• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

246 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
1823 Excise Act
Scottish act that legalized the use of small stills. Started the modern Scotch whisky industry as business people began investing in larger plants and a commercial infrastructure was established between distiller, broker, retailer, and consumer
3 ingredients of malt whisky
malted barley, yeast, water
steps in malt whisky production
blending and bottling
why do we perform malting
barley must be malted to trigger naturally occurring enzymes that help to change its starch into fermentable sugars
process of malting
barley is given an average of 3 extended immersions in water over 48 hours. germination continues in large drums in which cool, humid air is blown over the barley bed. after ~5 days the starch within the barley ("green malt") has been made available and the grains are putting out shoots and roots.
green malt is dried in a kiln to stop growth. a peat fire can be lit under the perforated floor of the kiln.
semi-carbonated vegetation which, when burned, gives off a perfumed smoke rich in flavor compounds known as phenolics (seaweed, tar, smoked fish, Lapsang Souchong tea). not all malts are peated.
medium-peated malted scotches
Bowmore, Highland Park, Talisker, Springbank
process of milling/mashing
2nd stage in scotch whisky production (after malting/drying). malted grain is ground into a rough flour ("grist") which is blown into a vessel called a mash tun.
at the same time it is mixed with hot water, the temperature of which is vital in triggering the enzymes to convert fully the starches into fermentable sugars -- if the water temp is too cool, conversion will not tak eplace fully; too hot and the enzymes may be killed. distillers aim for a strike point of 63-64dC
green malt
in malted scotch whisky: the name for barley after ~5 days of germination. the point at which the starch is made available and the grains are putting out shoots and roots.
name in Scotch whisky that refers to the malted grain after it is ground into a rough flour
mash tun
in the milling/mashing stage of scotch whisky production. the mash tun operates like a large tea bag... the hot water filters through the grist, dissolving hte sugars. this sweet sugary liquid ("wort") is drawn off the bottom of the mash tun, cooled, and pumped to a fermenter ("washback"). after the first water is drained off, a 2nd lot of hotter water is added and also collected in teh washback. a 3rd, even hotter amt of water is then added to flush out any remainign sugar. this is retained and is used as the first water for the next mash.
scotch whisky fermentation
yeast is added to the cooled wort and fermentation begins in the mashtun. all alcohol is converted in 48 hours, giving a liquid ("wash") with an alcoholic strength between 7-10%.
vital element in creation of flavor... a short ferment (>50 hrs) coupled with cloudy wort will help produce a malty spirit. if clear wort remains in washback for longer, then futher chemical reactions take place: the wash becomes more acidic and the yeast begins to eat anything which is like a sugar inclduing, eventually, itself. this helps build a complex range of flavor compounds known as congeners.
sweet, sugary liquid produced during milling/mashing stage of scotch whisky production. hot water dissolves the sugars of the grist in the mash tun.
in scotch whisky production: the fermenter where the wort is pumped into and fermented
scotch whisky distillation
malt whisky is double (rarely triple) distilled in copper pot stills.
1st distillation: occurs in a wash still, giving an alcoholic liquid (low-wines) of around 23% abv. this is then charged into the spirit still where the process is repeated.
2nd distillation: occurs in spirit still. the stillman separates the heart of the spirit from the volatile first part ("foreshots") and the heavy, oily last part ("feints"). these elements are collected and added to the low wines from the next distillation of the wash still. the mixture then forms the batch for the next distillation of the spirit still.
factors during distillation that affect scotch whisky character
shape, size, volume of charge, rate of distillation, method of condensing. it is simply about a conversation between teh alcoholic vapor and hte copper (which acts as a catalyst). the longer the conversation, the lighter the spirit.
low wines
whisky: the water-white liquid with an alcoholic content of around 30% abv which results from the first distillation of Scotch malt whisky.
rum: tails.
volatile first part of the spirit during distillation
heavy, oily last part of the spirit during distillation
cut point
point at which a distiller starts and stops collecting the heart of a spirit. cut points are vital in capturing the desired distillery character, which varies from distillery to distillery.
--> cut later to get a heavil smoky malt (for scotch whisky), b/c the phenolics only start to appear towards th eend of the run
--> cut at the start of the run for a light and delicate spirit with fragrant esters
legal max on abv after second scotch whisky distillation
wood stage in malt scotch whisky production
new spirit (new make) is reduced in strength and transferred into oak casks of less than 700L capacity. the casks give whisky its color and up to 70% of its flavor.
barrels have previously been used for storing another alcoholic beverage - most commonly bourbon or sherry.
new make
name of the new spirit of scotch whisky after 2nd/final distillation
impact of bourbon barrels on scotch whisky
American white oak (Quercus alba) lends aromas of vanilla, coconut, pine, cherry, and spice
impact of sherry barrels on scotch whisky
European oak (Quercus robus) is higher in tannin and lends flavors of dried fruits, Christmas cake, clove, resin, and orange peel
3 overlapping stages of flavor development in wood aging of scotch whisky
1) evaporation and the activity of the charred inner surface of the cask remove aggressive, sulphury notes from the spirit
2) the spirit extracts oak-derived notes from the barrel
3) compounds from oak and spirit interact with each other, producign a complex array of flavors and aromas
blending/bottling stage of malt scotch whisky production
nearly all malts are blended from a number of casks that will be selected to create a house style and then vatted together
before bottling the spirit is reduced to bottling strength with demineralized water, chill filtered (to stop clouding at low temps), and might be tinted with a very small amt of spirit caramel to standardize the color
labeling of scotch whisky
any age stagement refers to teh youngest component in the vatting
single malt scotch
the product is the produce of one single distillery (but most brands will be a blend or vatting of different ages of that one site)
blended malt scotch
designation that came into effect in 2005. growing ctegory. a blend of different malt scotches. makes sense b/c any single distillery is restricted by its capacity.
terroir in scotch whisky
not a big factor, as in Cognac and Armagnac
Regions of scotch whisky production
Wide and disparate region extending from NW suburbs of Glasgow to Wick in the far NE.
No unified character but wide stylistic range
Highlands styles and distilleries
Malty (Blalir Athol, Tullibardine)
Unctuous (Aberfeldy, Clynelish, Pulteney)
Sweet (Edradour, Dalwhinnie)
Grassy (Lochnagar, Teaninich)
Heavy (Dalmore, Ben Nevis)
Fruity and citric (Glenmorangie, Ardmore, Glengoyne)
No coal in Islay so distillers traditionally had to use peat to dry their malt --> pungent, smoky shiskies. Islay's peat also gives a different range of phenolics with more maritime, seaweedy aromas. The Scotch Whisky Association considers the islands other than Islay to be part of the Highland region
Scotch Islands distilleries
heavy peated: Ardbeg (Islay), Caol Ila (Islay), Lagavulin (Islay), Laphroaig (Islay), Ledaig (Mull)
medium-peated: Bowmore (Islay), Talisker (Skye), Highland Park (Orkney)
unpeated: Bruichladdich (Islay), Bunnahabhain (Islay), Scapa (Orkney), Tobermory (Mull), Arran, Jura
Highest concentration of malt distilleries in Scotland. Forms a rough wedge with Nairn as its westernmost point, Macduff as the easterly limit, and Dalwhinnie at the southernmost apex. Complex malts which fall into 2 broad sylistic camps: light, fragrant, floral, and sometimes malty; richer fruiter
Speywide styles and distillers
Light/frangrant/floral/sometimes malty: Linkwodd, Glenfiddich, Knockando, Glenlivet
Richer fruiter: Cragganmore, Glenfarclas, Balvenie, Macallan, Craigellachie, Longmorn, Mortlach
Only 3 malt distilleries currently operational in the Lowlands: Bladnoch, Glenkinchie, Auchentoshan. Stylistically light and gentle.
3 distilleries in Campbeltown. Its best known survivor is Springbank, and is recognized as one of Scotland's most complex whiskies and the only one malted, distilled, matured, and bottled on site
grain whisky
Production governed by the Scotch Whisky Act. Made from a mash of either wheat or corn to which a small % (<10%) of malted brley is added for its enzymes. the cereal is cooked in a pressure cooker at high temps (Avg 144dC) to hydrolyse the starch. Mlated barley is ground and has tepid water added to it. The mix of the hydrolysed cereal an dgrist is mixed together with hot water (62.8dC) in a mash tun where the starcheds are converted into fermentable sugars.
worts are drained off, cooled to 20dC and pumped into fermenters. yeast is added and alcohol conversion takes place along with creation of congeners. then the wash is either diverted to become grain neutral alcohol, or distilled into grain whisky. the spirit is then reduced and placed in oak casks of less than 700L capacity. Mosst commonly transferred into first-fill American oak.
blending scotch grain whiskies
bulk of grain whiskies is used in blended Scotch. Most blends use 2 or more. Some grains are suited better for young blends; others are at their best after extended aging. Grain facilitates flavor development -- it helps the malts meld together, teasing our flavors, creatin gnew ones.
A blender's job is to create new brands and maintain teh consistency of the brands which they have inherited. They need to know how teh blend is constructed - its flavor, mouthfeel and aroma. They must known how each distillery produces different flavors, how the spirit behaves in different types of oak over differen tperiods of time, and how each works when it combines with other whiskies. In general, firms will use as much spirit as they can from their own estates, but will also exchange grains and malts with other firms.
grain whisky vs. malt whisky
both controlled by the Scotch Whisky Act of 1988, but production different.
Grain whisky is lighter in character and higher ina lcoholic strength than malt, but is NOT a neutral spirit.
illicit whiskey that rural irish distillers continued to produce even after restrictive legislation. they did it partly to maximize the income from their crops, and partly to defy British politics.
irish Distillers Ltd. Created in 1966 when Jameson, Power's, and Cork Distillers merged. In 1973 they were joined by Bushmills in the north, giving IDL a monopoly on production until 1989 when the independent Cooley emerged. In 2005, IDL (now part of Pernod-Ricard) sold the Bushmills distillery to Diageo. bulk of Irish whiskey now comes from the Midleton distillery in Co. Cork.
key points of Irish whiskey production
triple distillation and use of unpeated malt. more or less dictated by IDL.
uses unmalted barley in the mashbill of the pot-still spirits which are the backbone of Irish blends. unmalted barley gives off spicy, fruity, oily flavor, and gives a firmness to the palate, balancing the softness of the malt. the portion of unmalted barley is never <20% of the mashbill and can be up to 60%
Japanese whisky
first Japanese whisky was distilled in 1923 at Suntory's Yamazaki distillery.
there are now 6 distilleries in production. Japanese distillers have worked from a "scottish" template. Malted barley (often peated and sourced from Scotland) is distilled in pot stills to make single malt. Corn, wheat, and malted barley are distilled in column and Coffey stills to produce grain whisky.
most Japanese whisky is made from crystal clear worts, which has been fermented for a long time with a selection of yeasts --> a clean, precise array of flavors, and rarely any maltiness. japanese distillers do not exchange whiskies, so they have to produce all of their flavor components for their blends from their own estates. so distilleries are set up to be as flexible as possible.
what all scotches have in common
they use a cereal mash (rye, barley) distilled in either pot or coumn stills, and aged in oak casks
requirements to be called bourbon
whiskey must:
- be made from a mash bill containing a minimum of 51% corn to which is added a selection of small grains, most commonly rye and barley
- distilled to not higher than 80% abv
- aged at no more than 62.5% abv in new, charred oak barrels
- aged for a minimum of 2 years
- no color adjustmment allowed
bourbon's flavor
full-bodied, sweet, punchy spirit rich with layers of vanilla, coconut, citrus, toffee and spice
what the following bring to bourbon's mash bill:
1) malted barley
2) corn
3) rye
4) wheat
1) enzymes, "biscuity" sweet flavor, dry finish
2) signature soft sweetness
3) attack; lemon-scented aroma; slight dustiness when young
4) gentle rounded quality, notes of honey
bourbon brands with high % of rye and malted barley
wild turkey, woodford reserve, old forrestor
bourbon brands with high percentage of wheat
maker's mark, old fitzgerald, W.L. weller, van winkle
bourbon brands with two mashbills for one bourbon
four roses
steps in bourbon production
1) cooking/mashing
2) backset
3) fermentation and yeast
4) distillation
5) wood
bourbon production: cooking/mashing
corn ground into a meal and cooked at a high temp with small amt of malted barley (helps liquefy the corn). corn mash must cool before rye (or wheat) is added. if the temp is too high, rye balls form and there is a greater risk of bacterial infection. once the rye has been cooked, the temp is dropped and the rest of the malted barley is added (for the enzymes which convert the starches to fermentable sugars)
bourbon production: backset
mash is pumped into the fermenter (SS or wood) with backset. backset can also be added to the cooker ("sour mashing"). all Kentucky and Tennessee distillers use backset, even if they don't call it out on the label. backset must make up a min of 25% of the total mash, but the % is determiend by the mash bill, fermenter size, distillation equipment, house style. add too much? mash will be dilute/acidic and flavor lost. too little? mash is overly thick, casuing problems in distillation as the solids stick to the plates inside the column (or on the sides of the pot still) and give off flavors
what all scotches have in common
they use a cereal mash (rye, barley) distilled in either pot or coumn stills, and aged in oak casks
requirements to be called bourbon
whiskey must:
