During the first half of the 19th century, potato schnapps was a pioneering product in the industrial mass production of spirits. The end of the spirit monopoly on cap distilleries in 2013 has since led to the closure of almost all potato distilleries.
Vegetable, Dried fruit, Apricot, Potato
Nicola Potato, Yeast, Water
What Peter Day does in his distillery on the Lower Rhine is the exact opposite of mass production. His NICOLA 044 is a single-variety brandy. Starchy mash from local Nicola potatoes is processed directly here in a 150-liter still, fermented and then double distilled. The result is a highly aromatic distillate, with floral and nutty notes, along with hints of apricot and dried fruit.
Distiller | Kempen, Niederrhein
The Wackertappmühle, where Peter Day lives and works with his wife Käthe, has been in Kempen on the Lower Rhine since 1842. In 2017 he converted the mill’s old flour warehouse into a distillery. In doing so, Peter followed his passion for distilling. After 25 years of work in an advertising agency, “it’s wonderful to create things that are really important to you,” he says.
In his 150 liter copper still, not only various types of fruit are distilled to fine eau-de-vies. He particularly enjoys distilling starchy substances such as spelt or single-origin potatoes similarly as fruit mash. By this process he ensures that the aromas are carefully enriched through slow heating and the lowest possible temperatures.
“It is a real fulfillment to make a product that is then there for evaluation,” describes Peter his motivation. And this was rewarded many times. Among other things at the Craft Spirits Berlin Awards, where his sour cherry eau-de-vie was voted the best spirit of the year in 2018.