Saturday, June 7, 2008
A couple of days ago we finished installing our new hand-made copper alambic (it's also called "alembic") in our distillery. Ours is a 500 liter alambic hand-crafted out of solid copper with brass fittings. Since all of our products will be single-batch, hand-made premium spirits, it only made sense for us to obtain an alambic still that was made with those goals in mind. We've been asked several times why we don't use one of those high-tech modern stills from Germany that look so nice and shiny with stainless steel tubes all over. We have several reasons. One is our approach to spirits making. We are committed to the methods of spirit-making as practised by the craft distilllers of the 19th Century. To this day, fine whiskeys, gins, cognacs and many other fine liquors are manufactured using the same methods, and often the exact same stills that have been in use for well over 100 years. Another reason for choosing a copper alambic is the chemical properties of copper during the process of distillation itself. Copper has excellent heat transfer capabilities, resistance to corrosion from wine being distilled into brandy, and copper helps strip out some of the unwanted flavors that can ruin a liquor. We hope to be able to show off our new copper alambic still to visitors in the near future.