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In-person Diploma in Single Malt Whisky

Elevate your expertise and unlock the secrets of single malt Scotch whisky with our flagship Diploma course. Tailored for those working in the industry (in customer-facing roles) and enthusiasts alike (newcomers or seasoned connoisseurs), this immersive two-day course is your gateway to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world's most revered spirit.

Certified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), two modules – History & Business – are delivered online in advance for self-study. The format here is short, easy-to-follow multimedia lessons. In the classroom, you’ll meet with your cohort of likeminded whisky lovers and take a deep dive into modules covering the production process, sensory analysis and world whiskies with teacher Vic Cameron. With 30 years of Scotch whisky industry experience under his belt, you’ll love the technical detail he imparts and irreverent stories told on the enjoyable journey to mastering the final assessment.

Day 1 concludes with a private distillery tour and tasting (which includes plenty of revision prompts). Day 2 concludes with the final assessment (250 questions, multiple choice format). Upon completion, you'll receive a digital badge and physical black lapel pin for immediate display. Your SQA Diploma certificate will be sent to you in the post in the weeks following the course.

Regular price £1,015.00

Tax included

Date & Venue

Flexible payment plans available

Contact to discuss paying in 3-month or 6-months instalments, e.g. 3 x £338 or 6 x £169.

Module 1: The History of Whisky and Distillation

🥃 Journey through time as you explore the fascinating origins of whisky and the evolution of distillation techniques that have shaped its character.

Upon completion of this module, you’ll be able to identify the origins of distillation and chronicle the developments which led to whisky distillation becoming engrained in Scottish culture. You’ll learn more about the key historical and political events that have impacted on the growth of single malt whisky and you’ll be able to chart the more recent commercial and technical developments within the industry.

Module 2: The Business of Whisky

💼 Gain insights into the thriving whisky industry, from market trends to brand management, and discover the key factors driving its success.

Upon completion of this module, you’ll be able to identify the legal requirements and definitions of Scotch whisky in comparison to others, classifying the different ingredients and processes involved in each style.

As well as analysing the financial considerations when pricing a bottle of whisky, you’ll be able to identify the key global markets by consumption and the contribution Scotch whisky makes to the UK economy.

You’ll also be able to analyse the issues and problems affecting the Scotch whisky industry and evaluate the outlook for Scotch whisky over the next few years.

Module 3: Raw Materials

🌾 Delve into the fundamental ingredients that form the backbone of single malt whisky, understanding their influence on flavour and quality.

Upon completion of this module, you’ll be able to identify the three raw materials used (water, malted barley and yeast) as well as being able to outline the role of peat in the production process.

You’ll be able to evaluate the requirements of water, identify the characteristics of barley use, treatment and handling and understand more about yeast.

You’ll also be able to describe the processes involved in milling, mashing and wort recovery before we move on to distillation.

Module 4: Batch Distillation

🔥 Unravel the intricacies of batch distillation, a traditional method that lends distinctive character to single malt whisky production.

Upon completion of this module, you’ll be able to list the different phases of the distillation, understand the outcomes at each phase and appreciate the different factors that ensure product quality.

You’ll be able to describe the technology and function behind mashing, compare the development of fatty acids and esters and evaluate the different variables which contribute to flavour production during fermentation.

As well as being able to list the key operational processes of a still and spirit safe, you’ll also be able to assess the importance of copper in still structure and appreciate the key elements of sulphur metabolism.

Module 5: Maturation

🛢️ Explore the art of whisky maturation, as you uncover the transformative effects of oak casks on flavour development and complexity.

Upon completion of this module, you’ll be able to identify the different types of oak used and analyse the structure of the wood, understanding what makes it appropriate for use in casks.

As well as learning the different reactions and other variables that can take place during maturation, you’ll discover the different types of warehousing systems in use for maturing whisky in Scotland and appreciate the importance of climate on maturation.

Module 6: Sensory

👃 Sharpen your senses through a comprehensive sensory analysis (you'll nose and taste 9 whiskies to test your ability to discern nuances of aroma and taste as part of the final assessment).

Upon completion of this module, you’ll be introduced to the anatomy of olfaction and taste and come to understand how smell, sight, taste and touch can influence your sensory experience.

You’ll be able to describe the creation of scotch whisky flavours, list the compound types responsible for key flavour characteristics and identify the flavours that likely come from either the raw materials, the production process or maturation.

As well as being able to describe the development of whisky once poured into a glass, you’ll learn how to conduct and participate in a whisky tasting to compare and contrast multiple spirits, explain why flavour changes occur when adding water and list the common terms used to describe all aspects of the spirit.

Module 7: World Whiskies

🌍 Expand your palate with a guided tasting of six whiskies from around the globe, discovering the diverse expressions of whisky craftsmanship.

Upon completion of this module, you’ll be able to define what Scotch whisky is and explain the rules surrounding its production as well as appreciating the meaning of 'world whisky' as a term.

You’ll be able to compare the variety of raw materials used, contrast the alternate production methods used and evaluate the impact diverse climates have on maturation.

Final Assessment

Arniston House

A magnificent Palladian-style mansion located near Gorebridge. For courses held at Arniston House, transport is provided to and from central Edinburgh. We'll meet you at 7:20am each day at the pickup point (Motel One-Royal, close to Waverley station).

Port of Leith Distillery

An architecturally triumphant vertical distillery located near Ocean Terminal. For courses held at the Port of Leith Distillery, we'll meet you at 8:30am each day at the venue.

🎓 Why Choose Edinburgh Whisky Academy?

😍 What Candidates Say

🎓 Who Should Enrol?

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