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Cuts is the term used by distillers to describe the process of deciding which portions of the run are to be included in the final product. Making good cuts is essential to making a good spirit; it can mean the difference between a cheap, hangover-inducing swill and a top-of-the-shelf product.

Cuts are generally divided into foreshots, heads, hearts and tails.

The best way for newbies to learn to make cuts is to collect everything from the run in small glass jars, let them sit covered by a paper filter overnight, and then smell and taste each bottle in turn. With more experience, distillers can learn to "cut on the fly", making cuts during the run.

For one excellent discussion of cuts during a rum run in a pot still, Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

The stripping run begins the separation of the ethanol from the water

Stripping Run

For a spirit run the Heads and Tails are more compressed into the end jars

Spirit Run

Collection Jars

Collection Jars

External Links