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Scent Memories vs. The Communal Lexicon: Bringing Objectivity into Sensory

February 24th, 2021


Written by Liz Rhoades, Founder & Principal, Spirit Safe Consulting, LLC

Traveling down the sinuous path from olfactory epithelium to the cognitive mainframe are neuron-transmitted fragments of sensed information. Aromatic detections are translated into tangible descriptors facilitated by learned psychological associations called scent memories.

Everyone has a mental reference book of the smells of their lives which are often tied to specific memories relevant to us, but largely incomprehensible to others.


11 Questions with Barrel Aging Experts, Andrew Wiehebrink & Gregg Snyder

February 10th, 2021

Have you ever thought about making your own whiskey? Did you know that barrel aging contributes a majority of a whiskey’s flavor? That’s right—and it’s also reason enough to warrant a whole curriculum on the art and science of aging spirits.

Ahead of Moonshine University’s Age-ucation: Barrel Aging Workshop this March 18-19, we talked to experts Andrew Wiehebrink of Independent Stave Company and Gregg Snyder of Distilled Spirits Consulting to get the inside scoop on maturation, how they built their careers around their passion, and what lies ahead for the distilling industry.


Enzymes: The Worker Bees of Fermentation

January 27th, 2021

Written by Andrew Fratianni, Senior Application Specialist – Brewing & Distilling Enzymes, DuPont

Shiny copper stills, “white dog,” and rare, $3,000-a-bottle bourbon get all the glory, but there are a few unsung heroes that make it all possible. In addition to the distillers who toil ‘round the clock, there is yeast and then there are enzymes.


Thinking Beyond Brand Icon: Packaging Your Product

January 13th, 2021

Written by Jason Dobson, Business & Creative Director, Contagious UK

I have always understood the desirability that great packaging can deliver to new brands; from our portfolio, Karizuwa Japanese Whiskey and Lind & Lime Gin are great examples that come to mind. But in response to new shopper habits— like an increase in omni-channel and at-home experiences— the bar has been raised on this front for new brands just now entering the fray.


2021 Spirits Trends

December 16th, 2020

At Moonshine University, it’s our job to stay abreast of trends in the distilling industry. Thanks to our expert faculty, we’re able to glean key insights into the future of spirits. This year, we gathered our team to identify emerging trends we expect to be in the spotlight in 2021.

Driven by the long-term effects of an on-going pandemic, this year’s forecast is shaping up to be focused on authenticity in the form of appeals to community, premium experiences, and hospitality. Here are the spirits trends to watch for in the coming year:


Bytes, Bottle & Tissue Paper—The Unboxing Experience

December 9th, 2020

Written by Jason Dobson, Business & Creative Director, Contagious UK

During lockdown we’ve all been adopting new ways of purchasing and experiencing products. Browsing has increased and the accelerated adoption of digital consumerism has created a huge opportunity to provide enhanced and innovative online experiences— experiences that are personal, show loyalty, and appeal to a local audience while simultaneously striving to embrace a global presence.


Repeal Day: America’s Only Constitutional Holiday

December 2nd, 2020

Did you know there’s only one American holiday written into our Constitution?

Ironically, the origins of this boozy celebration also start with the early Temperance Movement, an awareness campaign that emerged in the 1800s to limit alcohol consumption in the US.


Defining Rhum Agricole

November 18th, 2020

Written by Luis Ayala, Founder of Rum Central, Got Rum? magazine & The Rum University; Originally published in Got Rum? magazine (November 2016)

If you walk into the average North American or European bar and ask a dozen patrons what a “Rhum Agricole” is, then you are likely to receive just as many different answers.


There’s Magic at the Stave Mill: The Ramoneda Brothers

November 11th, 2020

Written by Shelley Sackier, Director of Distillery Education, Reservoir Distillery

“You can see the piece within the piece.”

I know that might sound a tad cryptic, but this was a phrase uttered nearly simultaneously by both Vic Ramoneda and his employee, Bill DiSantis, as we all bent over a freshly cut plank of wood in the Ramoneda Brothers Stave Mill in Culpeper, Virginia.

“Do you mean like Michelangelo and the whole, ‘The sculpture is already complete—it’s there in that block of marble’ kind of thing?” I asked them both.

I laughed. They nodded politely at the joke. And then agreed, “Exactly.”


Finishing Your Spirit With Filtration: Plate & Frame Filter Press or Lenticular Housing?

November 4th, 2020

Written by Nathan Kreel, PhD, Technical Sales Representative, and Mui Lay, Product Manager, Gusmer Enterprises

There are many different options and strategies for finishing a product through filtration. Each step is met with a balance of cost, time, product stability, and acceptance of the outcome. Filtration can be performed on any spirit of any age, blend, and formulated combination thereof, and doing so is dependent on the aforementioned factors. To understand filtration, it is important to understand what the product to be filtered is, the filtration media and application, and the desired product coming out at this stage in production.


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