“CARL has been family owned since 1869, and produce what are considered the world's finest stills”
Wilma was handcrafted at the CARL workshop in Stuttgart, Germany and was the first of her kind commissioned in Australia.
CARL is Germany's oldest distillery fabricator, and produce only 25 stills each year.
It took nearly a year to build Wilma and she’s named after Cam’s late mother. She loved her gin, so it seemed a fitting tribute.
CARL stills are made with copper and stainless steel – the only metals that should ever distill a fine spirit. Copper reacts with the spirit to clean it, taking out some of the sulphides. Plus it is a great heat conductor.
Wilma has a 450L capacity pot, a swans neck and a botanical basket (where we put our whole oranges). Seven distinctive aroma plates in her column act to further refine the spirit which follows through to a condenser.
Each batch of gin takes around seven hours to distill.
The gin comes out of Wilma at a breathtaking 93.5% alc/vol (187 proof) before we adjust it back to drinking strength, depending on what we're making.
Wilma can create around 150L of high-proof gin per batch, producing around 460 bottles each time.
There’s a bunch of distillery-geek stuff about the levels of purity we can achieve with Wilma’s 7-plate column, but when Cam starts talking about it he sounds a bit too “Walter White”, so we’ll just say this… this is a gin with incredible purity, distilled to 93% ABV before we cut it to bottle strength!
And Wilma's sister stills have progressively arrived from Germany to join her in Healesville. Big sister Jude (after Stu's mum) is 600L, followed by little sister Eileen (after Matt's) who is only 50L for fun experimental stuff. And last but certainly not least by any means, steam-powered Beth (named after our first full-time employee Scott's mum) now stands tall in the distillery at 2000L.