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It Started with a Still

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When Boyan and Chris set out to open Dorćol Distilling Company (we weren’t brewing just yet), the first step was easy. The guys needed a still, and a coppersmith was practically extended family.

They connected with Nenad Poparić, a family friend and still maker based out of Novi Sad, Serbia, a city just an hour north of Boyan’s boyhood home in Belgrade. 

Nenad, a second generation coppersmith has been making stills all his life. He crafted similar still used by Boyan’s paternal grandfather (known as deka to the boys) and was commissioned the task of creating Dorćol’s hand-crafted, direct-heat copper still. 

Just as Dorćol Distilling was a family endeavor, so was crafting its still. Nenad made the 400-liter traditional European copper still alongside his son Igor, a third generation still maker. Dorćol’s still became the first of its kind to bare both still makers’ seals at its head. 

Tools of the trade found inside Nenad’s Novi Sad shop…

Tools of the trade found inside Nenad’s Novi Sad shop…

The still left Novi Sad in December of 2012 and made it to the port of Houston a month later in January 2013 with short stops along the way in the Croatian port city of Rijeka and Egypt. Since then, the still’s been responsible for distilling 17,000 liters of low-wine of our first product, the award-winning Kinsman rakia, a delicately balanced spirit filled with character and aroma. The small still is responsible for another 40,000-plus liters of grape-brandy and single-malt whiskey that’s yet to be put on the market. 

Given Kinsman’s popularity, and our passion for creating amazing spirits, a second still was commissioned to the Poparićs in April of 2017 and was completed in October of the same year. The 750-liter still No. 2 made it to the States in January of 2018, complete with a few custom design tweaks that accommodate our production process. 

Boyan, Nenad, Chris, Nick Kenna and Igor in Serbia, September 2017.

Boyan, Nenad, Chris, Nick Kenna and Igor in Serbia, September 2017.

This 2019, we’re banking on two stills being better than one!

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