What Is The Purpose Of Multiple Distillations?

What Is The Purpose Of Multiple Distillations?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you taste vodka? How smooth it is! 

Smooth vodka is the name of the game and multiple distillations are how we win.

Our goal at Purity is when you drink our vodka, you think, “Wow, that is smooth vodka.” How we get to that level is determined by the amount of time the spirit spends in contact with copper, through our distillation process.

So what is the distillation process and where did it come from?

Distillation of alcohol is the process of separating the components of a liquid mixture through heating and condensation. When producing spirits, a mixture of fermented grains, fruits, or vegetables is heated to create vapor which is then condensed back into a liquid. 

The resulting liquid is a higher concentration of alcohol than the original mixture.

This process can be repeated many times to achieve a smoother spirit with higher purity.

Alcohol distillation has a deep history dating back to ancient civilizations. The earliest known evidence of distillation comes from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, where a type of still was used to produce perfumes and aromatics. The ancient Greeks and Romans also used distillation to make perfumes and other fragrances.

The technique of distillation for the production of alcoholic beverages was developed by Arab scholars in the 8th and 9th centuries. They improved the ancient techniques and began using the still to produce distilled spirits, such as arak and rakia. 

Distillation spread to Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries, where it was used primarily to make brandy.

During the Middle Ages, monasteries and universities in Europe began experimenting with distillation and developing new methods for producing alcoholic beverages. The technique of distillation became more widespread during the Renaissance and was used to produce gin, whiskey, and other spirits.

In the 19th century, advances in technology and ever-growing ideas, such as the development of the column still, led to the mass production of distilled spirits. Today, distillation is used to produce a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, including vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, tequila, and many others.

Multiple distillations equal higher vodka purity and a smoother taste.

The purpose of multiple distillations for making vodka is to increase the alcohol content and purify the liquid. Vodka is traditionally made by fermenting and distilling grains or potatoes, and the initial distillation typically produces an alcohol mixture with an alcohol content of about 20-30%.

Multiple distillations involve running the initial distillate through the still several more times, each time increasing the alcohol content. This process can take several days and is used to increase the alcohol content to the desired level, usually around 40-50%. 

Many distillers believe that the more times vodka is distilled, the purer and smoother it will be because, during the distillation process, impurities like methanol and other fusel oils are removed. Vodka that has been distilled more times will have a higher purity and therefore be smoother to drink. This process is repeated over and over until the Vodka is at the desired purity level.

With vodka, most commercial brands only distill their spirit 1-3 times, in order to mass-produce and get as many bottles on the shelf as quickly as possible. This results in leaving unwanted harshness, aftertaste, and impurities that make your martini or cosmopolitan utterly forgettable (until the next morning, that is). 

The truth – and sadly not enough people know this – is that vodka, if distilled properly, has loads of character, nuance, and flavor. It should be incredibly smooth. 

Here’s how we tackle the last part…

We do distillation differently; The Smoothness Machine.

Much more than a beautiful sculpture, the Purity custom-made copper still is the heart and soul of our award-winning spirit. It’s the reason for our signature smoothness. It’s the tastemaker.

Our master distiller, Stefan Magnusson, has spent years refining the distillation process, crafting the heart of the spirit for maximum taste and best-in-class smoothness. 

Instead of distilling the spirit only a handful of times, Magnusson applies a specific number of distillations depending on the desired result. 

Purity 17 goes through 17 distillations with six hours of copper contact; Purity 34 receives 34 distillations, for twelve hours; and our flagship, Purity 51, experiences twenty hours of slow, slow distillation for incredible smoothness. 

Each batch has its characteristics – flavor profile, resolution in the mouth, and of course, smoothness. Each is unique.

And that brings us back to the magic of our copper still. The more times our spirit interacts with, and touches the copper, the more layers of flavor and smoothness emerge. But this takes time. Lots of it. 

So, when you see the word ‘artisanal’ bandied about by many brands, you have to question the time and effort they spend crafting their spirit. An artisanal vodka can only be created by slowly massaging the ingredients in the still until the flavors and the desired palate are achieved. And smoothness can only happen in smaller batches, with lots of patience. 

We think the results (and our many awards) attest to our methods and our process. We know it’s worth the wait.

Are you convinced yet?

Try our vodka to taste the difference.

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