What iStill Do I Need?

iStill offers the Potstill Series, the Plates Series, and the Hybrid Series. The potstill is, well, basically a very accurate and efficient potstill, that harvests robust flavors. The plated iStills are our take on the perforated and bubble cap plate technology. With added control and double the output rates, when compared to the older designs out there. It helps create balanced flavor profiles at great throughput rates. The Hybrid Series is the King of the Mountain. The one still that can do it all and make any spirit to perfection.

With the increase in choice that we now offer, what still should you choose? What design helps you best at creating, or better: harvesting, the flavors you are after? Let’s dive in deeper:

The “What iStill do you need”-Table …

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Fruit brandy

Fruit brandy is a two-dimensional, clear drink, that focusses on front-of-mouth and middle-of-mouth, fruity flavors. It can be made on a potstill, but – especially the finishing run – needs to be done slowly for the tails not to overrun the delicate fruity flavors. Plated stills help prevent tails smearing and are perfect for fruit brandies. Our Hybrid Series is good at making fruit brandy, but just as with a potstill, production speeds have to be dialed in defensively, especially towards the end of the run.


Cognac is a three-dimensional brandy, aged in barrels. Both the Potstill Series and the Hybrid Series help make amazing Cognac. The plated still can also make Cognac, but getting enough of those tailsy flavors over, for the spirit to stand up to the wood, asks that you push the pedal to the metal, especially towards the end of the run.


Gin is a 2 to 2.5 dimensional drink. Front-of-mouth, middle-of-mouth, and limited amounts of back-end flavor. Both the iStills Hybrid and Potstill are great solutions. Plated stills, even with the plates turned off, strip out too much flavor, and are therefore not the best solution for gin production.

Rum – light

Light rums have limited amounts of heads and tails smearing, and focus instead on substrate-related, middle-of-mouth flavors. The plated iStills and the hybrids are great solutions. Potstills tend to smear too much flavor in, for this spirit category.

Rum – medium

Medium rums have medium amounts of heads and tails smearing, and branche out towards more fruity as well as rooty/nutty flavor profiles. iStill’s Plated and Hybrid series excel, the potstills do a good job too.

Rum – heavy

Heavy rums depend on high amounts of heads and (especially) tails smearing. The potstill or hybrid are the stills of choice. The iStill Plated Series gets enough tails smearing over for a 3 to 4 year old rum, but not for a 20 year barrel aging program.


Vodka has a one-dimensional, middle-of-mouth flavor profile, and needs to be distilled at 190 proof. The iStill Hybrid is the only iStill (still?) capable of reaching high enough proof to make vodka.


Bourbon nowadays is mostly a whiskey with the flavor profile of a fruit brandy. Front- and middle-of mouth. Hardly any back-end flavors. This makes the potstill the wrong choice. Unless you are after a more potstill-style Bourbon like Woodford Reserve. The Hybrid Series is probably a better alternative, while the iStill Plated Series is spot on.

Irish whiskey

There are multiple varieties, but in general Irish whiskey is lighter in style. As with Bourbon, the Plated and Hybrid Series are perfect. For a more three-dimensional product, like Connemara, the Potstill Series are the best choice.

Single malt whisky

You need a hybrid or a potstill. The iStill Plated Series can make single malt, but is more suited for younger expressions.

iStill Distilling University

Are you interested in our taste-model? Do you want to learn how to create and judge spirits professionally? Please check out the iStill Distilling University at:



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