New Customer Feedback!

Hi Odin,

Hope you’re doing well.

Couple of updates!

The first gin distillation went well. It was a long one but I picked up a few things which was great. 1000L at 30% resulted in 860 bottles of 42% gin at 700ml. It slightly louched so added neutral to it of the same strength until I was happy. The flavour was still very heavy which was perfect. Compared to my old still, it saved roughly 3 days… brilliant!

I had to cut the spirit run shorter than the standard Istill gin program as heavy tails were coming through. Got my notes so we’ll be fully dailed in for next time.

Throughout the distillation, I couldn’t help think that I’ve made myself redundant! It’s completely automated and it reinforced that purchasing the Istill was the correct path for us.

Today, I’ve done the first rum strip run. 800 litres at 6.5% abv molasses boiler charge. I reached 200 litres of 37% abv.

Anti foam is here in a few days so I’ll fill to 1000 litres once it arrives for a proper full boiler charge test.

This Istill preformed very well throughout the run. Towards the end I noticed some cloud in the distillate but that could be from puking. I’ll have that sorted on the spirit run so not too bothered at this stage.

Just ran bread yeast as per the Istill university course. I only added DAP so next ferment is DAP plus nutrients. Hopefully I’ll gain around 8% then. I was expecting 8 so the 6.5 was annoying.

This Istill really pumps out the alcohol. It just flows and flows, hats off to you and the team.

Will get in touch with finance as might get a couple copper waffles sent over and at the same time a replacement insulation section for the top column. It got damaged in transit and crushed. Willem said if it doesn’t pop back out to get in touch with him.

Anyway, after a few more runs will update you on the progress.

Also thinking of the hybrid column and our next still. Thanks for the offer of storing it, very kind of you.

Speak soon


The most amazing potstill …

Wieke Distillers: Grain to Glass Single Malt Whisky!

The Wieke Distillery grows its own barley, malts it, ferments it, and then distills it in an iStill 2000. Grain to glass. Single malt whisky. Still in the barrel, but already tasting great!

13 Big Bags of freshly harvested barley, ready to be malted, enough for 3,200 liters of 65-70% New Make …

Arend tries out the maturing whisky …

“All that a Craft Distillery should be!” by New World Distillery



On-site crafted products consume less energy and create a smaller economic footprint than mass production, thus making them more sustainable.


You should feel better about spending your money on locally-made products because your contributions will create and sustain jobs.


Independent distilleries, unlike large, industrial producers, return a higher percentage of their revenue to the community in which they live and work.


Today’s society increasingly values handcrafted products not only because they are more authentic, but also because they are made by skilled artists who choose high quality raw materials and put painstaking care into each of the production stages.


That which is handmade brings us a more pleasant shopping experience because the product has a “back-story” that is an authentic story with real talent and the true inspiration for each spirit.


One of the most frequent reasons why people prefer to buy craft sprits is because they are not from the crowd, nor can they be seen everywhere. The allusiveness of a product can be frustrating for the consumer, but worth the effort when acquisition is a success. Each spirit carries the personal stamp and style of its maker and the passion is real, not contrived simply as a marketing ploy.

Chris and Ashley Cross …

Guerrilla Solution to High Energy Prices!

Here’s Jon. In true British style he found a way to deal with the high energy prices Europe is currently facing. What he does? He has an iStillery and re-uses the energy from his cooling water to heat-up his bar and restaurant (120 seats).

Please meet Jon …

And his warm bar and restaurant …


“Really really proud of myself today. They said it can’t be done or not worth doing. Today my prototype is blowing hot air in the restaurant all from waste energy from our bigger still “Becket”. Whilst distilling #Canterbury #Gin . I reckon it will run two more 1/2 meter fans.”


“Jon, can you explain what you did here?”


“Still a work in progress but basically connected the hot water out hose from the condenser and attached to a large coil fan heater. So warm water goes in the coil and the fan blows the heat into restaurant. I ran the top temp probe at about 35C . Because we start distilling at 7 and the restaurant opens at 12, we are nice and warm. The coil heater take 120C so looking at pumping the waste wash through as well. Using brewery hoses and pump.”

