About Empirical Ayuuk
Flavors and smells are inextricably linked with memories. Empirical
is about conjuring those treasured memories of birthday cakes, grandparents' traditional dishes, and various experiences ― all via spirits. They push the boundaries of what is expected of food, meticulously researching and crafting unique flavors.
Empirical was founded in 2017 by Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen in Copenhagen, Denmark. Driven by curiosity, exploration, experimentation, and a constant need to improve. They have built custom machines, tinkered with hybrid fermentation and low-temperature distillation on their way to realize their vision. Sourcing the finest quality ingredients from across the globe is a given, they craft one spirit at a time, perfecting the flavors and aromas first.
Helena is the basis for most of their quirkier creations. Named after the song by Misfits, it's crafted with pearled barley that is steamed in an old butter churner. It is then combined with koji-kin spores, the mold that is a key ingredient in sake and miso. The barley-koji is left to ferment in a room with controlled temperature and humidity, then brewed together with pilsner malt and barley into a beer. After the beer ferments with the help of Belgian saison yeast. Even the distillation process is unusual, as they have opted for vacuum distillation, preserving the flavors and aromas in the finished 80-proof spirit that has rich sweet, umami, and floral notes.
Pasilla Mixe is a chili pepper that grows in Oaxaca, Mexico. Williams came across the unusual smoky peppers when visiting the Sierra Norte mountains in 2019. After several attempts at securing a supplier for the peppers, they met with the Mixe people, living in the mountains. Called the Ayuuk in their native tongue, they cultivate the pasilla that is prized for its smokiness, earthiness, and orchard fruit notes. For this expression, the chilies are macerated in a spirit made from Danish heritage purple wheat and pilsner malt. The final blend is rested in a sherry cask, letting the aromas and flavors marry.
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About Other Spirits
We understand that some people are explorers at heart, and the classics just won't cut it.
For those people, many other unique spirits are not listed in the main categories but are still worth the mention, such as absinthe, aperitivos, and other Special spirits.
You're welcome to check our excellent special spirit selection, find your favorite in the Top 10 list of other spirits, or explore the Best other spirits under $50.