What is Distillation and How is Liquor Made?

Written by Peoples Bourbon Review Staff |

Distillation is a process that entails the changeover of a liquid into vapor which is later processing it back to liquid form. Most industries are bound to use this process on a much larger scale to produce whiskey. Typically, the entire process needs a still whereby the liquid is warmed up a condenser to cool down the vapor, and a receiver aimed at collecting the distillate.

The distillation process
The distillation process.

What is a Distillery?

A distillery is an establishment where the distilling of liquors is executed. However, many people mystify this term with a typical brewery meant to brew beer. A distillery often crafts hard alcohol such as vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, and the rest. All these distilled spirits share the same method of making as that of beer. It all starts by blending essential ingredients like yeast, grains, and water.

After the whole process is done, alcohol moves out first, given that it has a lower boiling point than water. After that, it is condensed by cooling down the vapor and compiling the emerging liquid, which is alcohol.

What is the history of distillation?

Distillation remains one of the earliest and most used separation methods. It was used back in 3500 BC in Egypt, whereby those who crafted perfumes found it as a method of separating scented oils of both plants and flowers. This process is based on the perception that various substances can turn to vapor at diverse temperatures. This was discovered by some of the ancient Greeks, who also found out that when you boil wine in an open pot, the alcohol vapor will be the first to exit.

During that time, distilling had not yet been approved for enjoyment drinks but was still being practiced in various medical schools to make herbal drugs. As time evolved, commercial distilling became a popular business, although it was confronted with licensing issues. As a result, the consumption of distilled spirits slowly lost its union divine symbolism. It later came to be a serious health issue as the abuse of spirit was now uncontrolled. However, the liking for fine spirits has prevailed as a testament to their old origin.

Currently, the process of distillation has not endured multiple changes. The old methods are still in place and are being considered more practical than the current methods.

Author: Peoples Bourbon Review Staff
The People's Bourbon Review - The ultimate Bourbon reviews and tasting notes by enthusiasts and the people.


Please Login to Comment
Card image cap Mark Pringle - interesting

Card image cap
Provide Feedback

Would you mind giving us feedback? What do you like or dislike about the website? How can we make it better? What features would you like to see added?

Seven Things that Can Negatively Impact the Taste of Bourbon or Other Whiskeys

Bourbon enthusiasts and those new to the bourbon-tasting experience want to enjoy their whiskeys to the fullest. With that in mind, it is essential to understand what things can adversely influence bo...Read More

Does Whiskey Oxidize? How Long is Bourbon Good Once Opened?

One of the most popular questions new bourbon enthusiasts ask is, "How fast will my bourbon oxidize once I open the bottle?" They are really asking, "How long is bourbon good for once o...Read More

This Stuff is Good! Belle Meade Sherry Cask Finish

This stuff is good! When I first nosed Belle Meade Bourbon Sherry Cask Finish, I expected something different from what I got. Initially, it was oak with molasses hiding underneath the oak; golden rai...Read More