Chill filtering is often a controversial topic in the world of distilling. It involves chilling whiskey down to a very low temperature, usually 0° Celsius, which causes a haze to form. This haze is created through a process called flocculation and consists of proteins, esters and fatty acids. During chill filtration, this haze, or floc, is filtered out. It’s a cosmetic improvement that results in a clearer spirit, but we feel that something very special, namely flavor, is lost along the way.
Why do we mention this? Because on occasion, you can observe this haze of sediment in our bottles. We don’t see it as a defect, but rather a feature. The compounds that constitute floc (short for flocculation) are naturally present in all aged whiskeys and precipitate out of solution over time. While our filtering process removes some of it from the solution before we bottle, we try to keep that filtration to a minimum. More aggressive filtration methods can remove floc elements but can also reduce natural flavors and color.
We have always preferred less invasive filtration and can assure you that the floc you observe is natural, harmless and can be safely consumed with the whiskey. This is a very normal occurrence. It doesn’t happen in every one of our bottles, but you may notice it from time to time, particularly if the whiskey has been chilled or following the addition of water or ice. We’re okay with the occasional cloudy bottle; as far as our whiskeys are concerned, we’ll take substance over style any day.