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Native Nuts: Liqueurs and Bitters

As autumn arrives in America, one of the great seasonal pleasures is seeing a scattering of nuts across a path and looking up to see the tree that made them. Nut liqueurs and nut bitters might seem opposite expressions,...

Math or Money and The Electric Sombrero of Death

Of all the things in a distillery that could spark (pun intended) a fire or explosion, electrical systems and equipment are at the top of the list, followed closely by static electricity and open flames. The solution to the...

“The One Thing I Didn’t Build Myself Was the Still”

It was nearly six months to the day since he had pushed his burning body across the floor to the fire  extinguisher, and Peter Martorelli was about to begin distilling again. With his hand on the switch to his...

Eighty Years of Rapid Maturation Studies

Overview. This is part 3 of a treatise on distilled spirits maturation. Part 1, in the Fall 2017 Distiller, saw the coverage of ethanol-water solvent systems and key analytics for monitoring spirits maturation. Part 2, in the Winter 2017...

Bain-Marie

As a distiller, proper equipment selection shouldn’t be the bane of your existence. My bane? Well, her name is Marie: bain-marie to be exact. This is an often overlooked yet incredibly useful type of still that I am honestly...

Copper Love

The alembic, as I know it, or alembic (in American and English), is an anciently curious and cleverly designed distillation contraption that looks like it comes from another time and has little changed over the centuries (alambic from French,...

Finding Roots: The Estate Distillery Is Reborn

Five years ago, it was farm to table. Today? Grain to glass. Such hashtag-friendly phrases may spread rapidly, but both often are often misused or misunderstood. “I find ‘grain to glass’ curious, because there is literally nothing else you’re allowed...

Eighty Years of Rapid Maturation Studies: Why Are We Not There Yet?

Part 2 of 3: A review of spirit in wood maturation, with some speculations on rapid maturation and future potential Abstract/Overview. How many trees died in the making of this article—let alone in allowing for the maturation of that last fine,...

Rye? : That’s nice. What type of rye and where exactly did it grow?...

“We once had thousands of stills producing regional varieties of spirits across the country,” says Meredith Grelli, who, with her husband, Alex, founded Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh in 2012. “If you went even further back, preindustrial, you would have...

Ditching Trashy Events: Five Steps

As a distillery owner, I have spent nearly 10 years attending every kind of tasting and cocktail event hosted in the spirits world, in the USA and overseas. I sponsor art, music and film festivals, attend industry trade shows...