- be made from a mash bill containing a minimum of 51% corn to which is added a selection of small grains, most commonly rye and barley
- distilled to not higher than 80% abv
- aged at no more than 62.5% abv in new, charred oak barrels
- aged for a minimum of 2 years
- no color adjustmment allowed
bourbon's flavor
full-bodied, sweet, punchy spirit rich with layers of vanilla, coconut, citrus, toffee and spice
what the following bring to bourbon's mash bill:
1) malted barley
2) corn
3) rye
4) wheat
1) enzymes, "biscuity" sweet flavor, dry finish
2) signature soft sweetness
3) attack; lemon-scented aroma; slight dustiness when young
4) gentle rounded quality, notes of honey
bourbon brands with high % of rye and malted barley
wild turkey, woodford reserve, old forrestor
bourbon brands with high percentage of wheat
maker's mark, old fitzgerald, W.L. weller, van winkle
bourbon brands with two mashbills for one bourbon
four roses
steps in bourbon production
1) cooking/mashing
2) backset
3) fermentation and yeast
4) distillation
5) wood
bourbon production: cooking/mashing
corn ground into a meal and cooked at a high temp with small amt of malted barley (helps liquefy the corn). corn mash must cool before rye (or wheat) is added. if the temp is too high, rye balls form and there is a greater risk of bacterial infection. once the rye has been cooked, the temp is dropped and the rest of the malted barley is added (for the enzymes which convert the starches to fermentable sugars)
bourbon production: backset
mash is pumped into the fermenter (SS or wood) with backset. backset can also be added to the cooker ("sour mashing"). all Kentucky and Tennessee distillers use backset, even if they don't call it out on the label. backset must make up a min of 25% of the total mash, but the % is determiend by the mash bill, fermenter size, distillation equipment, house style. add too much? mash will be dilute/acidic and flavor lost. too little? mash is overly thick, casuing problems in distillation as the solids stick to the plates inside the column (or on the sides of the pot still) and give off flavors
what is backset?
the acidic liquid residue left at the foot of the beer column. bourbon (and tennessee whiskey) distillers need to use it b/c they use hard, alkaline water. adding backset changes the pH level of the mash, making it more acidic. this helps yeast propagation, lowers the risk of bacterial infection, and evens out the character between batches
bourbon production: fermentation
the bright yello wmash ferments for ~3 days. american distillers guard their yeast jealously. unlike their scottish cousins they hold that yeast is a major contirbutor to flavor and each distiller will have its own yeast grown to produce specific flavors.
bourbon production: distillation
all bourbons and Tennessee whiskeys (except Labrot & Graham) are first distilled in a single column still called a "beer still." the stills are either made of copper or SS with copper packed around certain plates.
1) the mash is pumped at the top of the column. it zigzags downwards, meeting live steam which is pumped into the bottom of the still
2) the alcohol is stripped off and fractionates up to the collection plate (placed at different levels) before passing through a worm condenser
3) the non-alcoholic liquid residue at the foot of the column is then used as the backset for the next ferment
4) the low-wines are then either put through a basic pot still ("doubler") or a thumper. the doubler looks like an upturned copper bucket. it removes impurities and boosts the alcohol level. for the thumper, vapor os fed through a basic hydroselection column with water retaining the unwatned heavier alcohols.
5) new spirit (white dog/high wines) is collected at the strength best suited to the distiller's production
bourbon production: wood
bourbon must be filled into new charred oak barrels (200L max capacity). the american white oak is high in color extractives, vanillin and lactones, and gives the spirit its reddish hue and signature ntoes of vanilla, coconut, pine and, in time, sweet spices, chocolate, tobacco and cherry. the heavy char removes any aggressive elements in the white dog.
bourbon production: ageing
traditionally used 7- to 9- story wooden framed, metal clad rackhouses whose temp can only be controlled by opening or closing the windows --> large temp variations btw the top and bottom floors
other distillers age bourbon in brick warehouses (some of which are heated in winter).
tennessee whiskey vs. bourbon
much of the same regulations, although corn does not need to be the dominant grain in tennessee whiskey (although it typically is). the main difference is the use of the Lincoln County Process after distillation: a 'mellowing' of the whiskey is achieved by running it slowly through maple charcoal --> filters the white dog, leaching out harshness, buffing it up, adding robust sweet smoky flavors
mash bill must contain a min of 51% rye. the rest of the production is the same as for bourbon.
canadian whisky
12 distilleries make a style of whisky tha tis soft, gentle, and easy to drink. corn is the main cereal and will be at he center of every brand in the guise of a light-flavored, high strength grain whisky.
also some 'flavoring whiskeys'. mainly rye-based, though other grains used too. wide range of wood types (ex-bourbon, new oak, ex-Sherry butts, etc).
a distiller can add up to 9.09% of 'other imported mature liquors' to the blend (wine, Port, Sherry, bourbon, rum, etc)
Canadian whisky brands
classic, soft corn-led style: Crown Royal, Canadian Club
Scottish style malt whisky: Glenora (Cape Breton)
rye whiskey: Alberta distillery
early uses of vodka
medicine, cologne, aftershave
founder of Absolut vodka and the name of his first brand
Lars Olsson Smith created the Absolut Rent Brannvin in 1879
early days of vodka production
began in Poland and Russia. first Polish vodka boom was concentrated on Krakow, Gdansk, and Poznan. Rye was considered the premium grain in both countries. vodka was frequently flavored. by 17th century Polish manor house distilleries were filtering their water through charcoal and the top Polish and russian vodkamakers were distilling their spirit 3 or 4 times. By 1756 Russia operated a 2-tier system with teh highest quality prdocution being made by and sold to the gentry; state distillers used any crop they could to make basic spirit for the masses. adoption of charcoal filtration was important for quality vodka production. B/c of this Russian vodkas became known for quality through Europe. Biggest boost in search for purity was the introduction of a proto-continuous still, beginning continuous distillation.
vodka from 1870s to now
late 19th century saw new technology being applied to vodka production through introduction of continuous stills with rectifying columns. but vodka remained specialty of Scandinavia and E. Europe until after WWII.
vodka fit 1950s America perfectly. nation's palate had lightened considerably post-prohibition, and drinks were simpler. but vodka didn't become hip until the 1980s. Absolut began marketing heavily.
what is vodka
neutral spirit distilled to a minimum of 96% abv.
after this the rectified alcohol can be filtered. US regulations state that it is "a neutral spirit so distilled or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.'
highest quality vodka bases
grain (wheat, barley, rye, potato)
major steps in vodka production
1) conversion
2) fermentation
3) water
4) distillation
vodka production: conversion
starts in same way as grain whisky, with distiller looking for a cereal that is high in starch and low in protein. it is ground, mixed with water into a mash and cooked under pressure to hydrolyse the starch. some malted barley may be added at the cooking stage to help liquefaction and some distillers will also add it for its enzymes after cooking, for conversion purposes. most just add enzymes.
vodka production: fermentation
relatively quick process -- around 48 hours. produces a liquid btw 6-10% abv. b/c purity is the aim, ,distillers are looking to remove all congeners. distillers will often insist on only using one single strain of grain, for an even fermentation and uniform character. the effect of potential bacterial 'contaminants' can be reduced by using de-ionized water.
vodka production: water
water matters. some firms will de-ionize, soften and demineralize their production water. purity exposes every nuance of flavor and in vodka, most of them are unwanted.
vodka production: distillation
happens mostly in multiple columns, although there are pot-still vodkas (e.g. Ketel). vodka must be pure yet have character.
definition of purity in vodka
effective removal of alcohols such as methanol, propanol and butanol, while the vodka's character comes fromt he sugars an doils that have been retained through distillation
traditional base for vodkas:
1) russia
2) sweden
3) poland
4) finland
1) wheat, but some rye
2) rye at premium end, but some potatoes in specific areas
3) winter wheat (Absolut)
4) barley (Finlandia)
character of wheat vodkas
slightly vinous texture and the sweetest midpalate of the grain-based vodkas but finish dry, with a hint of anise
character of rye vodkas
soft, clean spirit with mroe citric nose and palate that mixes a sweetness and oiliness with a natural zesty/spicy finish
character of barley vodkas
low in oil. lightest vodkas, though the style varies based on how it is stilled
character of potato vodkas
a polish specialty. potatoes are low yielding but produce lower levels of congeners. but may have high levels of methanol. can be full-bodied adn textured
character of corn vodkas
very soft/delilcate, almost ethereal
impact of charcoal on vodka
most vodka is filtered through charcoal to 'soften' it. charcoal acts like an extractor hood on a cooker, absorbing heavy and coarse characteristics. the vodka can either be pumped through filter plates or through 10 cylinders packed with charcoal (e.g. Smirnoff).
filtration also helps remove fusel oils but has to be controleld as the charcoal becomes saturated with the himpurities and cannot extract any more.
it is not a guarantee of quality; it will not improve a badly distilled spirit.
BUT distillation technology has improved so much that producers can now control purity in their stills without having to resort to filtration. (finlandia and absolut don't filter)
premium wheat-based vodkas
Ketel (Holland)
42 Below (New Zealand)
Pearl (Canada)
premium corn-based vodka
Rain (USA)
why Ciroc is contraversial
it's produced from grapes (France)
early flavored vodkas
Jarzebiak (rowan berries)
Krupnik (wild honey and spices)
Wisniowka (wild cherry)
Okhotnichya (russian/ginger, tormenti, black/red pepper)
fine Polish vodka flavored froma specific type of grass from the Bialowieza Forest. notes of dried lavender, flowers, meadows, herbs, jasmine
methods of producing flavored vodka
1) Maceration: Simplest method. Ingredients are steeped in teh vodka at room temp until their flavors have been fully extracted.
2) Blend an extract of natural flavorings into the vodka: Extract can be produced by maceration or more commonly through steaming the ingredients and condensing to get a pure, natural, essence.
3) Zubrowka is made by a process in which the bundles of dried grass are placed on a rack through which vodka is passed.
4) redistillation: only a few specialty vodkas do this
5) Use artificial essences bought from aroma houses in concentrated form: Cheap cold compounding technique.
country where rum production was industralized and modernized
early islands that dominated sugar (and rum) production (in chronological order)
4 early flavor camps of rum
1) Jamaican: intense, pungent
2) Demerara: rich, sweet (from Guyana)
3) Barbados: slightly more delicate
4) Cuba: light, fragrant - this style dominated rum in the 20th century, after being given a boost during prohibition (vs. the british navy style of dark, rich, heavy)
role of terroir in rum production
signficiant impact, although small in the grand scheme: cane variety, soil, climate, weather all impact sugar levels and influence flavor
Guyana and other south american countries have 2 crops/year, whiel some parts of the Caribbean have all-year round harvest.
key issue for rum distillers
getting the stalks to the mill as soon as possible b/c sucrose levels begin to drop as soon as the cane is cut
steps in rum production: harvest
1) the cane is crushed, its juice extracted and a syrup procured.
2) boil the syrup until sugar crystals form
3) remove the crystals, so a thick black residue ("molasses") remains.... this is the raw material (except for rhum agricole and chaca). on avg, 2.5kg of molasses gives 1 litre of rum at 57% abv
steps in rum production: fermentation
1) dilute the molasses with water: molasses is so highly concentrated in sugars that no yeast could live in it. begin to influence the final flavor of the rum - the greater the dilution, the lower the sugar content and the lighter the rum.
2) add yeast: like w/bourbon, most rum distillers ahve cultivated their own strain of yeast. light rums = short ferment; heavy rums = long ferment. congeners are created during fermentation, so those rum distillers who produce a wide range of styles/marks often vary the length of ferment and dilution levels
steps in rum production: distillation
1 of 2: light rums
1 of 2: LIGHT RUMS
Pre-eminent style of rum.
- normally made from a wash that has fermented for ~24 hours
- all distilled in colum styles, but variety can be used: single column, Coffey, or (commonly) multiple-linked columns. Flexibility of column system is used to collect rums at lower strengths, with fruiter flavor profile. Havana Club and bacardi both make very light distillate and a 'heaver' mark. Unaged (white) rums will be made from a lighter rum.
'Light' rum is relative to pot-still rums... 19th century Coffey still used in Guyana: richly flavored rum compared to the high-strength, floral and delicate rums from multiple columns
steps in rum production: distillation
2 of 2: heavy/pot-still rums
Traditional way to distill rums, but not many producers still doing it. Used to give weight to blends. (e.g. 'Navy' style).
- made from longer ferments
- majority of rum pots use retorts which allows the distiller to produce a higher-strength spirity from a single distillation. retorts are also flavor creators. these copper vessels contain liquids, most commonly the high and low wines from the previous distillation:
alcohol vapor is released from the pot--> passes into the low wine retort which contains an alcoholic mix of low wines & water --> hot vapor boils the liquid in the retort, releasing its most volatile components--> the flavor-laden vapor is carried into the high wines retort where the process is repeated --> the vapor (now high strength) is condensed. --> after a short heads run, the heart of the spirit is collected at ~85% abv --> once it falls below 85%, the next aprt of the distillate becomes the low wines --> at a certain strength, the high wines are collected. both are used to fill the retorts for the next distillation.

