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Whisky Words: Reflux

Whisky Words: Reflux

In Scotch whisky production, "reflux" refers to the process by which some of the vapour produced during distillation is condensed back into liquid and returned to the still for further distillation. This reflux is essential for achieving a higher level of purity and consistency in the final product.

Vic Cameron, one of our whisky lecturers says: “Reflux is an important property of distillation. When you boil liquid in a still, that liquid turns into a gas and rises inside the still. Now, if it turns back into a liquid before it gets out of the still, it falls back into the pot. That is called reflux. It’s very important because the more reflux you have in a still, the lighter the spirit you get at the end. The less reflux, the heavier and more robust spirit you have.”

Reflux is carefully controlled by distillers to achieve the desired characteristics in the final product. Adjusting the amount of reflux can impact the flavour, aroma and overall quality of the whisky. More reflux can lead to a lighter, more delicate spirit, while less reflux can result in a heavier, more robust whisky. It's a crucial aspect of the distillation process that contributes significantly to the character of the Scotch whisky.

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