Your Worst Nightmare: Alcohol-Free Whisky

28 Comments on Your Worst Nightmare: Alcohol-Free Whisky

This just arrived from the ‘Couldn’t-Make-It-Up’ department.  I assumed it was a joke, but there is in fact a website as well, so if it is a joke it’s been pretty thoroughly done:

“We would like to offer Your company a news products, ALCOHOL-FREE WHISKY “Black Zero” & ALCOHOL-FREE VODKA “Blue Zero”, 0.0 per cent ABV. This is a completely news products which is produced using only natural materials; it is matured and bottled taking into regard the strictest quality requirements.

[Editor’s Note:  readers of a nervous disposition should look away now]

Black Zero: unforgivably, this is from their own websiteBlack Zero: unforgivably, this is from their own website

This is the first whisky in the world (and vodka also), which is produced using the latest technologies, but also in accordance with the old recipes of whisky manufacture. After 10 years of research trying to reduce the amount of alcohol to a minimum but also to maintain the taste, colour and other characteristics, we were able to produce this alcohol-free whisky & vodka.

We do think that this product will be an appropriate substitute in the cases when people want to taste a good whisky or vodka, but they do not want to or cannot do that because of their health, religion or beliefs. We want to emphasize that in such a situation, this alcohol-free whisky “Black Zero” & alcohol–free vodka “Blue Zero” will be what these people are looking for. We do hope that You are interested in our product and You would give us the opportunity to collaborate with Your company.

We would also like to offer visiting our website ( to get the detailed information concerning our goods and services.

Yours sincerely,

[Name with-held by editor to spare blushes]

Sales Department”

Now, if I was a little younger I would feel entirely justified in saying the following:  WTF?LOL!!LMFAO!!!ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!

But I’m not, so I won’t.  Seriously, though – where to start?!  Alcohol free whisky?!  Alcohol-free “Scotish” whisky?!?! Out of focus photograph of alcohol-free “Scotish” whisky on its own website?!?!?! Random strawberry background to out of focus photograph of alcohol-free “Scotish” whisky on its own website?!?!?!?! It’s all just a whole heap of wrong!!!!!!!!!

[Editor keels over in a fit of exclamation-mark-induced apoplexy]

However, everything deserves a fair go, even alcohol-free whisky.  If the makers of Black Zero do actually exist and this isn’t a perfectly-executed elaborate hoax, and if they want to send me a sample (preferably without any poison in it), I will do my even-handed duty and publish a tasting note for it.  Before I pour it down the toilet.

However, as is my custom with soft drinks, I may have to add some alcohol to it to make it palatable.

In the words of one W. Churchill:

“…the water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable we had to put a bit of whiskey in it. By diligent effort I learned to like it.”

Incidentally, perhaps the most remarkable bit of the piece is not the Black Zero alcohol-free whisky – but the Blue Zero alcohol free vodka.  Can anyone tell me the difference between alcohol-free vodka and, er, water?

It’s all a bit much for me – I’m off for something cask-strength and a bit of a lie down.  Hopefully it’s all just a big wind-up.

Posted in Whisky News


bgulien says:

Looking forward to your tasting notes Tim!!

butephoto says:

Oh, dear. What country is this from?

serg says:

It seems to be water with “Nature-identical flavor” 🙂

kallaskander says:

Hi Tim,

brace yourself, it is not the only one.

And if I remember correctly there was a press release by an Indina company some time ago I think it was from within UB Group that they managed to make alcohol free whskiy.

kallaskander says:


I even found an official press release.

scotchdrinker says:

here is another link I saw about another one.

Craig says:

Aye, we had the exact same email!!! – Sco-tish, not even Scottish, and Whiskey!!!! lol – was shocking to say the least!

@Scotsdreamer says:

Scotish Whiskey… i’m glad I am Scottish and drink Whisky!!!

Looks like an empty medicine bottle

Thad says:

Ridiculous! Why would you want to drink alcohol-free whisky?

I ask the same questions about alcohol-free beer!

Why don’t people just drink normal soft drinks?

smsmmns says:

FINALLY a whisky I can have before work and not need to chase it with Listerine. Or…

Shamick Gaworski says:

I actually would like to buy one …
Your article is very critical but you forgot that for whoever has a problem with alcohol (as far as liking the taste … or so I hope) this is or could be a GREAT alternative to life as an … alcoholic.
Of course quitting completely would be better … but, ask any smoker and they will tell you it is hard. But there are things on the market that are to help quitting smoking. Why not think of this product the same?

