After an extensive search, Dartmoor Whisky founder Greg sourced our beautiful copper still from the Cognac region of France.
Master Distiller Miguel D’Anjou is the third generation distilling fine Cognac from his farm near Pons, and the still was commissioned by his grandfather in 1966. When the family installed two larger stills in 1994, the still was decommissioned and had laid dormant since.
When it first arrived in England, the still was black and covered in a rusty mould layer – but our team saw the potential it had and began restoration. To it to its original beauty, the still was sandblasted and polished until the copper shone again. Now fully refurbished, when you visit our distillery you can see our stunning still trickling with the finest new make spirit, or what we call the ‘water of life’.
Fine whisky requires a fine copper still, and size and shape is important. If the still is too large, the spirit will have less contact with the copper which purifies it. Shape is also essential to encourage vapour ‘reflux’ and a steady condensing of the spirit vapours.
Our still is 1400 litres to receive a 1200 litre charge of beer wash, and the bulbous head with swan neck maximises reflux. Our Master Distiller believes that this is the reason for our very smooth and sweet new make spirit.
A central copper ‘wash warmer’ is also incorporated, functioning to pre-warm the wash for optimum efficiency and double the period of time the spirit is in contact with the copper. Our condenser operates at a rate of 50 litres per hour to ensure a gradual condensing of the spirit vapours.
Time lapse of us installing the still.
Our still fully working.
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The Old Town Hall, Town Hall Place, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, Devon, England, TQ13 9EG