Like Our Distillery
Our Alambic Pot Still is an Original
In 1983 Charbay opened in Ukiah, California – No. 177 distillery in America. Since then over 2000 distilleries have come and some have gone. We’re still here, an original, and into our 13th generation of distilling history.
Our Alambic Pot Still is the Heart of Our Family Distillery
We distill with an Alambic pot still, also known as a Charentais still. It was handmade to our specifications by the Prulho family, a long-established maker of pot stills chosen by some of the best distillers in the Cognac region. It’s a 660-gallon work of art, made of only 2 pure red copper plates. It’s the heart of our distillery, a part of our family, defining us as genuine craft distillers. And with very few in existence in the US, it makes us and the spirits we create unique.
Distilling our way takes time but so it should
Distilling with an Alambic pot still is not for everyone. It’s an art form that takes years of practice and a huge dose of patience. There’s no automation, no shortcuts, no set it and forget it. But there is a reason we chose and will always prize the extremely slow, traditional method over others. It allows us to be precise and selective. We double-distill with our Alambic pot still, the first run to create the body of the distillate, the second run to fill that body with flavor. Distilling slowly, waiting for the right moment, we select only the best parts of the flavor of the entire run as your finished product. That’s the difference you can taste. We’re not trying to be super efficient. We’re taking our time to make awesome.
Why we use an Alambic pot still
We like a whiskey with a full flavor and a smooth finish. Don’t you? This is why we choose to distill with an Alambic pot still. A pot still is run on a batch by batch process, unlike a column still which is a continuous process. This allows us to create a complex flavor profile, through a double-distillation. The first run is for building the body of the distillate. The second run is to fill that body with the best parts of the entire run, which becomes your finished product. It takes years of experience to know what to look for, an abundance of patience to wait for the crucial moment to make the best cuts, and intense concentration for multiple days straight to get the fullness of flavor you’ll be able to feel. It’s so worth it!
“I like to showcase the flavor, develop the body, and let the finish speak for itself”. – Marko