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An Appreciation of Distilled Spirits

A quick look at the scope of distilled spirits in liquor stores reveals a huge amount of options for the consumer. Not only have traditional categories such as whiskey, gin and vodka grown, but also variations on the traditional themes, such as wood-aged gin. In this two-day program, the major distilled spirits categories will be introduced, and followed by a tutored tastings.

The first session on diverse spirits will be used to emphasize the differences between categories, before we take a deeper dive into botanical spirits in the second tutored tasting. On the second day we will be looking mainly at brown spirits, with the third tasting given over to world whiskeys and the fourth to fruit-based spirits.

Each delegate will receive their own bound manual with tasting notes and sheets included.

Class Location

This workshop will be held in Wiegand (WGND) Hall room 238 on the Oregon State University campus.

The best way to get around campus is walking, biking, public transit, or driving to campus. Parking permits are required between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday, and on occasional weekend days, particularly during football season. Visit us online for more information about parking.

Class Agenda

Day 1 - Spirits diversity and botanicals

9:30 Introductions and welcome

10:00 Evolving role of alcohol in society

11:00 Coffee

11:15 Spirits diversity

12:30 Lunch

1:30 Assessing spirit quality

2:30 Taste session I: Diverse spirits

3:00 Tea

3:15 Gin and jenever

4:15 Tasting session II: Botanical spirits

5:00 Wrap-up and close

Day 2 - Other spirit vignettes

10:00 Review of day 1

10:15 American whiskeys

11:00 Coffee

11:15 Scotch whiskies

12:00 Taste session III: World whiskeys

12:30 Lunch

1:45 Spirits: Stability and caring for your bottles

3:00 Tea

3:15 Fruit-based spirits

4:15 Taste session IV: Fruit-based spirits

4:45 Wrap-up and close

New dates coming soon!
2 days
Corvallis, Oregon
price (2)


Paul Hughes, MBA, PhD

After gaining his PhD in chemistry from the University of London, Paul moved into the brewing research sector in 1990. After spells as an industry-sponsored research scientist and then principal scientist with Heineken International, Paul moved to Heriot-Watt University in 2005 as Professor of Brewing and Distilling and director of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling. Paul moved to Oregon in 2015 and helped establish his popular Distillery Startup Workshop program.

Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.