- Alter (Minimum)
- early 20th century
Alambic Charentais - Mareste Copper Pot Still
The works are located on a property in Cognac, France.
The system was surveyed and assessed by a master distiller and native of Cognac in March of 2019. He spent more than two hours examining the works, and he noted the following:
1) The manufacturer is Mareste.
2) The identification marque is attached to the drain valve at the bottom of the condensation tank.
3) Construction is of copper and brass.
4) The works were likely constructed in the early 20th Century; perhaps during the 1920’s.
5) The interiors of the three vessels are clean and sound.
6) The bottom of the cooker is still thick and not degraded by heat.
7) There are five and one half turns in the copper coil within the condensation tank, and the tubing seems to be about 6 cm in diameter.
8) The cooker rests on top of the fire chamber rather than set within, and the fire chamber has never been used.
9) That fact leads us to believe that a previous owner set the works up in their current positions very likely to save, display, and preserve.
10) Though the works show evidence of having once been in service, three small holes punched in the bottom of each vessel shows that it was taken out of service and marked in this manner by the tax authority.
11) The distiller noted that nothing was amiss with the works that could not be repaired quite easily, and that it could be improved at additional expense. As an example he noted that the existing coil could be replaced by a coil with more spirals/turns.
12) With regard to the small punched holes in the bottoms of the three vessels…the distiller said that the holes could easily be repaired and that he felt it could be possible to re-license the works for use in France. He did not specify whether that use would be restricted to personal use rather than commercial, and he emphasized that further investigation and inquiry would be necessary.
13) The distiller finally noted that the works were a beautiful example of an Alambic produced by Mareste and that it had two types of value… as a work that could be brought back into working condition with an investment made in upgrading, and also as a collectible for someone seeking such to display in private or to the public.