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When in the Virginia Blue Ridge, I became fascinated with the tradition of making Apple Brandy (Applejack). At the time, there were still some practicing this mountain tradition the same way as in the 18th century.

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This site is a brandy-making still as the item to the left is an apple mill.

In later years, I might have considered acquiring a small vintage all-copper still with turnip pot, thumper and worm. I might have considered producing a small batch of apple brandy each year, to distribute among friends and family during the holiday season.

The trick is the correct temperature. Get it wrong and you've made a great batch of weed-killer.

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Craft distilleries are doing what craft breweries did about 20 years ago. It's the new thing.

There's a distillery by my house called FEW Spirits. It's named for Francis E. Willard, the founder of the Women's Temperance League, which was located in Evanston.

They make a decent gin, and just came out with a bourbon. I'm going over for a taste this weekend.

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I think it is still not legal, at least in this state, however, in my college days I made a trip to a bud's relatives in the Carolina hill country where we loaded up a few jugs of apple jack and had our own rendition of Thunder Road on the trip home.

Before that, an older brother made some whisky for a high school science project. Kept a pail of mash in his closet and cooked it off with a Bunsen burner and a glass coil to a beaker.

Those days he made pocket money holding schoolyard raffles at $2 a ticket to win a five-dollar fifth. He would sell ten or twelve tickets and pocket the proceeds.

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Ever made your own whisky? I'm seriously considering getting a still and looking to talk to someone who has experience. Email me at: JamesAndrewMorrison@gmail.com

Thanks,

Jimmy

Sounds like a fun personal project. Let us know how it works out.

As a home inspector and whisky maker you will give new meaning to the name Jim "Beam" Whisky. (Insert rim shot and cricket noises here).

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