These days, a lot of people are asking, what is a non-alcoholic whiskey? The answer isn't as easy as you might think. A non-alcoholic spirit is a distilled water-based beverage intended to have enough aromatic and flavor intensity to allow for it to be used in lieu of a base spirit (e.g. tequila, gin, whiskey) in a cocktail.
A non-alcoholic whiskey needs to have three important characteristics in order to provide a fulfilling experience:
The first thing you notice about a non-alcoholic whiskey is the aroma or smell. Whiskey can have a range of aromas from oak and smoke to fruity and floral. Mashville non-alcoholic whiskey has a clove and malt smell, foreshadowing the flavor.
The most obvious characteristic of a Whiskey is its flavor. Within flavor you have the foretaste and the aftertaste. The foretaste or the first sense you get when you take a sip of Mashville has notes of clove and sweet corn. The aftertaste, or the taste that lingers after you swallow Mashville, has strong notes of sarsaparilla, tobacco and malt.
The most overlooked and underrated attribute of non-alcoholic whiskey is the feel. The feel includes the viscosity or consistency in your mouth, as well as the warmth and burn. Because the burn generally comes from alcohol, it is unusual to find a non-alcoholic whiskey with the warmth of Mashville.
All three of these characteristics must work in concert to complete the experience. If one is lacking or if they do not align, the flavor doesn't match the aroma, for example, and the non-alcoholic whiskey experience falls flat.
The non-alcoholic whiskies that are on the market, including Mashville, are generally created to be mixers. They can effectively be substituted for whiskey in your favorite whiskey-based cocktail and provide a satisfying buzz-free experience. Unlike non-alcoholic beer, which exactly replicates the experience of drinking beer just without the buzz — same color, same fizz, similar taste, etc. — non-alcoholic spirits are not meant to be consumed neat.