What Does ArKay Alcohol-Free Whisky Taste Like?

by The Drink Nation on Jan 6, 2012 in Liquor
What Does ArKay Alcohol-Free Whisky Taste Like?

Whisky without alcohol? Mmmkay... In fact, it’s called ArKay, and it’s relatively new to market. The contradictory quaff is a product of Fort Lauderdale-based Scottish Spirits, Ltd. and is apparently created in factories in Panama. Actually labeled a “whisky flavored drink,” the concoction is meant to allow those who can’t or won’t imbibe alcohol a way to experience the tastes, feelings and enjoyment – as far as that is possible – of a sip of brown spirit. The mixture of water, glycerol, flavoring, coloring and sweetners, which comes in both 12-oz. cans and 750-mL bottles, has zero sugar, zero fat, zero protein and zero calories.

Be it poured over ice or mixed in mocktails, the beverage is aimed at designated drivers, on-duty officers and those who keep halal, the symbol for which is included prominently on the brand’s label. But does it work? Does it taste even remotely like Scotch (Scottish whisky eschews the “e” in the word, unlike Irish whiskey or American whiskeys)?

According to a recent taste-test by Huffington Post, the answer is resoundingly “No.”

Our eight intrepid tasters were unanimous in that this alcohol-free whisky tastes, well, pretty awful. The smell alone was reminiscent of "shoe cleaner" and was "horribly offensive, similar to that of a litter box." The taste made one taster "want to puke." Another said, "This tastes like I'm licking a horse saddle -- I can't tell if it tastes like leather or shoe polish."

We also wondered if the drink did anything to approximate some of the fundamental aspects of whisky, such as the warming of the chest, or the pleasant burn on the throat as it goes down. On Twitter, Aaron Cohen gave a scenario of how that might work:

Has anyone tried it? Does this description fit?

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