Authors Distillery from Finland!

Here is an interview with Ari Kaura, co-founder and master distiller at Authors Distillery from Finland. Authors Distillery has an iStill Mini and two production size iStill as well. Ari came over to iStill HQ for training at the iStill University.

How did the idea of Authors Distillery start?

Well, there is the story which you can find from our website and then there is a not so artistic version. I have had a dream of owning distillery for 20 years, because I have been enjoying Scottish single malts for 25 yo or so. Been in Scotland six times and visited 24 distilleries. Been wondering why the distilleries have their own character, when they buy their malt from the same place (like in Speyside). It must be the difference in stilling processes and the stills, because I don’t believe that the water made those changes.

Then my colleague, author and friend, Christian Rönnbacka, wrote a book about Finnish distilleries. At that time we often spoke about whisky. Later, in a phone conversation, I just asked him: ” Have you ever wondered what would it be like to have a distillery of your own?” He said yes. After that things moved quickly and Christian found couple more authors to join. I travelled to iStill in the Netherlands for training, because in Finland you need to get distilling training to get the license. Rest is history.

The Finnish prime-minister visits Authors Distillery …

What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?

We want to expand our business and our range of fine products. I already did the first continental rum in Finland. I have a process ready to do something else too, something never done in Finland. Of course, we would like to make some money on the road too.

What were the greatest obstacles in setting up the brand and the distillery?

The authorities, alcohol law, and the state monopoly of alcohol selling in Finland. It is slow and inefficient. We can’t even like somebody’s posting on Instagram if there is our bottle in the picture. It is illegal.

And what were the greatest joys and achievements?

It is great to get positive feedback from the customers, but when your product is chosen to be best in the country, you know that you are doing something right. Both our gin and rum have been awarded at the IWSC.

What spirits do you currently produce? What does the future look like?

We are producing three different gins, rum, and a couple of white label products (pastis and grappa). In the future we can see whisky making if we can find good enough (and affordable) barrels. We are also moving to soft and low alcohol drinks (less than 5,5% alcohol) with a business partner.

How did you find out about iStill? Do you enjoy working with the still and with us?

We found the iStill from the internet. I liked the idea of making different spirits with the same still. Not very fond of hours of cleaning too. I think that the time of wagon horses (copper pot stills) is gone and the hybrid iStills (like hybrid cars) are the future. You might think that electric cars are the future, but come here in the winter when the temperature is below -25. They just don’t work here where the distances are long, they are just igloos. And I love the amount of reflux and efficiency against the copper pot stills especially at this moment when the electric bills are high.

What advise would you give to starting distillers? What would you have done differently if you were to do it all over again?

It is no secret that I did the recipe development in a very different way than many other distiller. Our gin is not my vision of good gin, it is the peoples choice. I arranged a blind gin tasting with 20 people. Products were those what people bought from the shop and liked. They had to write down what they liked in those gins and what they didn’t.

After that, I collected the papers and went to the distillery with our iStill Mini and started to collect the most liked taste profiles to our gin by searching the herbs and botanicals matching them. After that process I had four samples of gin, with a little different amount of botanicals in each, and I arranged a new blind tasting. Same group of people.

The winning taste profile of those four is in our bottle now and it is the best gin in the country and the best G&T gin in the world. So, what is the lesson of this? People know what they want, use that power of customer feedback, it is almost free.

Ari Kaura …


Harpers Wine & Spirits Article, August 2022!

“Romanticisation of copper stills needs to go!”

Joff Curtoys, founder and creative director of Sloemotion Distillery, explains why copper
stills are the spirit industry’s dirty little climate secret.

“Copper stills are everywhere these days. It’s no surprise. They look great plastered across Instagram and marketing materials. But if we’re ever going to make meaningful change in the drinks industry, we need to take a long hard look at how damaging this approach is for the environment.

A recent report by C&C Group provides a snapshot on how energy intensive the drinks industry is – and how lacking when it comes to leading on sustainability initiatives. Alcohol manufacturers in the US for example, release the annual equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions as 1.9 million US households. As concerns around the impact the food and drink industry on the planet grows, there needs to be more scrutiny on brands to ensure their sustainability claims are authentic.

