Education is near and dear to our hearts. We love to get down to the nitty-gritty of how to best enjoy different spirits, but also how they’re made and where flavors come from.

Our educational services are two-fold. On one hand, we teach the general public how to develop their senses and alcohol beverage knowledge with sensory training sessions. On the other hand, we teach industry experts about things like quality control and sensory aspects of brewing and distilling. We’ll be adding more and more classes, so visit this page often to see what’s new.

[Classes/courses are listed below and application details are provided after the last class/course listing.]

Find a class.

  • Still Under Construction – Irish Whiskey Experience – 2021 AGAIN HELD OVER Tentatively Now End April 2022 (??)


    Time: -

    Location: Lexington KY

    The Irish Whiskey Experience - 2020 NOW 2022. TAUGHT BY TWO LEADING EXPERTS IN THE FIELD FROM THE EMERALD ISLE. TO BE RESCHEDULED at a safe and suitable date in 2022. A few folks are still signed up to carry this over. Thinking of another crack at an April Date - Stay turned for details This will be a compact overview by esteemed members associated with the Irish Whiskey Industry including Ireland's Whiskey School program. Updated Brochure we appear later! Contact us for more information or to be placed on our Newsletter List for updated announcements. You can sign up using the form now if you know this is a must have course for you. During Covid " season " - refunds will be offered even on deposits. Slàinte Mhath

  • GIN 2021 WILL BE MOVED TO MARCH April or MAY 2022


    Time: -

    Location: Lexington KY With Some Online Content - Two Splits: 2 Days Beginner/Intermediate Plus 2 Days Advanced

    WE DECIDED IT NECESSARY TO POSTPONE UNTIL 2022. AIMING FOR BETWEEN MARCH AND MAY 2022 - STAY TUNED. OUR THIRD RUN GIN EXPERIENCE - A COURSE THAT HAS BECOME WELL KNOWN WORLDWIDE AND TAUGHT BY FOUR INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED EXPERTS. The First Two Days - Beginner - Intermediate. Second Two Days - Advanced. It was to be the two sessions noted but MAY BE REDUCED TO JUST TWO DAYS with Some Videos from our Brit and Aussie teachers. OR MAY HAVE TO BE POSPONED TO 2022 SO CALL FOR DETAILS Taught by Molly Troupe and Tom Anderson (US Distillers) with Gary and Tony as the sensory side show. And by Britain's Classy Gent - Jamie Baxter (Iron Bru-Builder of Many Distilleries in the UK and now Europe) and a Rugged New Zealander from Australia - Marcel Thompson (author of Still Magic and one who relates Gin to Rock Music). And find out what wacky things Tony has been doing and can do with gin formulations - your head will be in a spin at his gyratory machine motions. Contact now recommended if at all interested in our extended though THREEPEAT OFFERING. Many of those who attended in 2018 and 2019 expressed great comments on quality of this course with fun and knowledgeable gin experts. It just keeps getting better and better - ginuinely. WE HOPE WE DON'T MISS OUT COMPLETELY IN 2021. Otherwise see you in 22!

  • Saké and Shochu: One Day Each, April 30th/May 1st 2021

    Date: Friday, April 30–Saturday, May 1

    Time: 9:00 - 6:00 pm

    Location: Lexington KY With Some Online Content/Examinations

    Master Sake and Shochu teacher - Sake Samurai Toshio Ueno - director of the Sake School of America (SSA) teaches us about these two great brewed and distilled beverages. This is a full (very intensive) 2 day course and may earn Certificates from Both BDAS/BDES and the SSA. You can choose to take the respective Sake and Shochu adviser exams on-line a few weeks after the hands-on-course in Lexington. Dates for the exam to be determined. We are so delighted that Toshio will be visiting KY and has offered to teach the program here in KY. From the web "Ueno has an unparalleled understanding of sake, but it’s his ability to explain this often confusing subject that makes his expertise so worthwhile." Gary has taken two courses of instruction with Ueno and both were very good. Gary earned both the Sake Adviser and Shochu adviser certificates which prompted him to write articles on the topic for Artisan Spirit Magazine. One 8 hour day with lunch and sensory evaluations - Sake and then one day the same with Shochu. Sorry both days have to be enrolled for based on limiting to only 16 spaces for this course. Come learn how to shake your Karakara, calm the nerves, relax and save your heart via drinking Shochu (To wit "Dare-Yame" and we say to you watch your Urokinase!). Kome, Koji-kin, Mugi, Awamori, Imo, Kokuto and Soba all discussed. Come learn what these terms mean - its nothing to sniff or sneeze at lightly - Arakishu!

How to Apply for a Course or Class at BDES

Read through the course and classes details that we offer here.

Fill in a form  form and submit to us.  or

A quick video video clip shows the enrollment process. We will evaluate, taking into account the date received, the application.

Course placement is on a first come first served basis and usually limited to 18 persons maximum.

An invoice will be issued, based on details supplied, to cover the class deposit (non-refundable unless the class is postponed or cancelled).

A deposit, once received, will reserve your placement. About one month before the course or class starting date we will issue you with a final payment invoice. Once that payment is received you are set for that course or class.

No refunds are offered at that time – however, if you cannot attend an event/class/course for any reason, you may send someone else along in your place or you may apply 75% of the course fee to a future offering.

Classes in Lexington or On The Road

For more on classes contact Gary at or Tony:

We run classes and courses in Lexington and Tony Aiken and Gary are often invited and on the road to teach courses at breweries and distilleries. Contact us for more information.