Four Distillers Using Science to Build Better Spirits

For centuries, distillers have used their art and intuition to make spirits like whiskey (artisan whiskeys like The Lakes Whisky), vodka, gin (including craft gin like Archangel Gin or Old Bakery Gin), rum and tequila. However, now more than ever before they are turning to science for help.

Four distillers in four different regions of the world are using cutting-edge scientific methods to build better spirits:

Ayrshire Distillery (Scotland) – Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) technology that allows them to identify chemical compounds with precision.
North Shore Distillery (Massachusetts) – Utilizing a vacuum still that can extract flavour from botanicals without burning or caramelizing them.
House Spirits Distillery (Oregon).
Westland Whiskey Co. (Washington).

A brief history of distilling

The history of distilling dates back to the first millennium BC. It is believed that it happened by accident during storage of wine or beer where temperatures would rise causing fermenting at twice the speed which resulted in stronger drinks. Towards end of 15th century AD, During this time period, Arab chemists developed an early still (a device used for vaporizing and condensing substances). By 1620s, European scientists perfected distillation techniques using vacuum chambers known as “pumps” which enabled them to create far stronger alcohol. In the 18th century, a French chemist discovered that when he distilled wine it became stronger and more concentrated due to evaporation during boiling process. In 1753, an English scientist named Joseph Black discovered that by adding water or ice before distillation could lower strength of a drink thus creating liqueurs.

Today, distilling is used in commercial production for alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, brandy and rum etc.

The process of distilling

The distilling process is a way of separating and purifying compounds from a liquid mixture by heating to vaporize volatile components followed by cooling so that the vapours can liquefy again.

How science has changed the way we make spirits

Science has certainly changed the way we make spirits. The advantages of using science in distilling is you get more control over products with consistency, better yield, potency and taste at different temperatures since it does not affect product quality or purity like if heated very hot or too cold etc., while disadvantages would be increased costs due to equipment needed along with expertise training required leading many smaller producers not using science for now until further advanced technology becomes available reducing the risks involved.

Distillers are able to measure the chemical composition of their mash before, during and after fermentation which helps them determine factors that may cause problems downstream such as off flavours/odours from yeasts used etc., allowing them to identify issues early on so they can fix it without wasting time producing bad spirits which will not sell.

Distillers are also able to monitor the fermentation process, which will result in better yeast performance and more consistent batches. This would also help them produce spirits with higher alcohol content without too much stress on their yeasts leading to increased survival rates while producing optimal flavours and aromas.

The biggest advantage of using science is being able to increase production capacity while decreasing costs at all levels from equipment used, production speed along with labour needed resulting in lower prices for customers allowing distilleries deal with competition easier by putting products directly into market instead of relying on distributors, keeping quality control intact at all times. One disadvantage that may arise when using science is new producers not having enough time or resources available in investing money upfront before they start earning an income. This could result in distilleries having to close down or lower their standards.

What does this mean for the future of spirit making and consumption

The future of distilling is leaning more towards science and technology. Even though there are disadvantages, the advantages of using science in distilling outweigh these costs due to increased quality control, lower prices for consumers, easier competition with other producers.

The future of the distilling industry is in science. As consumers continue to demand more transparency and better quality, the industry will need to rely on brain-based research for new products that are high performing yet sustainable. This will certainly be the way forward for many distillers, including small batch distillers who create artisan products, as it is one of the best ways in which to stay ahead of their competition in an ever-competitive industry.

There is no doubt that with more innovative distilling methods, as well as the use of unique ingredients, small batch distillers will find a much greater demand for their products, as is the current trend even now, with craft spirits offering consumers a far better experience in terms of flavour, aroma and so much more.

A Brief Guide to Everything Whisk(e)y

There are countless brands on the market today but there’s also “craft” spirits which use locally sourced ingredients and only distil in small batches so as to ensure quality control. This new trend is in the form of artisan spirits made by craft distillers such as The Lakes Whisky. Craft whiskies can be found in most countries across the world including Scotland, Ireland, USA & Canada among others.

What is whisky made of

Whisky is made using a few different ingredients:

Barley (most common).
Wheat, Corn and Soybeans (USA/Canada uses these to substitute barley which is costly).
Potatoes & Sugar Beet (For Vodka in Russia/Poland).
Water and yeast for fermentation.

It is then distilled before aging it in oak barrels until ready to be bottled.

Whisky may also add flavours such as cinnamon or honey after the distillation process stops or use other forms of alcohol besides beer or wine during fermentation like brandy or cognac. This all depends on what flavour profile they’re trying to achieve with their product. Some whiskies are made using a continuous still while others will use pot stills such as those distilled in Scotland.

Craft Whisky is defined as whisky that has been distilled in a pot still, made from grain and aged for at least three years in oak barrels of less than 700 L capacity. It must also be bottled at no more than 80 proof (40% ABV) so it doesn’t become diluted with water during filtration or have any added colouring, flavours or other spirits mixed into it before being bottled. This makes craft whisky unique because each distillery will create their own flavour profile using different types of grains, yeast strains & techniques to give you an individual product every time.

The history of whiskey

Whisky was first introduced into the world in 1405 by the Scottish. The use of copper pot stills, where grains are fermented then distilled, differed from other regions that used larger copper vessels for distillation and ageing resulting in a more delicate product. These smaller stills were often heated over an open fire which brought out subtle flavours & aromas not found using other methods or materials.

Whisky can be made anywhere around the globe but must follow strict guidelines before being called whisky, otherwise it’s just ethyl alcohol with added flavourings. Creativity has blossomed following this new wave of craft whisky which uses unique ingredients and methods in order to bring out the best flavours and aromas possible. This can range from using specific types of wood for casks to adding small amounts of sherry or port wines.

