About the School

Held over three full days, the Whisky School examines all aspects of whisky making including malting, mashing, brewing, distilling and maturation with fascinating in-depth lectures by experts and a series of behind-the-scenes visits so pupils get a real understanding and experience of malt whisky making in Speyside. The lectures will be presented by speakers of international standard, all from within the Whisky distilling industry and the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. The Whisky School is aimed at whisky enthusiasts who wish to learn more about the technical aspects of the creation of malt whisky and is held prior to the Festival. All pupils will depart with a Diploma.

The School is limited to a small and exclusive group and the programme is designed so that personal attention can be given. All the lecturers and site managers are happy to share their passion for malt whiskies with you and answer all questions. The lectures will take place in the inspiring surroundings of Strathisla Distillery, Keith.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is indebted to the Whisky School Committee; volunteers who develop and deliver the programme under the chairmanship of the Headmaster, Alan Winchester.

There are only 16 places available annually and the cost is £600 inc. VAT per person. Due to some Covid related cancellations there a few spaces available for the 2022 School. For further information or to register your interest in this or future Schools please contact the Festival team here.

So what's included?

  • All course content (manuals/USB)
  • Institute of Brewing and Distilling level support and contacts network
  • Bus pick up and drop offs each day
  • Technical site visits
  • All lunches
  • A graduation dinner
  • A diploma
  • A photograph of the class

What Whisky School Graduates have said...

This is an excellent programme for anyone who is interested in learning more about the industry and how whisky is made. It is a good balance between classroom learning and technical visits to sites which are not generally accessible to the public. The industry guest speakers are leaders in their field and the information is delivered in a way that is easy to understand without being too complicated. You also get to taste lots of great whiskies, most of which you will never get to try unless you are on the programme. This school is great value for money, and I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone considering attending.

Graeme Dempster
2017 Graduate

The Whisky School and all connected activities were a fantastic experience. The organisers did a magnificent job in putting together a world class event and also making me feel welcome as a visitor to Scotland and a student.

Fred Archer
2012 Graduate

I found the presentations very informative and excellent. The guest speakers were very knowledgeable in their respective fields and very approachable during and after the presentations were given.

Kelly Forbes
2012 Graduate

This programme offers an excellent balance of classroom instruction and technical visits. The material presented is comprehensive without being overwhelming.

Trenton McLaren
2013 Graduate

This School was an amazing experience and gave a great amount of information. I loved my time meeting new people who share a common interest.

Jarred van de Mortel
2013 Graduate

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