March 12 and April 16

6-8 PM

MSUB College of Education Room 122


bottles of whiskey and a whiskey barrel


Course Description

Are you interested in taking barrel aging blended Whiskeys and Whiskey Cocktails to the next level? In this two-part class you’ll receive advanced recipes for aging your creations at “Cask strength”, learn how to proof your creations before and after barrel aging and then return them to a “standard 80 proof” beverage if desired.

At the first class you will learn some theory behind the cask strength aging, the techniques to create your own and you will have an opportunity to taste different recipes. At the end of this session you will blend spirits to 122 proof and fill your barrel. Each week at home, you will taste a small sample from your barrel and replace the “Angel’s share” (liquid evaporates from the barrel either water or alcohol depending on temperature and humidity) with some of your original mixture or with the addition of select components of the original recipe.

After 3 weeks a second class will be held to return your creation to 80 proof, bottle them and then evaluate participant recipes (small tastes 1/2 oz. or less) by the group. You will be able to take home oak barrels, a spirit hydrometer, graduated cylinder and five to seven, 375 ml bottles of your finished product at the proof you desire between 80-122 proof which make ideal gifts. Participants must be over 21 (Id will be checked). Couples are welcome.

What You'll Get Out of the Class

  • thermometer in a whiskey sample
    An understanding of how increasing the proof changes how the wood interacts with the alcohol and other ingredients in the barrels
  • Recipes for cask strength barrel aged whiskey cocktails and whiskey blends
  • An understanding of proofing whiskeys
  • A 2-litre oak barrel to take home and reuse
  • A spirit hydrometer and 250ml graduated cylinder
  • 6, 375 ml bottles of your creation to take home

Who Should Attend

Anyone who is curious about how the process works and likes to experiment including those who attended the first class on Creating Barrel Aged Whiskeys and Cocktails.

Participants must be over 21 (Id will be checked).

Your Instructor

Dr. Kurt A. Toenjes has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona (1998).  After finishing his PhD, Dr. Toenjes was a post-doctoral fellow and research faculty at the University of Vermont (1997-2005).  In the summer of 2005, he joined the Biological and Physical Sciences Department at Montana State University-Billings. Kurt has served as the microbiologist for Gentle Ben’s Brewery, is a former home brewer, and is currently enamored with the creation, mixing and barrel aging of tasty whiskeys, gins and cognacs.

Prior to the First Class

After you enroll you’ll receive several recipes for barrel aged whiskeys and cocktails. After selecting one you will need to purchase the alcohol and other ingredients and bring them to the first class.

Register Online


Contact Information

To find out more about this and other graduate courses or programs, please call or email:

MSU Billings Extended Campus