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HMRC internal manual

Spirits Production Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Technical guidance: Can you explain in greater detail how spirits are produced from cereals and fruits?

The methods used to produce malt and grain spirits (used in Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey), neutral spirits (the base for gin and vodka), wine and other fruit brandies are broadly similar. However, in the UK, brandies are produced from feedstock manufactured outside of distillery premises (for example, from wine or cider) so the description of the process up to the end of fermentation is aimed purely at cereal-based spirits production. Nevertheless, the description of the distilling process is relevant to all spirits of agricultural origin.

The stages of production can be broken down and they are explained in section SPIR4060 SPIR4110.