can adjust the composition of the liquids in the retorts to create different flavors
high wines
north american whiskey: the product of the first distillation (Carried out in beer still/wash still)
*referred to as low wines in scotch whisky*
rum: heads
rum production: maturation
distiller has choice of aging or not aging both styles of rum (light or heavy).
- white rums tend not to spend any time in wood although some (e.g. Bacardi) are aged in oak and then filtered to remove color
- Caribbean climate impacts maturation - the high/humid temp creates "tropical aging" condition. distillers lose ~6% of volume annually. 1 yr of tropical aging=3 yrs aging in Scotland. rum is also pulled further into the oak, resulting in high levels of oak extraction at an earlier stage than in Europe.
- most aged rums will have been matured in American oak barrels sourced from the bourbon industry, though rhum agricole and Barbancourt in Haiti prefer to use ex-Cognac barrels made from French oak. ageing in ex-sherry butts is rare.
how do different styles of rum behave differently in tropical aging conditions?
light rums might only need a few months b/c the oak can easily dominate, especially if aged in 1st fill barrels.
pot-still rums need time in cask to develop their full character: to allow the green, unripe, cane-like notes of a young rum to evolve into rich tropical fruit aromas
--> the heavier the spirit, the longer that process will take
styles of rum: Bacardi
- world's biggest selling rum; best-known example of the Latin American style of rum
- water-white, clean, floral, delicate.
- made from molasses and distilled in linked columns as 2 different marks: a high-strength, delicately flavored spirit and a slightly fuller-flavored one.
- Bacardi places great stock in its own yeast strain to give the right flavor profile
- spirit is charcoal filtered after distillation and aged in barrel (even the white Carta Blanca)
- first produced in Cuba in 19th century with Don Facunado Bacardi won a competition set by the spanish authorities to produce a light-flavored rum.
- owns 4 distilleries across the world and has a number of producers under contract
styles of rum: Latin America
- All molasses-based and distilled in column stills
- Most are capable of a short to medium term of oak ageing
- Tend to be lightly citric when young but pick up notes of banana and fresh tropical fruits when mature
- Most distillers blend lighter and heavier marks together to produce a more complex style
- Produced across Central and South America:
Bacardi (originally Cuba)
Nicaragua (Flor de Cana)
Dominican Republic (Barcelo, Brugal)
Puerto Rico (Serralles)
Guatemala (Zacapa)
Venezuela (Santa Teresa, Pampero, Cacique)
US Virgin Islands (Cruzan)
Havana Club (Cuba)
Portuguese/Spanish word for spirit.
In Portugal/Spain: usually grape-based
South America: sugar cane-based
lower-strength/characterful spirit
styles of rum: Trinidad
Stylistically more in common with the Latin American style than Guyana.
- industry dominated by Angostura, a major producer as well as bitters maker
- A. uses molasses as teh base for its rums and distills in a high-tech multiple-column set-up
- A. currently produces 6 different blends, including a single column 'heavy' mark. the spicy, guava and vanilla-accented, aged brand, 1919, is the best expression of this style
- Caroni is Trinidad's other distiller; it is the distilling arm of the partly govt-owned sugar industry. makes light rums too, bu tthe heavier marks have mroe weight than those from Angostura and cope with extended aging
styles of rum: Barbados
- 1st major volume rum producer in 18th c.
- 3 distilleries (Mount Gay, West Indies Rum Distillery, Foursquare) producing wide range of marks/brands, all of which are typified by a finely struck fruity balance
- medium weiht rums, typically use some rich pot-still distillate in the blend, with greater % in the extra aged examples like Extra Old from Mount Gay
- Foursquare (new, high-tech with semi-continuous fermenters, vacuum column)makes the island's top selling white brand, Field's
List the styles of rum
Latin America (Bacardi)
Rhum Agricole
Rhum Industriel
'Navy' Blends
styles of rum: Guyana
- style took its name from the major Dutch river, the Demerara
- this former British colony was under the control of the Dutch when rum distilling started in 1650
- these rums have long served as the soft deep base for numerous British 'Navy' blends
- Demerara Distillers Ltd (DDL) produces widest range of marks in teh world, all of which come from the Diamond distillery. it has a wooden-framed Coffey still and double and single column stills.
- also pot stills which are different from any others in the world: pots are made of greenheart wood. the single pot has a wooden pot, a retort with rectifier attached and a condenser. the double pot is complicated -- the copper neck of the first pot goes into the body of the 2nd pot and both pots are filled with wash. when they are about to boil, the steam is taken off the 2nd pot and the vapor from the 1st, which come over the neck and boils its wash. all the alc from both pots is then distilled out. the 2nd pot's neck leads to a retort (filled with low wines, high wines, etc) then to a rectifier and condenser. the resulting rum is the weightiest mark of all -- deep and powerful with aromas of black banana and overripe fruit
the 2nd column of a Coffey or patent still, in which the alcohol-rich vapor from the analyzer is condensed to form spirit, while heating the cold wash. heads and tails are removed here and the spirit is purified, resulting in a high-alcohol liquid with few congeners.
the part of a patent or coffey still, in which the alcohol present in the pre-heated wash is vaporized by steam
column still/coffey still
a type of still that uses steam to separate alcohol from the alcoholic wash. tehse can work continuously and produce high-strength spirits.
styles of rum: Jamaica
- Only Caribbean island that can rival Guyana for breadth of style
- most punchy pot-still rums, although column-still rums are an important component of the Jamaican blends
- major distillery: Wray & Nephew
- key to Jamaican pot-still rums starts in the fermenter
- Graded by the concentration of esters (volatile/acetic compounds) and have different names:
Common Cleans: lowest ester, delicate/slightly floral
Plummers: slightly higher conocentration; light tropical fruits
Wedderburn: fullwer; deper fruit/more body/increased pungency and lift
Continental Flavored: "High Ester." most pungent of all when neat (gloss paint, acetone), but when heavily diluted, concentrated aromas of pineapple/banana...the production is unusual - the higher the esters, the onger the ferment will have been. a dunder will have been added to the fermenter for the higher ester marks.
- in all styles, the wash is run through a pot/retort system, and varying the contents of hte retort will also help create new complex flavors
- top Jamaican brands are a balanced blend of the weight of 'standard' pot-still rums with small amts of these lifted, perfumed marks to add complexity
- Appleton Extra has notes of leather, honey spices, tobacco and dried fruits
in Jamaican rum production, the acidic residue left in the bottom of the still (backset).
the dunder is put into pits outside and allowed to fester to further boost the acids. the increased acidity is the key to the creation of perfumed esters in High Ester Jamaican rum
styles of rum: Rhum Agricole
- made in French-owned islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Reunion (island in Indian ocean)
- made from cane juice rather than molasses
- cane is harvested, crushed and the juice extracted
- juices goes straight to the fermenters while the dry fibers (bagasse) are used as fuel for the distillelry
- ferments are short, giving a wash (vesou) of between 4.5-9% abv
- distillation in single-column still similar to those used in Armagnac production
- resulting distillate is low-strength (similar to Armagnac). under Martinique's AOC law it must be 65-75% abv
- diff flavors can be created by varying ferment time, sugar levels of the wash, the strength of the distillate and even the shape/configuration of the column
- most rhum agricole sold as unaged rhum blanc, some aged and sold as ambre or paille (min 18mos in cask), vieux (min 3 yrs in cask), or vintage.
- mix of French and American oak barrel used, although larger vats are often used for ambre style
- use of cane juice, plus method of distillation --> differnet style of spirit, with detectable difference btw each year's crop
- pungent/vegetal when young, with aromas of cane, green leaf, apple, grass, unripe banana, anise, violet. slightly oily texture.
styles of rum: Rhum Industriel
- not all 'French' rhums are made from cane juice - when molasses is used, the style is known as rhum industriel
- style is elegantly soft
- Galion distillery in Martinique also produces Grand Arome, a high-ester, pungent rum. typically used for patisserie and tobacco flavoring
styles of rum: 'Navy' blends
- famous brands: Woods, Captain Morgan, OVD, Lamb's, Black Heart
- blends of rums that have been shipped in bulk to the UK and aged there; normally based on light column-still rum to which is blended a soft sweet Demerara with teh aromatic lift provided by small amts of Jamaican pot-still Wedderburn
- also have a large dose of caramel added, which darkens the color and gives a slightly burnt treacle finish
- Brazilian spirit based on cane juice (like rhum agricole)
- bulk of brands have distinctive vegetal notes
- wide variety of techniques used - some traditional distilleries use a maize starter to help kick off fermentation). a mix of pot still, linked pot stills and column stills (single and linked) are used
- 'traditional' (pot still and single column) cachacas are distilled to a lower strength and are the most vegetal
- 'modern' (multiple column) cachacas are distilled to high strength and filtered, similar to a neutral/vodka template
- aging is used with a number of different woods, but msot producers prefer to calm down the edgy character of the new spirit with sugar (6g/L permitted under law)
- classic Brazilian way of drinking is the Capirinha (Cachaca, limes, sugar)
general flavor markers of tequila
vegetation, flowers, poached/almost overripe fruit, chilli
goddess of fertility. the people of the Nahuatl tribe believed that Mayahuel transformed herself into an agave and in doing so gave them a plant which provided for their every need. The language of the Nahuatl tribe is where Tequila takes its name.
brief history of tequila
- Spaniards conquered Mexico.. .renamed the agave plant maguey
- distillation of spirits initially banned in order to protect Spain's brandy industry alive
- 'mezcal wine' first taxed in 1608 and legalized in 1636
- production banned from 1785-1792
- in 1795 the modern Tequila industry was born when a license to distill was granted to Jose Maria Guadeloupe Cuervo
- boom in 19th century, particularly around town of Tequila
- 1870s first Tequila exported
- big boost in USA with invention of Margarita in 1948
basic laws of Tequila
- must be made from blue agave which has been grown and distilled in a delimited region centered on Jalisco state
- Can also be produced in bordering states of Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacan (but only Guanajuato has an operational distillery: Corralejo)
- since 1977 can also be produced in Tamaulipas in far NE of the country - Chicano brand
- 2 types of Tequila permitted: 1) 100% puro de Agave; 2) Tequila Regular (aka mixto)
- Tequila Regular permits up to 49% of non-agave fermentable sugars during fermentation and was first created in 1930s, when demand outstripped supply of agave
5 grades of both styles of tequila
1) Plata/Blanco/Silver: white, unaged (or briefly rested then usually filtered toremove color)
2) Gold: Blanco but with caramel tinting
3) Reposado: rested from 2-12 months in wood, normally large oak vats (pipones) of 10,000-30,000 liters
4) anejo: aged for 1+ years in barrels with max capacity of 600 liters
5) muy anejo: as anejo, but aged for 3+ years
- succulent related to the amaryllis (not a cactus)
- grown throughout Jalisco, but
the agave used for Tequila are grown primarily int he provinces around Tequila village itself and in the 'highlands' east of Guadalajara
- takes 6 yrs for an agave to approach maturity, and most are harvested btw 7-10 yrs
- lower quality mixtos produced from young agave, and premium from plants that matured longer
- like brandy cannot be made from bad wine, tequila cannot be made from poor agave
role of terroir in tequila
influential. the two main zones of cultivation have different climatic conditions and soils.
- highland agave is larger, slower maturing, and higher in sugar --> tend to have fruiter aroma of green mango and poire William (e.g. Tapatio)
- lowland Tequilas (E.g. Herradura) are earthier and more robust
- Tamaulipas (e.g. Chinaco) is more vegetal with lime zestiness
tequila production: agave
- role of terroir is important in style
- agave is typically 7-10 yrs old when harvested
- outer leaves are cut off as close to the central core (pina) as possible, b/c any leaves will give a bitter flavor to teh spirit
- pinas weigh btw 20-60kg. re hard balls of carbohydrate which when heated will naturally hydrolyze and produce sugars without the need for the addition of enzymes
tequila production: cooking
-pinas are transported to the distillery where they are halved and put in either an oven (horno) or a pressurized cooker (autoclave)
1) Hornos: brick ovens. chopped pinas are placed in the oven and cooked for 36-48 hours. cooking changes starch to sugar and causes caramelization of those sugars, creating new flavor compounds. the pinas are left to rest in the oven for 2 more days, allowing the distiller to collect the liquefied sugars (aguamiel) which flow from the pulp.
2) Autoclave: modern system that speeds up the cooking process but can be too aggressive, casuing burnt, smoky aromas and potentially a higher methanol content in teh spirit. cooking takes 6 hours, followed by the 2 days of resting.

