraction that emulates the evolution that oak barrels in a rickhouse. Finely tuned temperature variation and vapor capture results in a high proof, intensely flavoured spirit. The second step is to run our newly fangled high proof concentrate containing robust notes of oak and smoke through our reverse distillation process. Reverse distillation is exactly as it sounds we remove the ethanol and retain all the oils and tannins giving us Kentucky 74 our non-alcoholic spirit.
Kentucky 74 is crafted in a distillery using a variety of traditional distillation methods in combination with innovative extraction techniques that in concert create out robust flavour with notes of Caramel, Vanilla, Oak, and Spice.
We have exemplified the core flavor building blocks of bourbon - oak, smoke, vanilla, caramel. In addition to that, there is a little pepper that adds a bit of heat to mimic the bourbon hug we all know and love.
Who said non-alcoholic bourbon has to follow the rules? We’re kind of an oxymoron to begin with. You won’t see 51% corn on our ingredient list, but you’ll still taste the flavors you know and love from your favorite bourbon whiskey.
We are based in Louisville, and that is where our humble office and the place our three founders call home.
We are distilled in Louisville today, but as we scale, who knows. We have broken many bourbon oriented traditions thus far, it wouldn't surprise me if geography was next.
As for our process, I like to break it down into two parts. Part 1, We run what is called an extraction on our first run through the still. We begin with a grain neutral spirit and select chars of oak. This extraction accelerates the relationship that the spirit has with the oak. As you know, traditional spirit aging relies on the barrel breathing with the weather in the rickhouse, pulling the spirit in and out of the wood. We force that process to happen at an accelerated rate via our highly calibrated temperature and pressure control. This yields a high proof, intensely flavored spirit.
Step 2, is our reverse distillation: we add our freshly completed extraction into our still and carefully separate the flavors from the ethanol.. At the end of our reverse distillation, we are left with a complex No-alc concentrate that maintains all the oils and tannins we know and love in a full proof Bourbon Whiskey.
As bourbon drinkers, we knew a little bit of heat and intensity was important, while you won't find a punch in the mouth, you will find a gentle warming sensation in Kentucky 74.
Something that sets us apart is our formula and our process. Mouthfeel was and is so important to us because it hadn't been solved for in the non-alc space yet.
We achieve this by capturing some of our high proof “heads” and “tales” during distillation for reintegration at a later stage. It is this micro ingredient that gives us that differentiation on the palette.
This is why our Spirit is NOT 0.0 ABV we didn't start from water. It is still considered non-alcoholic because it rings in at 0.5% ABV for reference that is the same ABV as a ripe banana. To help get your bearings Soy Sauce is about 2.0% ABV, Kombucha is typically between 0.5% and 1.0% ABV and there are some rolls in the bread aisle of your grocery store that hit the shelves at about 1.3% ABV.
Like any other spirit, Spiritless can live on your bar cart or in your liquor cabinet -- no need to refrigerate! -- Spiritless is good for 12 months, opened, on the shelf!
We have remained adamant that we wanted to use only natural flavoring to provide a few finishing notes when you nose the glass, and the tiniest bit of all natural cane sugar to balance the astringency that is carried over from our oak in the form of tannins.
We must have Spiritless live on a bar back after opening, just like any other spirit. Of course in the absence of ethanol or refrigeration you have to solve for food safety in a different way. We use Citric Acid to achieve the optimal PH and Potassium Sorbate to preserve our spirit for 12 months on your bar. Potassium sorbate was a no brainer because it is something already on the bar. Wine producers use it too, to prevent renewed fermentation and spoilage in wine.
Final ingredients are: oak Extract, Water, Natural Flavors, Glycerine, Sugar, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Prior to founding Spriritless, the team had spent years working with some of the largest spirits conglomerates in the world on their marketing efforts to connect with both the trade and consumers. A consistent theme that kept arising while working with their customers was a need for non-alcoholic options that were more interesting than soda water and lime. All the while, the founder's who are busy, career-oriented parents were also feeling the strain of weekday drinks at work dinners, added calories, and sluggish mornings after a few glasses. The ah-ha moment quickly became crystal clear, the market was demanding more non-alcoholic options and so were we... Spiritless was born.
We understand that for some, choosing non-alcoholic spirits may not be a part of their lifestyle. Spiritless was designed for drinkers and non-drinkers alike who want to consume a delicious cocktail that looks, smells, and tastes like the real thing -- minus the alcohol. Since Spiritless has 0.5% ABV (the same as kombucha), some consumers who are actively practicing sobriety may feel that it isn't right for them, but for those making the lifestyle choice to cut back or lower their alcohol consumption, we think Spiritless is an ideal option!
While we are non-alcoholic by FDA standards, we do have a small trace of alcohol at less than 0.5%. You should consult your physician before making the decision to consume Spiritless.
Oak extract, water, natural flavors, glycerine, sugar, citric acid, Xanthan gum, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbet
On average, Spiritless contains just 10% of the calories found in full-proof bourbon. We are 15 Calories per serving, with 4 carbs and 1g of sugar. Additionally, we are vegan, Non-GMO, and in the process of being certified gluten free.
Yes, we are vegan! Our glycerin is derived from plant products, not animal.
Allergen free - milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans
We’re going through the process to become certified gluten free. While we think we will be certified (we do not use any ingedients that have gluten), we cannot make absolute promises at this time.
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The future is exciting for sure! We are in development right now on our next two spirits that we will introduce early 2021. We are really staying laser focused on solving for the major building blocks of a cocktail bar. So Gin, Tequila, Rum, Cognac/Brandy you name it we want to provide cocktail freedom no matter what your drink of choice may be. Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a beat!