This type of still was developed in the 19th Century by the two Carter brothers who were originally employed by Aeneas Coffey. After learning their trade at the hands of the master, they left to start their own business of designing and manufacturing unique still designs. Originally, the Carter Head Still was developed to rectify crude spirit produced by the Coffey into spirit suitable for the production of gin and vodka.
The botanicals are held in a separate 'basket' which resembles a moonshine 'doubler' Diagram from 'Classic Spirits of the World', Gordon Brown, 1995.(click to enlarge)
Carterheads usually have a pot capacity of about 3,000 Litres (600 to 700 Imp. Gal.). The last Carterhead Stills were manufactured in the 1960s, although we considered reviving this design in the 1970s and then again in the 1990s.
The Carterhead Still is used to produce Bombay Sapphire Gin but also Reyka Vodka is produced using a new Carter Head Still, specially made for the purpose in Scotland on behalf of William Grants & Sons.
The perforated basket which carries the botanicals.