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A Round Turn is the most simple knot, one complete turn of a rope around an object. Despite its simplicity, it is immensely strong and effective, capable of holding great ships against a dock, but its strength relies on a person holding one end of the rope and applying tension, allowing the forces of friction and torque to work. Distilling is as disarmingly simple—it's just condensing vapor back to liquid— but with a person applying their senses of smell and taste, this simple process can be harnessed to produce something complex and sublime.
Darren Case, a Maine native, returned home from Brooklyn, NY, in 2014 to start Round Turn Distilling. He was drawn by the community of artists and entrepreneurs in Biddeford, a culture very similar to Brooklyn's, and established his distillery in a 150 year-old textile mill on the Saco River 5 miles from the Maine coast. In many ways, this setting embodies the pragmatism and industriousness of New England: while the mill once used the waters of the river to power its massive looms, Round Turn uses them to create steam to power the modern steel-and-copper still. Likewise, the still— built in Etna, Maine by Trident Stills— is itself an embodiment of tradition informed by innovation, blending the basic principles of the centuries-old pot-still with modern innovations and efficiencies.