Master distiller John McDougall to hold Dingle Distillery summer school

Summer schools around the country have a reputation for hot air, which may well be generated by copious amounts of alcohol consumed by some speakers and attendees.

But now comes such a school in which those taking part stand (if still able) a good chance of actually knowing what they’re talking about — drunk or sober.

Dingle Whiskey Distillery is holding a three-day whiskey school, at which participants being taught how to make the timeless spirit.

Starting tomorrow under Scottish expert and master distiller John McDougall, attendents will get insight into the craft of producing uisce beatha, the so-called water of life.

“This will be a hands-on course, limited to 10 people,’’ said Mary Ferriter of the Kerry distillery.

Said to be only man alive to have distilled all five styles of Scotch, Mr McDougall will start with the basic art of brewing the wash and will later distil the liquid that, in three years, becomes whiskey.

Also on hand will be head distiller Peter Mosley.

The well-matured professionals will cover the intricacies of distilling, barley and malt processing, what happens when whiskey hits the cask wood, filling casks, and their effects on mature spirits.

The course is free to initial investors in the distillery, known as the founding fathers, but is also open to non-founders at a cost of €450 per person. Those who complete it will receive certificates of excellence in distilling.

And, as you might expect with an event involving a distillery, it will all end with a founding fathers’ party during the August bank holiday weekend.

If the party revellers have time, they might try a few tricks with Fungi the dolphin or take in some of the spectacular sights of the famed Dingle Peninsula.

All will raise their glasses high, regardless.


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