Let’s talk about distillation.
Diligent students might recall what they learned in science class.
During distillation, aroma and flavor produced during fermentation are condensed
thanks to the different boiling points of water and alcohol.
Two rounds of distillation produce a clear, colorless spirit called “new make spirit.”
This liquid is a powerhouse, with an alcohol content of around 70%.
Typically conducted under direct
heat of up to 1,000 degrees
to reach the boiling point in one go
Heated indirectly with steam
at 120 degrees to remove
elements with unwanted flavors
Here we have sixteen pot stills, each of varying shape and size.
Straight type stills send the liquid indirectly to the cooling device to create a strong,
profound new make spirit. Bulge type stills allow alcohol’s flavor elements
to repeatedly reflux in the bulging portion to produce a lighter new pot.
Even with similar shapes, stills are distinguished
by neck size and angle. Variety. Versatility.
By policy, no whisky is ever made exactly the same.
Pot stills are made of copper with high thermal conductivity.
As the wash contacts the copper, new flavor elements are generated and refined.
Four pot stills were added in 2013 to increase production capacity.
Such a large variety of pot stills at one distillery is rare
in the whisky-making world. In Scotland, a country known for its whisky-making,
there are many distilleries, but each produces its own distinctive whisky either
to keep or to trade with other distillers.
Japan, however, has only a few distilleries.
With no access to trading, each distillery must create its own
wide variety of whiskies instead. Everything has a reason,
even this example of Japanese ingenuity.