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The Science of our Faraday Still

The Still

The whisky still at Penderyn is unlike any other: a single copper pot still that brings forth a flavourful spirit of extraordinary strength and purity.

Invented exclusively for us by Dr David Faraday, descendant of the ground-breaking Victorian scientist, Michael Faraday, our still creates a barley spirit of great finesse. As of 2014 we now have 2 of these stills. At 92% alcohol by volume our new spirit has the highest strength of any malt whisky.

(We have also recently commissioned a pair of more traditional 'lantern' stills which we will use to create new whiskies in the future.)


Whilst most Scottish and Irish distilleries would use a conventional two or three pot still system, the technology developed at Penderyn allows an extremely clean "flavourful" spirit to be produced from a single still.

Each morning our unique copper pot still is charged with the finest malted barley wash. As the steam heats the liquid it starts to bubble and the vapour rises into a copper column above the still. The column has a number of perforated plates and the vapour will condense on the first plate before being returned to the still.

As the process continues the vapour will reach the second plate and so on, before evaporating and falling back to the still, each step leaving the spirit smoother, softer and more refined. Eventually the spirit is drawn from the seventh plate on the second column and piped to our spirit safe where it lands, literally drop by drop, over the course of the day.
This magical process not only imbues our raw spirit with great complexity, depth and finesse, but also improves dwell time with the copper and removes many of the undesirable chemical compounds – something that a conventional two or three pot still system cannot achieve.  Arriving at the spirit safe at an industry high of 92% ABV, our spirit is virtually free from these chemical compounds and this fact becomes crucial during cask ageing.

It is a little known fact outside of the industry that a major part of the reason for aging whisky in charred oak barrels is to remove undesirable chemical compounds. The charcoal created as oak barrels are burned or charred prior to filling acts as a filter.  As these chemical compounds are generally absent from our spirit in the first place, we can concentrate our own use of barrels to primarily build complexity, flavour and depth.

All the elements of the distillation process are closely controlled by the Master Distiller, enabling the consistent production of high quality spirit. Even slight variations in climatic conditions during distilling will produce subtleties of character in the finished product. Unusually amongst malt whisky producers, all our bottlings are dated and connoisseurs will be able to pick up the slight flavour nuances from month to month.

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