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Sinfully Thinn – The Light Whisky That Has Everyone Confused — Dramming

Sinfully Thinn – The Light Whisky That Has Everyone Confused

by Oliver Klimek on April 20, 2015

A new whisky brand has just been announced in the USA: Sinfully Thin Light Whiskey. The website currently only consists of a landing page but there are already reports on many websites that express bewilderment about this alleged diet whisky.

Apparently the brand website contained this statement before:

THINN Light Whiskey is vacuum distilled in small batches resulting in a low temperature distilled process highlighting the sweetness and smooth wheat finish. From the clean and narrow design of the bottle to the fine and narrow “hearts” cut, empowers THINN to hold to the highest of standards. It is the most desirable and first Light Whiskey to Market.

Each batch being carefully developed, perfectly blended, strategically distilled, lightly aged, and conditioned results in: a light, smooth wheat flavor whiskey with mixable ability and character.

In addition to the usual PR blah-blah it boasts about it being the “first Light Whiskey to Market”.

Obviously the brand name wants to make this whisky appear “light” in the diet food sense. And this really might be the first whisky to do so. In a way the media reaction is understandable, even tough the PR statement did not claim anything specific, because this 40% ABV whisky can not have significantly less calories than other 40% ABV whiskies. Distilled spirits are essentially a mixture of ethanol and water long with a minuscule amount of other components that care for the taste. This means that the amount of calories almost entirely depends on the the amount of ethanol in the bottle. Only when sugar, cream or other ingredients are added different sources of calories come into play.

But what these articles do not say – and what makes the PR statement wrong – is that “Light Whisky” is a clearly defined category in the official US spirits regulations:

Light Whisky: Whisky produced in the U.S. at more than 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) [but less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof)] and stored in used or uncharred new oak containers

Of course the legal definition of light whisky does not have anything to do with it having less calories. It is called “light” because old and uncharred casks don’t give the spirit such a strong wood impact as the charred casks used for other whisky types like for example bourbon. 

And American light whisky is nothing new by far. Today this category has become almost forgotten but in the 1960s and 1970s there were many light whiskies on the market.

So apparently “Sinfully Thinn” attempts to redefine a well-established whisky category by suggesting it somehow might be healthier than others.

But even if “Sinfully Thinn” complies with the regulations for “light whisky” the question remains if it is legal to suggest by the brand name that a product has signififcantly less calories than the standard category, even it it may not actually be that way. Under Europan law this would most probably not be allowed, but I don’t know American consumer law.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bernhard Rems April 20, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Actually, it has 4 calories more than standard whisky per 2cl, if I am not mistaken (100 vs. 96)


Oliver Klimek April 20, 2015 at 1:01 pm

I am not sure what “standard whisky” is and how the calories are measured there. The Mashable article compares it with Jack Daniel’s which has 97.5. in 1.5 oz.


Mark @ Malt Review April 20, 2015 at 7:42 pm

That blurb reads as though it’s gone backwards through Google Translate.


Alex April 21, 2015 at 3:08 am

The used barrels aren’t the only difference for light whiskey. Bourbon must be distilled no higher than 160 proof, so light whiskey is also lighter in flavor because it’s closer to vodka (vodka is distilled to greater than 95%).


Voytek April 29, 2015 at 4:10 am

Photos, typography, bottle and label design, it all looks like a hair care product advertisement, doesn’t it?
At first I thought this is a hoax.


kallaskander May 5, 2015 at 11:11 am

Hi there,

Chuck has taken a swing on that one.




Cigar Inspector May 24, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Wow, that is really dubious marketing, if not downright misleading.


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