Corn Whiskey Re-imagined
Here’s how Devin turns fresh white corn into whiskey.
Devin buys fresh corn by the pallet from the folks who deliver to supermarkets. We have have a couple of weird machines: one strips the husk off the corn ears, the other one (photo at our distillery) strips the kernels off the cob. We have done it by hand, but it’s too risky: we don’t want someone to lose a finger.
Fermentation is in a horizontal stainless steel tank – easier to mash and stir the kernels.
Devin uses tiny stills to experiment with.
Distillation for production is on the former Germain-Robin antique cognac still in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County. Cognac stills yield elegant spirits with well-defined flavors.
Corn esters are delicate. Distillation, carried out by hand, needs careful and experienced attention.
Our first batch, 371 cases, took us three months before we were happy with it. There was a lot of tasting and minor adjustment. It’s hard to get things exactly right the first time around.
We added a little older whiskey to lend a touch of oak. Great whiskey don’t need much oak, and Soft ‘n Tasty has an insane amount of flavor fresh off the still. We left the first batch unfiltered: we didn’t want to lose any corn flavor.