Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Scotch Whisky Trail Certificate course

Last night was the final week of the last running of the Scotch Whisky Trail Certificate course.  The Good Spirits Company is proving to be an excellent venue for it.
This class was a maximum attendance of 23, although only 20 sat the exam last night.  Good scores, everyone passed (as it is a leisure course, I'm not sure that anyone should fail, but we will see).  The poorest score last night was 55%, with the highest being 83% and the average being 69%.  And one student, Ian Hutchison, got a full 100% in the blind tasting; this is the first time in 15 years of running the course that anyone has done that.  The three whiskies were High Commissioner, Auchentoshan Select and Laphroaig 10.
Despite the course running at what is now The City of Glasgow College for 13 years, feedback forms were never a part of the package.  I inaugurated them in the courses which I ran in the autumn of 2012 and I must say that the responses have done great things for stroking my ego!
One thing which has come out of them is that a couple of this course's responses and one from the autumn's have said that the course is more advanced than they thought that it was going to be.  I refer to this course as the "entry level course", so perhaps I will look at being less informative/technical at least for the first couple of weeks.  I know that the course has evolved quite a bit from its first running back in 1999 because of a few of the students having been serial students (one has been on the entry level course six times!) and my adjusting the content to give them something extra.
Another thing which has come out of this batch of feedback is the timing of the distillery visit.  My thinking behind it has always been that they do 6 weeks of classroom study, then a distillery visit to bring everything together and then the exam on the last week.  Perhaps I should fit the distillery visit in around week 3 after they have done malt whisky production in week 1 and grain whisky production and the blend in week 2.  Food for thought before the next course starts on September 16th.

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