This brings us to the distilling industry. Spirit making is entrenched in tradition. The fervour for using 19 th century copper stills is still raging, while distillers continue to believe that using huge, heat-pumping copper stills attached to a web of copper pipes is somehow keeping our history alive, while turning a blind eye to the damage they are causing. The truth is we can’t offset our way out of this unsustainable and old-fashioned approach.

I founded Sloemotion Distillery in 2002, long before the issue of sustainability was trendy. Moving from a job where I was lobbying for the RSPB in Westminster & Brussels, to setting up a food processing business on a farm in North Yorkshire, this path unknowingly led me to pioneer environmental actions into what has become a bestselling and award-winning product. I quickly learned that traditional copper still distilleries are unbearably hot; and they are hot because copper stills conduct and lose massive amounts of heat. I don’t claim to be an expert in distilling. I’m an environmentalist who stumbled upon a business opportunity in the distillery industry. But I have been able to apply my environmental instincts; and when it came to distilling, I knew it had to be done right.

The ultra-modern iStill for example, which we now use, is made by a company based in the Netherlands since 2015. The founder and CEO, Odin van Eijk, launched the business with the ambition to drive the transition to a more modern distillery industry. iStill cleverly produce the same quality of liquid as a copper still, but by using significantly less energy. iStills use 25% of energy of a traditional system through insulation, direct heat sourcing and computer control. Adopting an iStill has helped us to maximise the efficiency, controllability and repeatability of our distilling process, therefore making the quality in fact, better. For small craft alcohol producers like ourselves, quality is essential; reproducibility is a precursor to making quality products. The iStill has also helped us to cut running costs by about 90% when compared to a traditional copper still.

Copper stills do look beautiful and no doubt add a string to an eye-catching marketing strategy. But this choice is morally reprehensible in today’s climate.

Our choice allows us to create the same quality of liquid with less energy used. This is a massive achievement for us. We also have to wear a lot of jumpers whilst we work. That’s fine. We’re happy to do it, because it means we don’t waste energy.

Of course, as a business owner, I recognise that there are financial implications involved. It can be difficult to adopt new technologies whilst still being invested in a current system. Copper stills are expensive and for those operating with them, it might feel impossible to change paths. But our industry cannot continue to accept this way of doing things. If we continue to live and breathe inside an echo chamber which tells us one way is the only way, then there is no hope for building a spirits industry which puts the planet first.”

The article …

More about Sloemotion …

Joff Curtoys …

Complete 5000 Liter iStill Distillery in Japan!

Minani Alps is a Japanese firm that produces single malt whisky. To obtain the best results, they use our equipment. Minani Alps owns a 5000 liter iStill Masher, multiple 5000 liter iStill Fermenters, and an iStill 5000. Here are some pictures:

iStill Masher 5000 …

iStill Fermenters 5000 …

iStill 5000 Hybrid …

Jamie Explains Why the iStill University Matters!

Hi Veronika,

Well, I finally made it back to Australia after a fantastic overseas trip, which obviously included the iStill University course. 

I want to thank you all, all of the team that took part in the teaching, the admin, and even the cooking!! I honestly felt that each iStill employee I came across went above and beyond to deliver with no short-cuts – to me there seemed a bar in standards that was set very high and you all as a team totally went over it. Even your help with the train strike and helping me get a flight to Italy, just great. A special shout out to Willem who really made sure i wasn’t just nodding my head but really had the grasp of what was being taught.

My limited skills as a distiller, starting on my own Journey, have been given a huge injection of confidence and I am really looking forward to rolling my sleeves up and getting stuck in, your course really had that effect on me and I look forward to growing my business with iStill in the future.

So also now I’m back you can send over the iStill mini package whenever it works for you and thanks for keeping it for me, I finally got permission to own a still 🙂

Warmest regards,


Do you want to become a craft distiller? Please reach out to and register your place at the iStill University! It’s the industry’s best educational program, rated at 9.8 out of 10 by the students …

Interview Neo Blue Distillery from Japan!