(distillers who use hornos also say the autoclave is not as effiicient in fully converting the starch - they argue the slower the cooking, the better)
brick ovens used in cooking pinas for tequila (other option is autoclave).
have taken over from old roasting pits).
pressurized steel cylinder that cooks pinas in tequila production (other option is hornos brick ovens)
tequila production: milling
- ovens are emptied and the soggy fibrous matter is either crushed under a stone in a circular pit or shredded in machines first used int eh sugar industry
- the resulting juice is mixed with the aguamiel that has been collected from the cooking process
- distillers who are making a mixto will add their 'other fermentable sugars,' which are commonly molasses, or corn-based sugar syrup (latter is superior)
tequila production: fermenting
- ferment can be induced by commercial yeast (most commonly for mixto) or yeast strains which have been isolated by the distiller (most 100% agave). some traditionalists like Tapatio rely on a natural, 'wild' ferment
- yeast choices impact flavor... most complex Tequilas come from distillers who use wild yeast or isolated yeast strains
- length of ferment also influence final flavor (the longer the better). standard is 24-72 hours, but wild ferments can take up to 10 days
- some mixto producers take opposite tack and use diammonium phosphate as an accelerator to get the fermentation completed in a few hours
- like with rum, various techniques used to cool the ferments down in order to allow the yeast to complete its task
tequila production: distillation
most tequilas made in stainless steel continuous stills, distilled to max of 55% abv. resulting spirit is very pungent. a few tequilas use a double pot-still distillation
teqiula production: maturation
1) Blanco: Most are reduced, blended together, and bottled (though some will be aed briefly in oak to soften the edges)
2) Reposado: Put in wooden tanks (pipones) where the large volume minimizes the aromatic additions from wood
3) Anejo: Mostly American oak (ex-bourbon) is used, although some prefer ex-Cognac French barrels, claiming that American oak can have mold infestations in hot climates. Others work with local wide-grained Holm Oak.