“theme”, was what I meant. Sorry.

Martin says:

Looks cheap.
I have to ask……………
Would be interested to know, India or China?

Mark Aaron Murnahan says:

This is as ridiculous as fat-free bacon or sex-free rock and roll. Some things just belong together, like Starskey and Hutch, Simon and Garfunkle, whiskey and saying stupid stuff you’ll regret one day. I suppose people will drink this while enjoying an unlit cigar? I thought decaffeinated coffee was silly, but this is off the hook!

Shamick says:

To mark AM and others.
You are missing one important point about it.
For whoever has a problem with alcohol to some degree, I mean in reference to some stage of alcoholism, this can be a great product, great medicine.


Shamick says:

Most maybe not, maybe you right MAM
I am starting to wonder about myself. Is every day 3 4 glasses alcoholism?
I love the taste of whisky, beer does not do the same for me. I am not drinking to get drank, but obviously after 3 or 4 (or 6 sometimes) glasses, one gets tipsy.

The problem is as I see it, that there is a thin line between healthy hobby and ‘normality’ and … being an alcoholic.

Champagnes says:

“Now, if I was a little younger I would feel entirely justified in saying the following: WTF?LOL!!LMFAO!!!ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!”

Lol – I think I will say it for you…. WTF!

These zero percent drinks seem to be a gimmick, they have tried it with wine, the tried it with beer and now whisky.

Tell me, what is pop music without Michael Jackson? In the same way, what is whisky wothout the alcohol? Evian Water?

Mike says:

This is pretty ridiculous. My dad is a big whiskey/bourbon drinker and he is going to rollover laughing when I send this to him. I wonder what the congener levels are? I imagine it goes through some sort of filtering process but since congeners contribute to hangovers I wonder if this stuff can still make you sick if you drink enough?

[…] Alcohol-free whisky!? Shudder the thought . . . […]

Freda Pikett says:

I sent for some Blue Zero Vodka and some of the Black Zero Whiskey. That was last month, paid £22.50. Guess what? Has not been delivered and the “company” will not answer my e mails! BE WARNED!!!!!!!

Anna Aslan says:

Totally useless. People don’t drink whiskey because they love the taste.

Judy says:


I agree with you. As for all you others who say you don’t drink for the taste, I love the taste. I started drinking for the taste, THEN became addicted. I was thinking today how I wanted a good (or bad) but really just any glass of whiskey today but knew I couldn’t. I wished I had something for the taste but that wouldn’t get me drunk.

Shamick says:

Thanks for you comment
I am still struggling. Sometimes I can go for a few days without any alcohol, but then I ‘reward’ myself with a glass … a beer.
It is very very hard just not to have those.
Think of coffee in the morning. I have like 3 cups. Well some people say this is bad thing but nowhere are there coffeeholics meetings. Alcoholism can sneek on you really quickly … and this is especially worse when you enjoy the taste of alcohol, especially whisky (burbon, etc.) as it has distinctive taste.

I tried the nonalcoholic beers. Those would work if I did not like the taste of real alcohol.

Katie says:

Well I can tell you one reason for it: those of us who used to drink delicious whiskeys neat or on the rocks but can’t combine them with medications. I get very sick from a few sips now. I really miss the taste but can’t find anything like it.

Drew Murray says:

For medical reasons I have been alcohol-free for 20 weeks, 3 days, 10 hours, 21 minutes. On my birthday I drank alcohol-free cider but otherwise alcohol-free do seem pretty pointless. However, St. Andrew’s Day is fast approaching and I can’t imagine sitting down to my haggis, neeps and tatties without any whisky. I definitely need an alcohol-free whisky. So get off your high-horse, do your job at The Whisky Exchange and tell us occasional whisky drinkers about alcohol-free whisky.

Billy says:

There’s a reason why, other than an April Fool’s day post, we’ve not talked about alcohol-free whisky in almost a decade (this post is from summer 2009) – we’ve not found any worth talking about. We’ve tried a few and they’ve been universally undrinkable. We’ve found some semi-decent low-alcohol beers (including Small Beer’s 1% ABV dark lager), and Seedlip and Ceder‘s are excellent no-alcohol gin substitutes, but when it comes to whisky, there’s nothing out there yet.

[…] a soft drink replacing a spirit in a cocktail or gin and tonic was laughable. We’d seen a few alcohol-free whiskies on the market (universally awful) and even an alcohol-free vodka (standard response: […]

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