The Art + Science of Distilling

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5-Day Distiller Course Graduate Charlene Rooke Shares Her Experience

January 15th, 2014

5-Day Distiller Course

This story was originally published The Globe and Mail (PDF).

I reckon it is creeping up on 10 a.m.—the hot autumn sun is just chasing the chill from this converted garage—when I first dip a finger into the almost 90-proof (45-per-cent alcohol) booze trickling off the copper still. The liquid has some wicked, not-ready-for-bottling flavors: Do I detect notes of model-airplane glue, exploded Bic pen and overripe fruit?

This is the art of spirits distillation: taking what are called the “heads” and “tails” cuts off the distilling run and saving only the “hearts,” the clean-tasting portion that is free of most undesirable chemical compounds. It’s something I turn out to be pretty good at, and just one of the complex set of skills taught at Moonshine University’s 5-Day Distiller Course in Louisville, KY, an intensive immersion in the business, science and art of distilling.

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