Leopold Brothers and George Dickel have created an excellent whiskey in their collaboration series. George Dickel utilizes their rye whiskey to create a flavor bomb by blending with Leopold Brothers Three Chamber Rye. Collaboration Blend is a blend of straight rye whiskies from a George Dickel column and a Leopold Brothers three-chamber still. You can watch a complete review HERE.

George Dickel Rye Whiskey

Located in Tullahoma, Tennessee, George Dickel and the Cascade Hollow Distilling Company have been producing great whiskey for a long time. They have released great whiskeys and bourbons under their labels, provided whiskey stock to many non-distilling producers, and collaborated with various brands.’

Bottle of George Dickel and Leopold Brothers Collaboration Rye Whiskey.

Leopold Brothers

Initially based in Michigan, brothers Todd and Scott Leopold relocated to Colorado. From a rented space, they acquired property and created a distillery that fit their vision of tradition, innovation, and sustainability. Opened in 2014, the Leopold Distillery contains Colorado’s first malting floor, kiln, and a dunnage-style warehouse for their barrels.

Pre-Prohibition Methods

Mashing and fermenting their grains at lower temperatures takes time, but adherence to these methods sets Leopold Bros. apart. Using locally sourced grains that are floor-malted adds another layer of complexity to the Leopold process. Not many distilleries in the country use this process, and none utilize it in Colorado.

Three-Chamber Still

After finding snippets about using a three-chamber still, Todd Leopold decided to re-create and have one built from old notes and discovered literature. They built a three-chamber still, which has not been used for more than fifty years to run distillations. Leopold Bros. used the fantastic people at Vendome Copper and Brass Works to produce the still for them. 

Here is a brief explanation of how the three-chamber still operates.

A three-chamber still, also known as a fractionating still or a distillation column, is a crucial apparatus used in distillation to separate components of a mixture based on their boiling points. It’s a sophisticated version of a traditional pot still, designed to enhance the separation of different elements within a mixture.

Here’s how a three-chamber still typically works:

  1. Introduction and Heating: The fermented liquid enters the still, often at the bottom. Heat is applied to the still using a heat source like a burner or heating element. The components with lower boiling points vaporize first as the mixture heats up.
  2. Rising Vapor: The vapor rises in the still column, which divides into three chambers. Each chamber typically has a set of perforated plates or packing material. These plates provide surfaces for condensation and re-evaporation, allowing for increased contact between the rising vapor and descending liquid.
  3. Fractionation: As the vapor rises through the still, it encounters cooler temperatures as it moves up the column. Components with higher boiling points will condense into liquid form on the plates or packing material, while those with lower boiling points will continue to rise.
  4. Condensation and Collection: As the vapor moves up the still and encounters cooler temperatures in the upper chambers, it gradually condenses into liquid form. Different mixture components condense at varying column levels based on their boiling points. These condensed liquids collect at various points along the column.
  5. Separation: The mixture can be separated based on its boiling points by collecting the condensed liquids at different column levels. The distiller has additional control over the process.
  6. Refinement: The collected liquids may undergo further processing or refinement to purify them and remove any remaining impurities. The whiskey-making process may involve additional distillation steps or other purification techniques.

Overall, a three-chamber still allows for more precise separation of components within a mixture than a simple pot still, making it a valuable tool in industries such as chemical processing, petroleum refining, and producing alcoholic beverages.