problem is that Tequila is fragile and can be overwhelmed by oak, even old barrels.
agave-based distillates that can be made from any one of the varieties of the plant: wild, silvestre, tobala, espadin, etc.
EXCEPT sotol can only be produced (mostly in Chihuahua) from the agave of the same name. Sotol agave is smalla nd takes longer than blue agave to mature but in quality terms, the best sotols are a match for good Tequia with a slightly more gentle character
- mezcall industry is generally small-scale artisanal
- pinas first roasted in pits or clay ovens (imparting smokiness), then crushed in a mill and put in fermenters. natural yeasts commonly used so fermentation can take 30 days. distillation in copper, clay or porcelain stills.
- most rustic mezcals are distilled once; the best have a double distillation with separation of heads and tails in the 2nd run
- many rural mezcals are flavored with herbs/roots/fruits either added ot the still or to the new spirit
- most are unaged
- quality varies wildly
- worm not needed in bottle.
beginnings of gin
- in 14th c, the juniper berry was used as a cure for stomach problems and was thought to be effective against the black death
- as the black death spread across Europe, so did juniper elixirs, finally arriving in Flanders where in 1572 the first eau de vie de genievre was recorded
- 3 yrs later a distillery was founded, and soonthereafter, genever was born
- juniper remained a Dutch specialty until William of Orange took the throne in England in 1689. William encouraged distillation, initially allowing anyone to flavor (compound) spirit that had been made in large distilleries in the major cities
- London was soon awash with gin. anyone could sell English spirits.
- the style was not refined: at best it was a badly distilled /juniper-heavy / sweetened/ pot-still corn spirit.
at worst, it was cobbled together
- in 1761 gin production was granted exclusively to large distillers
- by 1803 9 distillers owned 90% of London's distilling capacity: Booth, Burnett, Gordon, Tanqueray. beginning to make the new 'dry' style which was first created in Plymouth
- quality improved with introduction of Coffey still... London Dry Gin became national spirit and exports started
EU definition of gin
produced 'by flavoring a neutral spirit made from agricultural base and with a min strength of 96% abv with natural (or nature-identical) flavoring substances so that the taste is predominantly of juniper'

in the EU the min strength for bottling is 37.5%; in the USA it is 40% abv
- this definition applies to all flavored spirits: anise-flavored spirits must taste of anise, akvavit must taste of caraway, gin of juniper, etc
styles of gin: distilled gin
produced by redistilling the neutral spirit in stills traditionally used for gin in the presence of junioper and othe rnatural botanicals
additional flavors can be introduced post redistillation
styles of gin: London Gin
style of distilled gin that has stricter production regulations

