iStill University Workshop!

This week we had 14 visitors from all over the world. In 4 days we trained them in the noble art of craft distilling.

Topics that we dealt with were:

  • Mashing;
  • Fermenting;
  • Distilling;
  • Aging;
  • Vodka;
  • Gin;
  • Whisky.

We made the following products and did the following runs:

  • We mashed 2000 liters of peated single malt grains and water;
  • We fermented 2000 liters of single malt beer;
  • We stripped and finished the beer and low wines and created new make spirit;
  • We barreled the new make;
  • We made vodka (1) and gins (5!) and a number of extracts.

All in all, it was another great course with lovely students! Here are a few pictures we took:

No visit to the Netherlands can be complete without tasting Gouda …

And afterwards … dinner in the Stadshotel …


The students at the iStill University …


Making whisky in the iStill University …


Filling up barrels with new make spirit …


Meanwhile at the iStill University …

Doing interesting stuff at the iStill University! First, we are designing a vodka for a customer. Second thing we are currently busy with, is making beer, using the iStill 500 and the iStill Extractor. Here are a few pictures:

Willem working with a glass laboratory iStill …


Digitally analyzing the vodka run …


Heads stabilization …


William making 300 liters of beer …


Craft Distillery Launches New Scottish Spirit!


A new micro distillery has opened its doors in Tayport, Fife, using locally sourced fruit and grain to produce Scotland’s first version of France’s famous eau de vie (courtesy BGLive).

Eau de Vie from Scotland

Tay Spirit’s “Never.25” infuses grain that is milled, mashed, fermented and triple-distilled in Fife before Scottish fruit is added to macerate and infuse into the spirit. A fourth distillation then enhances flavor even more.

This naturally flavored drink, which is being made in raspberry, strawberry, and apple flavors, is the brainchild of Kecia McDougall who was inspired by Fife’s food larder to create the unique Scottish spirit.

Using advice from Business Gateway Fife, the former nurse and distiller invested £120k to start the business, importing a bespoke 500 liter iStill distillery from the Netherlands, that has the capacity to produce up to 1000 bottles per month. The iStill systems are used for mashing, fermenting, as well as distillation.

Kecia said: “Because the gin market is now maturing, I wanted to make something different. With such high-quality grain and world-renowned fruit on my doorstep, eau de vie seemed the natural fit. The drink is 100% Scottish using wheat from Fife, fruit from Fife and Tayside, and Scottish barley. Seven steps are followed to create the unique spirit from scratch on Scottish soil, with the fruit added twice to give “Never.25“’s signature flavor. Eau de vie is already a huge hit in American cocktail bars and that trend will distil across the Atlantic and, as the only producer of eau de vie in Scotland, “Never.25” will be perfectly placed to fulfill demand.”

Business Gateway Fife

“Immediately after I came up with the idea my husband suggested I speak with Business Gateway Fife. My adviser has opened so many doors for me, connecting me with branding experts and helping me successfully apply for funding from Fife Council’s Financial Support to Businesses, Scottish Enterprise and DSL Finance. His help has kept me on track and focused. I wouldn’t be where I am without his input.”

Charles Doeg-Smith, adviser, Business Gateway Fife, said: “Kecia wanted to distil something new on Scottish soil that had the potential to be the next big thing. She also recognized that the abundance of fresh produce grown locally could help her do just that. Our support helped her gain invaluable marketing and positioning insight from The Gothenburg Experiment, a grant from Financial Support to Businesses helped ease start-up costs and a By Design Grant from Scottish Enterprise led her to work with branding experts FortyTwo Studios in Aberdeen who have perfectly captured her story and ethos.”

What’s in a name

Forgetting her 25th wedding anniversary last year provided Kecia with the perfect name for her product, Never.25, whose label features a range of symbols close to her heart that include flags (the Saltire and the Stars and Stripes), a robin, a musical pause, a golf ball, and a bluebird.

Kecia said: “Setting up the business has been a whirlwind, and it wasn’t until my father-in-law phoned to apologize for not sending us a 25th wedding anniversary card that I realized we’d also forgotten and my husband exclaimed ‘it’s never 25 years?’ which lead us to our brand name. The symbols on the label are all linked to my life – the golf ball for my son, the musical pause for my daughter, and the robin for my mother-in-law who, before passing away from Motor Neurone Disease, told us that whenever we see a robin she is around us.

“The bluebird is integral to the start of my new life in Scotland. When I left America 30 years ago I sat next to a stranger on the plane who noticed I was upset, having left my family at the airport. She asked for my address and two weeks later a beautiful bluebird ornament was delivered and it still has pride of place in my kitchen. That compassion, and the fact the bluebird is a symbol of happiness, seemed to perfectly epitomize what I wanted to achieve with my eau de vie – produce a product that brings friends and family together.”


Contract Distilling by iStill!

Do you want to contract out distillation, barrel aging, and warehousing? iStill now offers those services! For more information reach out to

We are currently processing some beer that turned sour for a local craft brewer. “Some” being a bit of a understatement. And experienced distillers know: nothing better than a sour beer to start a great whisky from! See pictures underneath …

Beer kegs in the iStill Distillery …


Emptying the kegs …


Some initial degassing …


2,000 liters of beer ready for distillation …