I use this mainly in one of my go to evening cocktails, a non alcoholic Kentucky Mule. It's the best 'spirit' I have had for it. I think its the smokiness that makes it so good. It beats for example the Kentucky 74 handily. 2 shots of this, a tablespoon of fresh lime, 6 ice cubes and topped off with bundaberg diet ginger beer. Add a lime twist garnish and voila!
I think my expectations were off, as I had read in a few places that this was "close" to whiskey, or even as listed on this site as an alternative to bourbon. In a word, it is not, or at least certainly not for a bourbon-forward drink. I picked up a watery thinness, a nice bitterness and root flavors (the raisins and wort definitely come through as well), and the smokiness is nice. That said, this is something that must be mixed, and in a mocktail I found it couldn't really be the predominant flavor like I wanted. I did find it was good when used as follows:
1/2 oz shrub
1 oz gnista
2 oz Wilfred's
Shaken over ice, then strained and topped with 1 oz sparkling water, garnished with a twist of lemon peel.
So, it works as a layer with other bitter/acidic/sweet elements, but doesn't work to stand alone; that's my white whale in the NA world!
I’ve tried the Gnista spirits Barreled Oak and it has a complexity and mouth-feel you rarely find in alcohol free spirits. This is also what I’ve missed so since I stopped drinking. Barreled Oak is my favorite! Highly recommended!
We had a large family gathering filled with teens to young adults and it was great to have a beverage that we could all enjoy together - we served it with ginger beer. Delicious!
This was an unexpected delight. Full of complex aroma and spices that are hard to describe fully. Really great mouthfeel, perfect for sipping. I can see this with the smokey notes fitting into so many areas.