all the flavors must come from botanicals added during redistillation; water and a minute amount of sugar are the only permitted additives post redistillation
styles of gin: compounded gin
produced by adding essences or flavorings to ethyl alcohol. may not call itself distilled gin.
base material of gin
even though gin is a flavored spirit, and the aroma is obtained from the botanical recipe, the spirit itself does have a role. as with vodka, each base ingredient gives a slightly different character to the final spirit. distillers prefer to base their gins on a clean, light, 'dry' spirit made from wheat. molasses (and maize) gives a slightly sweeter base.
list the steps in tequila production
1) agave harvest
2) cooking
3) milling
4) fermenting
5) distillation
6) maturation
main botanicals used in gin
1) Juniper: Only botanical that legally must be present in gin. Juniper berries, sourced from Italy or the former Yugoslavia, give pine-like note as well as hints of heather and lavendar
2) Coriander seeds: 2nd most important botanical and used by every premium gin. Add spicy notes, which vary by where the coriander was cultivated. (Morocco - peppery; Eastern Europe/Russia - spicy, citric, lightly floral; Indian - overt citric)
3) Angelica root: Traditional botanical with musky, earth, dry and woody aroma. Also helps balance the perfume of the other botanicals.
4) Orris root: Widely used. Member of iris family gives ability to hold in other mroe volatile aromatics. Scented, earthy aroma reminiscent of parma violets, violet roots and leaves.
5) Dried citrus peels: Not used by every gin. Can be lemon and/or orange. Sweet orange gives fresh zestiness; Seville orange gives intense/slightly bitter edge. Citrus is the first aroma released when a gin is diluted.
steps in gin production: distillation
- premium gins are redistilled in copper pot stills, but the copper plays no part in the creation of the flavor
- gin is a neutral spirit, meaning it has no flavor but also is neutral in pH, so there will be no corrosion of the copper by the alcoholic vapor
- BUT the size/shape of the still is critical b/c these help to promote reflux and so affect the interaction between the botanicals and the development of flavor
- rate of distillation also impacts the final flavor
- spirit is reduced with water to a strength suitable for distilling (60% abv on avg)
- botanicals are added and distillation begins: the first botanicals to come across are the msot volatile - lemon and orange peels, then juniper, which blurs into the spicy notes of coriander, and finaly teh rooty notes of orris and angelica
- the longer the gin run lasts, the deeper the aromas become and eventually the fragrance changes into a stewed and more overtly rooty note. all premium gin distillers will cut to feints before this happens (Even though they don't have to discard the feints b/c they're dealing with a neutral spirit)
principle behind all flavored spirits
when distilled in the presence of alcohol, the essential oils (the volatile aromatics in teh botanicals) are released, mingle with teh vapor and are carried across to be condensed
ways to impact gin flavor and style during distillation
quality of the botanicals and how they are treated; botanicals recipe and how that is balanced; the use of reflux; the cut point

light, citric gin? create a specific botanical recipe, run the stills in a specific wy and cut at a specific point to retain the lightest of aromatics.
steps in gin production: bottling strength
all of the complex aromas are held together by alcohol. the aromas are layered on top of each other in the gin itself. diluting the gin triggers the release of the aromatics. the most volatile (citric) aromas are held at around 40%, so gins at less than 40% may lose the fresh citric impact.
compounded gins
simpler method of production. the producer buys flavorings (Steam-distilled or industrial essences) from specialist companies and blends these into the neutral alcohol
fruit gins
classified as liqueurs. made by adding fresh fruits (most commonly sloes, though damsons and citrus fruits are also used) or fresh fruit essence to a gin. some are made commercially (e.g. Plymouth, Gordon's), but most are produced domestically
Dutch Gin (Genever)
- traditionally based on a malt spirit (moutwijn) which is then redistilled with juniper and other botanicals in pot stills
- cask aging is used in some examples
- the moutwijn is made from a mash which can be made up of a mix of cereal (wheat, barley, rye)
- Oude Genever: need no aging, but by law must have min 15% moutwijn
- Jonge Genever: must have no more than 15% moutwijn
- Graanjenever: no moutwijn
- Korenwyn: aged in casks (no bigger than 700L capacity) and must have min 51% moutwijn

the use of moutwijn has direct impact on the aroma/texture of genever. moutwijn is rich in texture and its character diminishes the aromatic impact of the juniper
history of anise-based drinks
- Turkish distillers perfected their recipe for a flavored pomace spirit called raki during the time of the Byzantine Empire
- spice had been used by apothecaries
- absinthe was first produced by Madame Henriod in the Swiss Alps in the late 18th century. her elixir was made by macerating star anise, fennel, wormwood, and other ingredients in alcohol. The recipe for Chartreuse, which predates this by 200 yrs, shares many of the same base ingredients
- the 'recipe' was given to Henri Dubeid in 1787 who went into business with his son-in-law, Henri-Louis Pernod, to produce absinthe in commerical quanitites
- Absinthe was a phenomenon in 19th c France; popularity was initially boosted by the Foreign Legion for anti-malarial purpose. claimed to boost creativity. seized by poets and writers.
- Global backlash in late 19th c and banned in 1915
- In 1928 Pernod introduced a new brand - sweeter, with anise as its main ingredient.
- In 1932, a drier style called pastis was launched by Paul Ricard
- The ban has eased, allowing some classic-style absinthes to reappear
EU laws around anise drinks
must obtain their flavor from star anise, green anise, and/or fennel and this must be the dominant flavor/aroma. the spirit base is neutral alcohol and the flavor can be obtained by maceration and/or distillation; redistillation with the flavoring ingredients; the addition of aniseed-flavored extracts; or a combination of these.
to qualify as pastis, liquorice root has to be added as part of the botanical mix and the max sugar level is 100g/L.
Ouzo must be produced in Greece, be colorless, and have a max sugar level of 50 g/L.
- All true raki, absinth, pastis, and ouzo will louche (go cloudy) when watter is added to them

- this is b/c the essential oils of the botanicals that are held in teh spirit are insoluble in water and form a suspension when dilute
- an ancient medicinal herb
- the key ingredient to absinthe is grand wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
- Pythagoreas advised its use as an aid to childbirth and it was widely used as a cure for jaundice and rheumatism.
- The Chinese are using it as an anti-malarial agent
- adds a musky floral note and bittering quality to absinthe
Absinthe ingredients and characters
- key ingredient is grand wormwood
- Star anise and green anise and fennel supply the dominant aniseed flavors; wormwood adds a musky floral note and a bittering quality
- jade color is provided by petite wormwood (Artemisia pontica), hyssop and/or melissa
classic absinthe production
- main botanical ingredients are macerated in high-strength alcohol (wine-based or neutral grain) for 24 hours
- flavored spirit is then diluted, redistilled, and a spirit of around 80% abv is collected
- coloring plants are added for a short period of maceration
- botanical recipe varies between producers.
- most new absinthes are made by adding extracts to alcohol.
- only classic absinthe louches when water is added
- This alternative to absinthe was anise-rather than wormwood-based
- spirit is based on 3 flavor blocks:
1) star anise and fennel are distilled and rectified to extract anethol
2) this is blended with neutral alcohol and distillates of other botanicals
3) liquorice root and botanicals are macerated in neutral alcohol
... these flavor streams are blended, sweetend and colored
- a dry drink, intended as a thirst quencher
- production is similar to absinthe: the key is in the quality of the ingredients and the balance of the recipe
- dry ingredients are macerated for 3 months, then blended with the distillates and left for a month to marry
Anise-based drink
Greek equivalent of pastis. classic examples use neutral alcohol that is then redistilled with anise and other botanicals and mastic. other examples simply blend anethol with neutral alcohol.
Anise-based drink
From the same family as Ouzo; hails from Turkey and Lebanon. Based on a raisin/sultana spirit redistilled with anise... a more subtle, mellow spirit. Regarded as being the highest quality product in the anise family of spirits. Lebanese raki tends to be pomace-based and is drier in character.
Anise drinks other than pernod, pastis, ouzo, raki
Spain: range of anise-based drinks, mostly sweetned and drunk as digestifs. Most widely exported is the Basque specialty Pacharan, a sloe-berry infused anise. ranges from dry to semisweet and sweet.
- Spicy, mouth-wateringly pungent aroma of caraway domintes the spirits of Scandinavia
- based on neutral grain spirit, redistilled with caraway and, depending on the recipe, other botanicals such as dill, fennel, cumin, coriander, and orange peel which are either macerated in the caraway-flavored spirit or used as distillates and blended in
- some examples aged in oak. they are known as Snaps in Denmark and Sweden.
history of cognac
- wine made in Cognac since the 3rd century
- in 17th c the Champagnes converted to producing brandy but Borderies switched only in 1766 after a major frost
- demand for Cognac grew throughout the 18th century in Britain and Ireland
- 2 major players: Martell and Hennessy, as well as smaller houses Augier and Delamain
- phylloxera hit in 1870s, destroying 250k vineyards and leading to the rise in Scotch whisky poularity
- 20th c: recovery, crisis, resurgence.
Crus of Cognac
6 vinegrowing areas:
1) Grande Champagne
2) Petite Champagne
3) Borderies
4) Fins Bois
5) Bons Bois
6) Bois Ordinaires

