Carterhead Still

(For Gin manufacturing)

This type of still was developed in the 19th Century by the two Carter brothers who were originally employed by Aeneas Coffey. After learning their trade at the hands of the master, they left to start their own business of designing and manufacturing unique still designs. Originally, the Carter Head Still was developed to rectify crude spirit produced by the Coffey into spirit suitable for the production of gin and vodka.

The botanicals are held in a separate 'basket' which resembles a moonshine 'doubler' Diagram from 'Classic Spirits of the World', Gordon Brown, 1995.

(click to enlarge)

Carterheads usually have a pot capacity of about 3,000 Litres (600 to 700 Imp. Gal.). The last Carterhead Stills were manufactured in the 1960s, although we considered reviving this design in the 1970s and then again in the 1990s.

The Carterhead Still is used to produce Bombay Sapphire Gin but also Reyka Vodka is produced using a new Carter Head Still, specially made for the purpose in Scotland on behalf of William Grants & Sons.

Carterhead still

Carterhead still at Reyka Distillery.

You can’t put botanicals into the Carter-Head still because there’s no way to get them out the bottom.

The Carter-Head uses this copper basket , which is placed after the column but before the condensor, which is filled with botanicals. Alcohol vapors wash over the mix of the botanicals in order to extracts the flavors.

The new brand "Hendrick's Gin" - on the market since 1999 - is also distilled in a Carter head still.

Carterhead-still The Carter still of Hendrick's Gin.

The perforated basket which carries the botanicals.