February 21, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Doritos and Empirical Debut the First Nacho Cheese Spirit—Limited-Edition Release

Dive into the Multi-Sensorial Experience of the Iconic Doritos Flavor in a Bottle

By Dolores Quintana

Doritos and global flavor innovator Empirical proudly present the limited-release Empirical x Doritos® Nacho Cheese Spirit—a one-of-a-kind beverage experience that faithfully replicates the iconic flavor of Doritos Nacho Cheese Chips. This innovative partnership marks a first-of-its-kind for both brands, delivering a truly unique experience for fans.

While some might think this collaboration is just a stunt, Empirical is a company based in Copenhagen that crafts fine spirits out of botanicals with flavors almost everyone would never use. Their “Can 02” ingredients are sour cherry, black currant buds, young pine cones, and walnut wood, and it is delicious. This is something to be excited about.  I first came into contact with Empirical when I went by the Culver City’s Bar and Garden, a lovely wine shop that sells spirits and holds tastings. Brandoni Pepperoni does a pop-up there, so that’s why I swung by. I tasted Empirical’s offerings and bought some cans, and I was convinced.

Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen founded Empirical, which they have named a flavor company rather than a distillery. They both come from the fine dining world and formerly were on the staff of Noma, which is acknowledged as one of the world’s best restaurants and has three Michelin stars. 

The story goes that one day, a worker returned from lunch with a bag of Doritos, and the owners confiscated it and tossed it into the still because they were testing all different kinds of potential flavors. It turned out good. 

The website says, “The result is as crazy as it sounds – this rare and limited alliance between Empirical and Doritos Nacho Cheese offers an unexpected delicious experience that brings a moment of WTF!? to anyone who tries it.”

Empirical’s revolutionary production process extracts the complex layers of Doritos Nacho Cheese to craft this distinctive flavor, utilizing real Doritos chips and retaining their essence through vacuum distillation. Unlike traditional methods, vacuum distillation operates at lower temperatures, preserving the full spectrum of flavors derived from Doritos.

Lars Williams, Chef/Distiller & CEO of Empirical, notes, “Empirical is an ‘uncategorized’ spirits company, allowing us the freedom to experiment with really interesting flavors. We can take something with a unique and amazing flavor, like Doritos, and evolve it into something completely new.”

Limited-edition bottles of Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit will be available next month for a suggested retail price of $65.00 (42% ABV, 750ml) online and in select New York and California markets. Pre-orders commence on December 13, 2023, at Doritos.x.empirical.co, but the pre-sale sold out the same day. For more information, visit empirical. co.

Tasting Notes: Empirical x Doritos® Nacho Cheese Spirit
Flavor: Nacho Cheese, corn tostada, umami, a hint of acidity

Enjoy: In a Margarita, Bloody Mary, Old Fashioned, neat, or over ice—or any way Doritos fans like!

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