A small, 5-gallon, copper alembic still sits on a table in the distillery room at Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery. The tasting room can be seen just beyond the window. Mt. Defiance distills absinthe with the alembic. It uses a larger, stainless steel 'pot still' to distill rum and apple brandy.
An 'alembic' is a still for distilling alcoholic beverages (and chemicals) consisting of two vessels connected by a tube. The liquid in the cucurbit (the base chamber) is heated or boiled; the vapor rises into the alembic hood, where it cools by contact with the walls and condenses, running down the spout into a receiving flask.—Wikipedia.
The word comes from the Arabic: al-anbīq, meaning 'still.' The French spelling 'alambic' is also commonly used, especially as the apparatus is often associated with cognac.
Mt. Defiance opened its cidery in August, 2014, in a building converted from a former auto service station. Its legal license to operate as a distillery was granted in January, 2015. Bottles of Mt. Defiance rum and apple brandy can be purchased at its facility, as well as its hard cider in bottles and growlers.
Mt. Defiance's name is taken from a nearby Civil War battle, that occurred in 1863, as General Robert E. Lee was moving his Confederate army from Virginia into Pennsylvania.
Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery
31 January 2015.
- More photos from the tour: here.
- Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virginia— I sell the ciders of Mt. Defiance. I do not, however sell its rum, absinthe, or apple brandy. Virginia is a distilled spirits control state: only the state government can distribute and sell liquor, through its ABC stores (Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control).
- Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject. Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL1.
- Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.
- For more from YFGF: