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WORKSHOP: Blending, Maturation & Warehousing



Early Bird $2,750 – ends October 15, 2021

Standard Registration Fee: $2,900

Returning to Ironroot Republic Distillery in Denison, TX for the 4th year, this very successful, in-depth master class will sell out early.

Nancy Fraley (Internationally renowned independent Master Blender) will be teaching this class on all aspects of barrel maturation.

Arrivals (Sunday) – Meet & Greet reception at the hotel – 7:30pm

Day 1 (Monday)

Our first day together will be spent in a classroom setting, as we examine the traditional philosophies and methods of blending whiskey, rum, and brandy, as well as “crossover” techniques in blending, such as borrowing from one tradition to the other to create something new.

Other topics will include how the barrel room or warehouse can be used as a tool to achieve certain aromatic profiles, wood policy and cask management, the effects of entry proof, water reduction or “proofing” theories, the use of traditional blending tools such as boisé, laboratory equipment, etc

We will also discuss the practical applications of blending, selecting and balancing the proper components for the blend to achieve a targeted spirit profile, and the impact on flavor of spirit and wood. Finally, we will look at fractional methods of blending.

Day 2 (Tuesday) will be a “sensory” day devoted to putting the previous day’s theories to the test with nosing and tasting analysis of barrel samples, finished products, etc. We will learn what to look for when creating a blend when analyzing barrel samples. There will be a brief lecture on cellar management, the function and anatomy of the barrel, and the physiology of oak.

Day 3 (Wednesday) will be a “hands-on” day where the class will be broken into groups and will be asked to replicate product “standards” which the instructor has created, that will be judged by other class participants. We will also discuss safety as it relates to the blending process. Finally, distillers Jonathon and Robert Likarish from Iron Root Republic will lead us on a tour of the barrel room and a tasting through their barrels. 

Departures (Thursday)

Dallas airports are about one and a half hour away without traffic. We will finish Wednesday afternoon with experiential learning ending around 4:30pm (you can leave early if necessary), or you can leave on Thursday morning.


Registration Fee includes:

  • 3 days of instruction
  • Welcome reception Sunday night
  • Breakfast and Lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
  • Farewell dinner Tuesday night
  • Hotel Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights
  • Transportation between hotel and Iroonroot Republic Distilling
  • Video of the lecture (recorded from previous sessions)

Proof of vaccination to be sent by November 1 to annesophie@distilling.com.

50% refunds for cancellations before November 1 (midnight PST). No cancellations after Nov 1 (please contact us if you have a recent positive COVID diagnostic).

Transportation between Dallas airports and Ironroot Republic is not provided. If you rent a car, Parking at the hotel is free. Additional information on traveling to/from Denison will be available during registration.

For more information, contact:

Anne-Sophie Whitehead –  annesophie@distilling.com

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