An interview with Kazuhiko Nishimura. Owner and master distiller of Japan’s Neo Blue Distillery …

1. How did you get involved in the alcohol industry?

After graduating from a university majoring in Japanese logistics, I joined one of the largest alcohol logistics companies in Japan(NIHONSHURUIHANBAI CO., LTD.).

2. What made you decide to pursue distilling?

I have been working with French wines for 20 years. However, vinification is very difficult, and wine design is limited. As a result, we chose a GIN that can be made without manufacturing experience.

3. Can you tell us more about your distillery?

I run it by myself in a very small rural town in Japan. The capital investment was 200,000 yen. Most processes are manual. All processes are electric and manual for zero CO2 emissions. However, this is due to the fact that we could not invest in gas equipment, as was the original goal, due to lack of funds.

In Japan, the distribution volume of herbs is small, and there are few farmers, so it is difficult to obtain pesticide-free herbs. I rent and grow herbs on abandoned farmland around the distillery. In addition, I came up with a unique method, and this practices pesticide-free herbs cultivation based on a specific farming method, and has a large harvest with less labor.

Also, using alcohol, including methanol, will make the gin’s aroma less pure, which will have a negative effect on the human body. I noticed this theory, and I ask the supplier to make ethanol with a purity of 99.9% and use it as the base alcohol.

In addition, I use many herbs, including rose, as raw materials, so that the GIN I make has medicinal properties other than getting drunk. Of course, we use roses, so we don’t use ingredients that contain a lot of potassium.

4. How did you find iStill? And what made you decide to choose our stills?

I had only about 15 million yen in funds, and many copper distiller manufacturers pointed out lack of funds and could not sell me their still. As a result, I searched on the Internet and found that there was a distiller that I could purchase for less than 5 million yen, that I could distill without using gas, and that I could do some work in my limited time. It was iStill.

The educational curriculum was helpful. By making GIN in Holland with the iStill University courses, I was even able to earn a sake brewing license in Japan.

5. What are your plans for the future?

I am currently planning to be involved in the production of three GINs. First, I realized that my distillery does not have the functions to exceed the production volume set by the Japanese government, so I am considering relocating with investment. Using a 500L iStill to create a distillery including retail, tourism and service industries.

The second is to set up a distillery in a local city in Japan that uses a train station. This also uses a 500L iStill. In this case, we mainly focus on the tourism industry, but I think it will be a highly fashionable distillery using local specialties such as gems and roses.

Third, in order to sell my GIN overseas, I would like to outsource the production to a distillery that uses the same iStill, and create a logistics system that does not generate shipping costs from Japan and commissions to trading companies. Also, is it possible to grow herbs overseas with my new agricultural theory?

We are also looking into whether it is possible to hold an iStill school in Japan. Much of Asia sticks to distillation techniques above the boiling point of water. Consumers are obsessed with sake that will be born in the future, so I would like to have more opportunities to convey to Asian countries that there are other theories and technologies.

6. What would be your advise to starting new distilleries?

It’s extremely simple, but I think it’s important to be conscious that GIN is not a liquor, but a drink born out of chemical theory. Rather than sticking to botanical grams, I think it’s about knowing the nature of water and alcohol contained in the ingredients and the extraction method of the ingredients. Alcohol is the only liquid with a lower boiling point than water.

If there is a need for many people who make GIN, I would like to work together to create recipes and create fragrances and flavors using agricultural products from each country. However, I can’t understand many languages ​​including English, so please prepare transportation, accommodation, and meals for two members of the Neo Blue team.

Finally, I had no money, no skills, we won the GIN Masters Ultra premium, under the WABISABI brand name, started by my American partners. So two years after starting to make GIN, we were able to create a product that surpassed KINOBI Pernod Ricard’s KINOBI GIN, which is well represented and received in Asia.

I am grateful to everyone at iStill for accepting me in 2019, when I came from Japan and didn’t know much about GIN. Thank you!

WABISABI GIN elected one of 10 best gins …

Kazuhiko-san …