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Whisky Words: Coffey Still

A Coffey still, also known as a column still or continuous still, is a type of distillation apparatus patented by Aeneas Coffey in the 19th century. Unlike traditional pot stills, which operate in batches, Coffey stills enable continuous distillation, allowing for a more efficient and consistent production process.

Vic Cameron, one of our whisky lecturers says: “A Coffey still is one type of continual distillation used for making grain spirit. It was patented by Aeneas Coffey in the 1830s. That's why it's called a Coffey still.

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Revolutionised Whisky Production
The Coffey still revolutionised the whisky industry by introducing a more efficient method of distillation. This innovation allowed distilleries to increase production volumes while maintaining quality, leading to the widespread adoption of continuous distillation.

Lighter Whisky Styles
Coffey stills produce a lighter and smoother spirit compared to pot stills. This difference in flavour profile played a significant role in shaping the development of blended whiskies. By producing a consistent and neutral spirit, distillers could create blends with precise flavour profiles, blending various whiskies to achieve desired characteristics.

Continued Relevance
Even in the modern era, Coffey stills remain an integral part of whisky production, particularly in the production of grain whisky. Many distilleries around the world continue to utilise Coffey stills alongside traditional pot stills, showcasing the enduring legacy of Aeneas Coffey's invention.

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