How to enjoy your favourite whisk(e)y drink

Whisky should be consumed according to your personal preferences. Here are some suggestions on how you can enjoy your favourite whisky drink:

Add ice cubes or water for a more refreshing version of the same whisky type.
Use ginger ale, cola or mix with fruit juice in order to get an interesting cocktail variety.
Whisky stones are perfect if you want to keep your whisky cool without watering it down. Just pop them in the freezer beforehand and they will be ready when needed.

Whisky cocktails

Whisky is also the ideal spirit to use in cocktails such as the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned and of course, Irish Coffee.

Here are some amazing whisky cocktails:

The classic Whisky Sour.
Delicious Whisky Punch.
Spiced Berries & Honey Cocktail.

There is no end to your creativity where whisky is concerned. If you enjoy creating delicious drinks at home then there will be plenty more ideas. You can even try infusing your own spirits or liqueurs with different flavours such as vanilla, cinnamon or coffee to name just a few possibilities. Experimenting will open up an entire world of new flavour profiles which you can use in all sorts of wonderful ways to entertain your friends and family.

Types of whiskies and their characteristics

The different types of whiskeys include the following:

Bourbon whiskey is the most popular type of American whisky which has its origins in Kentucky, USA. It must be made with at least 51% corn and often contains other grains such as barley or malt. The characteristic flavour comes from the aging process which takes place in charred white oak barrels for at least two years before it can be sold to customers.
Craft whisky refers to any spirit that meets certain requirements regarding how it was produced, this includes being created by a small distillery without large quantities of mass production techniques or artificial additives used during fermentation or bottling.
Scotch whisky (made in Scotland) is one of the most popular and sought-after types of whisky in the world. It has a long history and is very much in demand.
American whiskies are not as famous, but they have been growing in popularity. They include bourbons and Tennessee whiskeys that can be produced anywhere within the US; there is no restriction on geography or water source unlike Scotch whisky.
Irish whisky is a much more unique flavoured whisky because of the way it is distilled. It uses a pot still distillation process that creates the distinctive rich, smooth and sweet taste of Irish whisky.
Single malt whisky is made from a mash of only malted barley. It must also be made on the same site as where it is aged, which separates it from ‘blended malt whisky.
Single grain whisky is a subtype of American whisky and distilled at one particular distillery.
Corn Whisky or ‘White Dog’ is unaged whisky that has been distilled out of at least 80% maize mash. It can also contain other grains including wheat, barley and rye but not malted barley.
Blended Whisky consists of both malt and grain whiskies blended together by the master blender before bottling to create an end product with different characteristics.

Optimizing Your Direct Mail Campaigns

If you were forced to choose only one sure marketing strategy for getting advertising or promotional materials to your new and future customers, that method should be direct mail.

A direct mailing campaign offers many attractive features. It is an effective and convenient way to get information about your business and products to your customer base right in their own homes or businesses. It is easy to catch your customers eyes with attractive brochures, and you can hold their attention as they peruse your ads at their own leisure. It is also a good way to get your information to a large group of people and is extremely economical! In addition, your potential customers will find this marketing technique less annoying than intrusive methods like telemarketing.

There are some downsides to direct mail, however. For one, if not formatted correctly, your customers may perceive your mailings as junk mail and not give them the attention you hoped for. As a result, the recipients might not bother opening your mailings and actually look at your offer.

This risk is more than offset by the huge payoff that can result from direct mailing campaigns. Even if only a few percent of your mailings result in successful sales, the slight cost of direct mailing will be well worth your time and money.

Here is an example of how direct mailing can pay off. Suppose you have an item you would like to market that costs you $50 to make or buy, and that you sell for $200. To inform customers of your product you send out 1000 mailings to past customers and people in your local community. Lets say you can do these for about 50 cents per item (the cost of producing the advertisement and postage). That means your 1000 mailings will cost you $500 total.

Next, lets make a very pessimistic estimate of your return rate. Suppose that only 1.5% of the people who receive your mailing actually end up purchasing your product. This means that you will make 15 sales of $200 each. This might not seem like very much until you analyze the costs and profits. You invested $500 in producing the mailings and $500 to obtain the product. You had a gross income of $3000, and, after costs, a net income of $2000. This is a huge return for what was essentially a very small investment!

The best part of the deal is that this example used a very small rate of successful sales conversion (1.5%). With quality mailings that are adequately focused on your customers needs, you should be able to increase that number up to 20% or more!

As another example, consider a recent popular self-help book. The publishers of this book chose as one of their first marketing campaigns a series of mass direct mailings. After their first mailing, they estimated their success rate in converting mailings to sales at 20%. They then followed this up with a second wave of mailings in which they greatly increased the mail volume. Their success rate shot up to 24%! In a third wave of mailings, their success rate stayed steady at 22%!

This is a good example of a well-timed direct mail strategy. The publisher used the first mailing to get the word out about the book and kick off sales. The second and third mailings were timed to capitalize on the success and recognition that the book had already obtained. Once people had heard good things about the piece of literature, they just needed the extra incentive of the mail advertisement to motivate them to go to the store and make the purchase.

To create your own success story like this, make sure to take care when you create your mailings. A poorly written ad will not increase your sales no matter how many people you send it to. In fact, writing a good ad is difficult to accomplish and requires a good deal of creativity and professional quality writing. You can find books on the subject if you are unsure about your writing and graphical design skills.

The other tricky part of a direct mail technique is to decide who to send the materials to. If you send your mailings to the wrong people, you are wasting your time and money. Do a thorough analysis of your customer base and their purchase records in order to determine who are the best targets for your direct mail campaign.

Direct mail is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most efficient marketing devices you can use. A little thought and care into the creation of your direct mail advertisements will reap you huge rewards in sales and is well worth your time.