Character of the eaux-de-vie from each cru is dictated to by its terroir. The quality and finesse of a spirit reflects the amount of chalk in the soil: the more chalk, the better
soils of the Cognac crus
Champagnes: chalk
Borderies: clay
Fins Bois: clay with islands of chalk where the top sites are located
Bons Bois: heavy clay
Bois Ordinaires: light and sandy
typicity of the Cognac crus
Champagnes: aromas akin to jasmine and lime blossom, best suited to long aging
Borderies: more weight and a hint of violet
Fins Bois: grapey fruitiness, matures more quickly

but there are great, good, and indifferent sites within each cru. the qualilty of a cognac ultimately lies in the skill of the distiller and blender
grapes of Cognac
Ugni Blanc (95%): good natural acidity and provides floral spicy notes and an aroma of patisserie/pastry
Folle Blanche: More prone to disease but prized for supple weight and deeper fruitiness; aromas of angelica flower and violet
Colombard: Racier but also highly aromatic
Cognac production: winemaking
Harvest starts in October. the grapes are lightly pressed and fermented without any addition of SO2 to stabilize the juice. Because of this the wine has to be inherently stable, so high levels of natural acidity are needed. Also distillers want a low alcohol wine (8-10% abv) bc it is easier to concentrate the aromas.
the wine may often be left on its lees. it will also go through a natural malolactic, which also helps stability
Cognac production: distillation
- All Cognac must be distilled by midnight on Mar 31 of the year following the harvest
- Distillation must take place in a Charentais still
- The first pass is distilled in its entirety, producing a distillate (brouillis) with a strength of between 26-29% abv
- brouillis is then redistilled (bonne chauffe) in a still of a capacity no greather than 30hl and which is filled with no more than 25hl of liquid
- it is then divided into heads (tetes), heart (coeur), and tail (Seconds). there is a tiny element (queues) at the very end
- the heart is collected as new spirit (Eau-de-vie) while the heads, secondes and queues are combined and then redistilled, either mixed in with the next charge of brouillis or the wine. where these are placed impacts flavor. the points at which the distiller starts and finishes collecting the heart of the run is critical in creating the flavors. most distillers cut from heart to secondes at btw 58-60% abv

--> distillation is very slow: the first distillation might take 9 hours, with the bonne chauffe taking 14 hours from start to finish, and the heart run taking 6 hrs or more
Charentais still
used in Cognac production
consists of a bulbous wine heater (chauffe-vin) with a pipe which takes the warmed wine (some firms do not pre-heat) into the body of the still (chaudiere). when heat is applied, the alcoholic vapors rise and swirl through the head (chapiteau) before swooping alon gthe swan neck (col de cygne) which passes through the chauffe-vin before finally coiling around in the condenser which sits underneath

--> the wine heater is not always present
--> shape of the head plays its part in flavor creation. most are either elongated oval ("olive") or a fatter wider onion.
--> speed of distillation is important - slower is better b/c this allows greater interaction btw vapor and copper, as well as promoting reflux
bonne chauffe
product of 2nd distillation in cognac production (brouillis is from the 1st distillation).
Cognac production: Remy method
Uses lees during distillation. Distiller's argument is that it is the lees which carry the wine's flavor, its depth of character, and that they provide a soft mouthfeel. Cognac distilled with lees will supposedly help to preserve the typicity of the terroir. With no lees there is no development of rancio (the very rich quality developed by older Cognacs, whiich gives them complex dried fruit and nut aromas). The heavier the lees, the fatter and coarser the resulting spirit, so there is a balance to be struck.
Cognac production: Martell method
Opposed to Remy method. Aim is to produce a lighter, quicker maturign style of spirit and so the wine being distilled has no lees. Firms using this technique will often either be from or base their blends on crus which are quicker maturing: e.g. Martell is based on Borderies.

Also includes diverting the seconds back to the wine.
Cognac production: impact of secondes
Where the secondes end up is fundamental to the final flavor of the spirit. If they are diverted back ot the wine, teh alcohol level is raised significantly which aids in producing a higher strength and therefore lighter character spirit.

If the secondes go into the brouillis, then a deeper and richer eau-de-vie is produced.

Some distillers, most notably Hennessy, will take an intertermediate course and split the secondes btw wine and brouillis, giving a ripe and fruity quality.
Considerations for the Cognac distiller
- distill with lees or not
- where to put the secondes
- what cut points to have
- the nature of the vintage (warm years --> high sugar/lower acid... Cognac producers hate it b/c they want to achieve consistency every year)

Because Cognac producers want consistency and vintages vary, adjustments to the distillation process have to be made every eyar
Cognac production: Maturation
Cognac is also about the complex interactions between spirit and oak. 2 types of oak are used for the 350-400L barrels: Limousin's coarse grain gives a quicker extract, while Troncais has a tighter-grained structure that is mroe suitable for lengthy aging periods
- Most firms first age their eaux-de-vie in new barrels for a short period (6mos-1yr).
- Eaux-de-vie then decanted into older barrels where maturation continues
- if the first period gives a rapid blast of oak-derived components, the second allows a slow oxidation and integration and concentration of these compounds with the spirit without any more intrusive oakiness
- The progression of flavors during maturation: freshness of the eaux-de-vie is slowly replaced with flowers, vanilla, then hazelnut, cooked citrus fruits, grilled nuts, cedar, then dried fruits/flowers, spices, cedar wood, and forest floor, dried fruits, decadent decay/rancio.
Cognac production: reduction
- cognac is collected at an avg of 70% abv but bottled at 40%
- cannot dilute to bottling strength in one go. cutting it too quickly splits the spirit and flattens the aroma, as well as causing a soapy flavor
- reduce slowly over time with demineralized water or with faibles (15% abv mix of old Cognacs and water)
- much depends on where the Cognac is going to end up - a future XO will need minimal reduction b/c it loses strength naturally. a VS needs to be brought down to bottling strength carefully but quickly
Cognac production: blending
Blender's work is paramount; must have a complete mastery of their house's stocks and the variations within it - vintage, age, oak, warehouse conditions, etc. must make a consistent product with fickle components.
Armagnac history
- France's first brandy was produced in GAscony, specifically in Armagnac, a century before in Cognac
- Dutch bought brandies from Armagnac in 17th c, when Cognac was growing
- Armagnac experienced export-led growth despite being more challenging to get it to Bordeaux than Cognac
- Phylloxera destroyed the rising fortunes of the the 19th century
- Volumes recovered after WWII but poor quality examples ruined its reputation
- Today volume is ~18,000 hl, a fraction of Cognac, but reputatino continues to rise
Armagnac crus and their soils
3 crus:
1) Bas-Armagnac: most westerly region; combination of forest and vineyard landscape whose soils are a mix of sand and chalk, studded with chunky stones known as boulbenes
2) Tenareze: Higher and warmer with a greater percentage of chalk in its clay base
3) Haut-Armagnac: Grapes tend to go to making Vin de Pays de Cotes des Gascogne
Styles of Armagnac crus
1) Bas-Armagnac: Most elegant/aromatic Armagnacs, often with an accent of prune. Tend to mature relatively quickly.
2) Tenareze: Rounded and complex, take time to open and can be fiery when young although there are areas which give results that are more in line with Bas-Armagnac and vice versa
3) Haut-Armagnac: Lightest style of all. Less important in Armagnac production.
Armagnac vs. Cognac
Armagnac is a richer, mroe earthy spirit than Cognac, and it seems rooted in its forests; the notes are those of prune, beech nuts, mulch, dark fruits and violet.
The region is warmer than Cognac and the base wines have a higher degree of alcohol (8-11%) and slightly lower acidity.
Armagnac grapes
- 12 permitted, but most distillers use Ugni Blanc (for floral lift) and a hybrid variety Baco 22A (fruity and with good weight)
- Lightly perfumed Colombard and rich, scented Folle Blanche are also planted
- Baco 22A is crossing of Folle Blanche and the hybrid Noah
Armagnac production: Distillation
- Must be distilled to 52-72% abv
- Unlike Cognac's traditional discontinuous pot still system, Armagnac has long used a single-column still, patented by M. Verdier in 1818. It is an adaptation of the column still created in 1801.
Armagnac single-column still
variation of the column still. all variations consist of 2 chambers: one contains a preheater and condenser; the other a heating chamber and a column separated by perforated plates.
the cold wine is run into the base of the preheater and is heated to 85-92dC. it rises, passes into the heating chamber where it vaproizes, and travels through teh plates before returning to the 'worm' contained in the heater where it is condensed into clear spirit.
a simple heat exchange occurs: the hot vapor heats the wine up; the cold wine at the base assists in condensing.
alambic armagnacais
traditional small portable still used for armagnac. it would be trundled from farm to farm. the distilling column had very few plates (as few as 3), giving a rich heavy spirit with an avg strength in the low 50s % abv. today's 'modern' still has 15-20 plates and b/c of the more effective rectification (purification), can distill to 60%+ abv. some distillers will also redistill secondes. though the resulting Armagnac is lighter than the traditional style, the spirit is still richer and more deeply fruited than Cognac. This richness is Armagnac's "secret"
Armagnac production: maturation
- final layer of complexity is given by the oak in which armagnac is matured
- 3 types of oak used: Limousin, Alsace, and (less frequently) the local black oak from the Monlezun forest (rare, this high tannin species is prized for giving a solid, earthy, structural base to baby Armagnacs in a short time)
- As with Cognac, the eaux-de-vie are given a short period of aging i nnew oak before being transferred to older wood
- Armagnac matures more sllowly than Cognac: the low strength, densely flavored spirits take longer to break down in wood and reveal complexities
- Con: many VS/VSOP are released far too young
- Pro: Aged examples do not need to be reduced as dramatically as in Cognac as evaporation brings the strength down naturally
Cognac and Armagnac aging terminology
Distillation is permitted until 31st March following the vintage. The eaux-de-vie start as compte 00 during this period. On April 1st, they become compte 0, then each successive year moves up the scale; 1, 2, 3, and so on.
- In 2005, the BNIA created a new category, "Blanche Armagnac," for unaged white Armagnac.

