View Full Version : distillation question

11-28-2004, 03:13
Please can anyone help me.
I'm a belgian whiskey collector, most of it scotch.
Now i'm introducing myself in the world of bourbon.
At distillation of scotch, the first fluid is called prerun, and is toxic. my question now is; is this the same with bourbon, and if so when is it removed?( and for what is it used)

11-28-2004, 06:14
Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that is the case with any beverage distillation. I believe the same goes for the tail end of the distillation as well.

11-28-2004, 13:02
Good afternoon and welcome,

Traditionally the fore and aftershots, the "heads and tails", were added to the next batch to be redistilled. Not that many years ago some bourbon brands pointed out in their advertisizing that they only used "the heart of the run". With modern distilling methods this is not as big a concern as it once was but at one time was considered important.


11-29-2004, 08:23
I believe a number of Russian customs officials died recently after confiscating some smuggled hooch and drinking it.

I think the reason distillers put the fore and the tail back into the mix is for consistency.

11-29-2004, 08:39
I read somewhere (not sure exactly, but it may have been in Making Pure Corn Whiskey by Ian Smiley) that foreshots and feints were recycled and redistilled because they actually contain desired flavoring cogeners, and redistillation allows more of those cogeners to get into the middle run. The book suggested that consequently the later still runs of any given distilling session will be more flavorful, and that when enough foreshots and feints have been accumulated sometimes runs of only that material can be done, resulting in particularly flavorful distillate. Maybe this is part of the voodoo of the master distillers in picking honey barrels: knowing from how early or late in a sequence of distilling runs a given barrel was produced.