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4 Weeks of Whisky

Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Scotch

Over four weeks in March, Edinburgh Food Studio and whisky expert, Georgie Bell will host a series of whisky events like no other. From grain to glass we’ll take an in-depth look at our national elixir: Scotch. Week by week, we’ll explore – through discussion, demonstration and multiple tastings - a different area: raw materials; fermentation; distillation; maturation, and finally the fine art of blending. These events are unbranded, so tastings and information are unbiased. Each topic will be presented by an expert in the field, helping us break down stereotypes and misconceptions around Scotch whisky. This course will provide a thorough understanding of whisky, allowing participants to understand how the flavour of the dram in your glass actually came to be. This series will teach and inspire through many disciplines. Participants will have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding through tastings chosen to illustrate the weekly theme. This course will include real life fermentations, distillations, and blends so as to gain a deep understanding of the meticulous craft involved in making scotch. The series culminates in a lesson on the fine art of blending, during which, participants will blend their own scotch, which we will bottle, and guests can take home to impress their friends.

This extraordinary series brings together high-level experts together in one room to teach their passion – Scotch whisky – giving participants the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of Scotland’s treasured nectar. 

Session 1: Raw Ingredients - Wednesday 9th March 6pm-8pm.

Understanding the 3 key raw ingredients - barley, water, yeast - and the fermentation process is the first important process of whisky production. Taste and smell the raw ingredients, understand alcoholic fermentation for whisky, and put some to ferment. Taste of different makes.

Guest Expert: Matthew Pauley - Research associate in the International Centre for Brewing & Distilling School of Life Sciences at Herriot-Watt University.

Session 2: Distillation - Wednesday 16th March 6pm-8pm.

There are over 100 distilleries in Scotland – each creating a unique distillery character. Find out how when we explore – physically, theoretically, and deliciously - the practice of distillation. Taste your way through a collection of new makes, the heart & soul of each distillery – and witness a live distillation!

Guest Experts:

Matthew Pauley  - Research associate in the International Centre for Brewing & Distilling School of Life Sciences at Herriot-Watt University.

Kirsty Black - Master distiller at Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery, a true farm to bottle distillery. Graduate from Heriot-Watt University in Brewing & Distilling. Previously, she’s worked with Caledonian Brewery, Barney’s Beer, and Summerhall.  

Session 3: Maturation & Ageing - Wednesday 23rd March 6pm-8pm.

All whisky must be matured in oak casks for a minimum of 3 years before it can be called ‘whisky’. With over 20 million casks maturing in warehouses at the moment in Scotland (!) we delve into the imprint these casks leave on your whisky. Understand the impact of different cask types (size, provenance, type of wood, etc) and how these, over time, influence flavour.

Guest Expert:

Matthew Crow - Maturation Expert, Diageo since 2007. Currently Matthew leads the Wood and Cask Science research team for all maturing spirits at Diageo. He holds a degree in Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde and has a PhD in Physical Chemistry.

Session 4: Blending - Wednesday 30th March 6pm-8pm.

Understand the complexity of the art & craft of blending whisky; how our whisky creation teams, like artists, create your favourite dram from these 20 million casks. On top of this, you’ll be creating your own blends (thus understanding just how complex it really is!)

Guest Expert:

Emma Walker - Project Scientist - Johnnie Walker Blending Team, Diageo. Emma holds a diploma in distilling at IBD – The Institute of Brewing & Distilling.

As these are 4 connected events, we ask that all participants make the 4 sessions. As such, it is £100 for the course.

To book this unique series of event email or phone 0131 258 0758

Earlier Event: March 3
Buck and Birch
Later Event: March 10
Edinburgh Food Studio Dinners