Discover Copper Online

Spring 2001

Proof of Copper's Indispensability

Thank copper the next time you savor a sip of bourbon. That unique American whiskey is best made in copper stills like the one illustrated here. According to Tom Sherman, "there is a reaction between the copper and bourbon that lends certain flavors and character to the whiskey."

Sherman is an executive with Vendome Copper & Brass Works. It supplies all ten of the remaining bourbon distilleries, plus distillers of most other spirits, such as "Tennessee whiskey" and industrial alcohol, with stills and heat exchangers made of copper. The types of copper, from many sources around the world, are C11000 and C12200.

Copper Stills Bourbon is nearly always distilled in copper stills, like this one at the Maker's Mark Distillery in Kentucky. Copper stills typically last from 15 to 20 years with minimal maintenance.

Vendome also makes copper brew kettles and calandrias for the brewing industry. Calandrias are containers in which wort, a malt-based liquid, is heated prior to fermentation into beer. For the food and confectionary industries, Vendome makes evaporator pans out of copper.

Vendome: 502/587-1930

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