Does the world need another super-star powered celebrity spirits offering? No, of course not. Does the world need a collaboration between a craft distillery and a $23 billion chip maker? Apparently so.
In a unique collaboration, Doritos has announced a new partnership with spirits innovator Empirical: Empirical x Doritos® Nacho Cheese Spirit. This limited-release offers a multi-sensorial, savory nacho cheese-imbued beverage experience that smells and tastes just like the real thing – bringing the iconic flavor of Doritos Nacho Cheese Chips into the spirits aisle. If you like Doritos, keep reading, if not, you can continue on about your day.
“Empirical is an ‘uncategorized’ spirits company, so it allows us the freedom to experiment with really interesting flavors and not have to be stuck in a gin box or tequila box or whiskey box,” says Lars Williams, Chef/Distiller & CEO, Empirical. “And we can take something that has a unique and amazing flavor, like Doritos, and evolve it into something completely new.”
“Doritos is all about disrupting culture and bringing our fans unexpected, bold experiences,” said Tina Mahal, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Frito-Lay North America. “We’re always pushing our fans to try new things, so we figure it’s time we disrupt the spirits category by offering our iconic nacho cheese flavor in a bottle.”
Watch as Empirical’s Co-Founder Lars Williams explains how the new collaboration got started.
The partnership marks a first-of-a-kind innovation for both brands and brings fans a truly new experience. To create the flavor, the many flavor layers of Doritos Nacho Cheese are extracted through Empirical’s innovative production process, using real Doritos chips and retaining their essence through vacuum distillation. Unlike traditional distillation methods, vacuum distillation operates at lower temperatures, preserving the full spectrum of flavors derived from Doritos.
Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit Tasting Notes
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Flavor – Nacho Cheese, corn tostada, umami, hint of acidity
Enjoy – In a Margarita, Bloody Mary, Old Fashioned, neat or over ice, or any way Doritos fans like!
Tastes Like – The real thing! Experience the indulgent flavors of your favorite snack in liquid form. The spirit opens with umami and tangy aromas of nacho cheese, moving to the deeper, corn-forward flavors of the chip to finish on a soft salty note.
Limited-edition bottles of Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit is bottled at 84 proof (42% ABV) and will be available in January 2024 with a suggested retail price of $65.00 for a 750ml online and in select New York and California markets.
Empirical was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2017, Empirical is a flavor company by Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen but moved to North Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York in 2023. The two deep-thinking visionaries are inspired by the role flavor plays in their ability to create and transport experiences. The company does things its own way, having custom-built machinery, developed hybrid fermentation techniques, augmented low-temperature distillation, and traveled globally to source the highest quality ingredients. Taking a flavor-first approach means that Empirical does not pay attention to the conventional categories that traditionalists often want to cast their creations into. The result is something that is uncategorized, democratic, shareable, and driven by the journey of creating unique and unexpected flavors. Empirical is writing a playbook that does not exist—one distillation, one spirit and one flavor at a time.
Frito-Lay North America is the $23 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc., which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay’s and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips and branded dips, Cheetos snacks, Stacy’s pita chips, PopCorners popped-corn snack, SunChips multigrain snacks and Fritos corn chips.
What’s next for Empirical and Frito-Lay? Empirical x Stacy’s Pita Chips Spirit? We understand “Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on”.
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