aging requirements:
- VS or *** Cognac: Can be sold from compte 2 (i.e. the youngest Cognac in the blend is a min of 2 years old). A VS or *** Armagnac only needs to be compte 1 (one year old)
- VSOP Cognac and Armagnac is allowed to be sold from compte 4
- XO/Napoleon Cognac is allowed to be sold from compte 6, or 6 yrs old. XO Armagnac need only be from compte 5, or 5 yrs old.

These terms are often used for other brandies, but there are no legal restrictions on their use outside these regions, making them effectively meaningless.
Spanish brandy overview
There are 2 regions with DO-controlled brandy production in Spain: the spirit must be aged in teh Jerez or the Penedes region, though the base wines generaly come from La Mancha. Styles vary widely from distiller to distiller, but the brandies are often deep in color and very soft and sweet.
the product has always been a domestic one. Has suffered in recent years as post-Franco Spain has embraced imported spirits such as blended Scotch and aged rum, but Brandy de Jerez is still a significant business and one that has helped to financially underpin many sherry houses.
Brandy de Jerez: grapes
- mainly grown in La Mancha and extremadura
- Mostly Airen and Palomino - high in alcohol and low in acidity
Brandy de Jerez production: distillation
Some distillation occucrs in Jerez, but most is carried out near the vineyards in teh town of Tomelloso (La Mancha).
- Pot stills are used to produce the fullest-flavored (alquitara) style. The bulk of the spirit is however distilled in continuous stills, split into 3 grades:
1) Holandas: distilled only to 70%
2) Aguardente: Distilled up to 80%
3) Destilado - 2 strenghts; one up to 85%, the other to 94.8%

B/c the 3 distillates are also different flavoring componetns, the blender has a wide range of characters to play with, mixing diff percentages of the fuller-bodied holandas with the lighter aguardientes
- In general, the entry-level solera brands will all be aguardiente, while the top deisgnation of Solera Gran Reserva tends to be made from 100% holandas spirit
- By law, the final blend must contain a min 505% of spirits that have been distilled at under 86%
Brandy de Jerez: maturation
*this is where Brandy de Jerez differs significantly from other brandies - rather than static aging, distillers employ the solera system as used by the sherry industry
- collection of casks arranged in layers, each containing brandies of a different avg age. when a brandy is to be bottled, teh required amt is removed from the bottom layer. the casks are then replenished with the same volume from the tier above, and so on back through the system.
- b/c no more than 33% of the volume of each cask can be removed at any oen time, this means that there is some brandy which never leaves the solera
- the younger stock brandies take on some of the character of the older
Brandy de Jerez: oak
- the solera method of blendign allows flavors to be developed, gives greater oxidation and also changes the manner in which the spirit interacts iwth the oak, which is either European (ex-Olrooso or PX sherry butts) or American (ex-Fino butts)
- the oak types also give different flavors to the final spirit: walnut, plum and figs from European/Oloroso and raisin from PX; vanilla, fresh fruits and grilled nuts from American/Fino
Penedes brandy
- Brandy is also produced in Catalunya, specifically in the NE wine-growing region of Penedes
- The entry level brands are column-still/solera aged, but the top-end examples use Charentais-style pot stills and age statically, mostinly in Limousin and Alliers oak. This style, while slightly fuller than French brandies, has a subtle complexity when at its best
range of abv for liqueurs
15-30% abv
range of abv for vodka/gin
40-50% abv
range of abv for whisky/brandy/rum
40-60+% abv
min abv level for vodka in EU
name 2 russian vodkas
name 2 polish vodkas
Chopin (potato)
name 1 u.s. vodka
Tito (artisan, 100% corn, made in Texas)
name 1 french vodka
Grey Goose
name 1 vodka from holland
ketel one
name 1 global vodka
Smirnoff (Diageo)
name 4 popular London dry gins
Beefeater, Tanqueray, Bombary Sapphire, Gordon's, Boodles
where was gin developed
what is corenwyn?
"corn wine"
cask-aged version of Genever in which malt wine comprises at least 51% of distillate
what is oude?
traditional style of Genever in which there is minimum 15% "malt wine" - a distillate of corn, rye, and wheat
what is jonge?
a cleaner, modern, more neutral style of Genever with less malt wine than the oude style
name 3 styles of gin
London Dry Gin
Plymouth Gin
Old Tom Gin
Describe London Dry Gin
the most popular style. like all gins, a neutral grain spirit is flavored with a range of botanicals - juniper berries are most important - and redistilled. LDG's employ wide range of flavorings, contain a noticeable citrus and spice element
Describe Genever Gin
gin produced in a pot still. sweeter/less alcoholic than london dry. juniper and malt are primary aromatics. gin may be aged in oak casks, taking on color/roundness from the wood. traditionally contains minimum 15% malt wine (distillate of corn, rye, wheat)
Describe Plymouth Gin
style of gin revived in 1996. Only produced by Plymouth, Coates, and Co. in England. fuller in body than London Dry Gin, and more aromatic. Proper gin for Pink Gin cocktail.
Describe Old Tom Gin
style of gin rarely seen. lightly sweetened. the classic gin in Tom Collins cocktail and the base of the 19th century martinez cocktail (possibly precursor to Martini)
list the 5 legal categories of Scotch Whisky
1) Single Malt: Distilled from malted barley in a pot still at a single distillery and bottled in Scotland
2) Single Grain: Produced at a single distillery from unmalted barley, wheat, or corn.
3) Blended Malt: From blend of malt whiskies
4) Blended Grain: From blend of grain whiskies
5) Blended Scotch: Blend of malt and grain whiskies produced at a number of different distilleries
rules for scotch whisky
produced in scotland
distilled twice or more
aged at least 3 years
must be at least 40% abv
list the 6 regions of scotch whisky production
1) Highlands: Largest region
2) Lowlands: Lightest/least smoky; ideal aperitif
3) Speyside: On river spey. Former subzone of Highlands.
4) Islay: Peatiest, smokiest
5) Islands: Pronounced peat/toasted seaweed
6) Campbeltown: Once flourishing; now only 3 distilleries
list the islands of scotch whisky production
how is irish whiskey produced
traditionally distilled 3x in a pot still, although many today are distilled in continuous still
aged min 3 years before release
name one exception to the rule that Irish whiskies are generally uninfluenced by peat
peat-fired, Single Malt Connemara produced by Cooley
list the 6 defined regions of Cognac production, in descending order of quality
Grand Champagne
Petite Champagne
Fins Bois
Bons Bois
Bois Ordinaires
describe the soils of Cognac
Grande/Petite Champagne: high % of soft chalk (preferred)
outlying appellations: hard limestone, sand, clay
list the grapes of Cognac
Ugni Blanc (St-Emilion)
Folle Blanche
list the parts of the distillate in cognac production
Tete (head)
Coeur (heart)
Secondes (second cuts)
Queue (tails)
list the 3 regions of production in armagnac
list the grapes used in spanish brandy production
airen, palomino
true/false: pomace spirits are brandies
false - pomace is the remnants left after pressing grapes (not wine); because they are not distilled from wine, they are not brandies
name 3 types of pomace spirits
marc (France)
grappa (Italy)
Bagaceira (Portugal)
list 3 terms for wood-aged grappa
list the 3 delimited regions of production for Calvados
Calvados Pays d'Auge
Calvados Domfrontais
how much pear cider (perry) is in Calvados Pays d'Auge and Domfrontais
Pays d'Auge: max 30% perry
Domfrontais: Min 30% perry, min 3 yrs aging in cask, continuous distillation
list the types of plums used in Plum eaux-de-vie
name a fig eau-de-vie
(national drink of tunisia)
name an apricot eaux-de-vie
Barack Palinka
what is the name for raspberry eau-de-vie
list the 4 major styles of rum
Light rum
Dark rum
Rhum agricole
list the states of Tequila production