[Artemisia] Alcohol Judging

Mark whitewolf at lolopeak.com
Fri May 9 15:49:28 CDT 2008

While reviewing a judging sheet from last weekends Arts & Sciences.


I came across what I feel is a troubling comment, it seems that in judging a liquor the comment was made something like "why did you not distill the alcohol yourself".

To suggest that someone should distil or that your score might be higher if you had presents several problems.


1)                  Distillation of beverage alcohol is a violation of federal law.  It is illegal in every state.  Unless you have both state & federal licenses to do it commercially.  This requires a list of requirements that is nearly endless. Including posting a $5,000 bond with the feds, plus whatever your state wants.

Yes, it is done.  

I earn part of my living selling stills, still parts, yeast & other components that are specifically intended for doing just that.

I always point out that I can legally sell you this, and you can legally own all of it, but if you actually use it, it is illegal!


2)                  There are potential poisoning problems involved in distillation.  While the potential is generally exaggerated, they are real & deserve attention.  


3)                  These are in fact separate activities.  Making a liquor & making the base alcohol are decidedly different processes.  They have little in common other than the beverage alcohol involved.


I repeat for emphases   Distillation of beverage alcohol is an illegal activity.  There is no provision in Federal Law (CFR-27 is the relevant section) for anyone to get permission to legally distill for personal beverage usage.  

In my opinion:

Anyone who is in any position of authority, which includes judges in a competition, should not be suggesting that someone should be distilling, or that their scores might be higher if they had.



More information about the Artemisia mailing list