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Interview Series: The Institute of Brewing & Distilling

Published April 06, 2023

Episode 2 of our Interview Series! This time we get to chat with the former CEO & Director of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, Douglas Murray. If you want to have the best technical knowledge of whisky production and spirits production in general, the institute is where you MUST go. I had to sit down and interview them so that us folks in the USA could learn all about this UK-based program. Charles and I also have a lot to discuss before we get into the interview though. He just got back from two weeks in Japan and has a lot to share. We also talk about some new bottles in the shop since he’s been away and he blind tastes me on something that he got while in Japan. But, is it Japanese Whisky??

This episode was such a blast for me and I feel honored that Douglas took an hour out of his day to chat with me. Not only do we talk about the IBD (Institute of Brewing & Distilling) and all of the courses they offer but we also chat about Talisker, Dalwhinnie, and some of the other Diageo distilleries he’s worked at.

He was a part of creating the Talisker Storm release and was also one of the folks who realized they needed to put the worm tubs back in at Dalwhinnie when they were renovating and changed to shell & tube! Oh and we take over ten minutes to go over worms versus shell & tube condensers. This is an audio-only podcast but if you could only see the massive smile on my face while we were chatting about worm tubs!! Maybe you can hear my heart racing in the background of the audio. Below are important links for you to check out if you’re interested in the IBD.

The Institute of Brewing & Distilling

Essentials in Brewing & Distilling

Foundations in Brewing & Distilling

General Certificate in Distillation ** This is the program and exam that I went through

If you’re up for a trip, also check out their next conference which will have presentations from distillers all over the world and their latest findings: Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference May 9th – 11th, Edinburgh UK

Thank you to Ana, Douglas, and Jerry at the IBD for all of their time and support of me, the podcast, and the shop!


  • Kings County Barrel Proof Bourbon | 66.3% ABV
  • Douglas Laing Port Dundas Single Grain Scotch 21YR
  • Bardstown Origin Bourbon – their new release that is all their own whiskey!
  • Method & Madness Bottlings – Single Pot Still & Single Grain
  • Starward Solera Single Malt
  • Boone County Toasted Barrel Bourbon 58.4% ABV

Our Podcast Name: It’s Whiskey #FFS (For F****’s Sake!) #FirstFillSpirits @firstfillspirits

Podcast Music: Isaac Joel, Goldenseal