Scotch rarity: Only three distilleries continue to heat their stills with fire, but why?
THERE WAS a time when all Scottish distilleries heated their stills over gas or coal fires, but only a handful continue to employ the method. Here’s how steam-heated stills became the norm, and how the two methods affect whisky’s flavour.
Heating a still over live flame is a rare occurrence these days. In Scotland, only Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich and Springbank continue to use this method, as did Dornoch until early 2019 when it switched to direct electric.
The column still at New Riff Distillery / Photo Credit: New Riff Distillery
NOT LONG ago, we took a look at the beautiful simplicity of the pot still. We explained its inner-workings, and why so many great spirits pour forth from them. Now let’s take a dive into the world of continuous column stills.
Column stills have been around for roughly two centuries, with former Irish exciseman Aeneas Coffey having invented his Coffey still in the 1830s.