Nov. 13, 2018 and Dec. 4, 2018

College of Education Room 122

Course Description

Are you interested in creating gourmet, barrel-aged whiskeys and cocktails? In this two-part class you’ll receive time-tested recipes, learn how the process works and create your own mixture to age in an oak barrel.

At the first class the basics of whiskey and science of barrel aging will be discussed and you will have an opportunity to taste different recipes. At the end of the course you will blend spirits 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 evaluate participant recipes (small tastes 1/2 oz. or less) by the group. At the end of the evening your creation will be strained and bottled. You will be able to take home oak barrels and five, 375 ml bottles of your finished product which make ideal gifts. Class meet Feb. 6, 2018 and March 2, 2018. Participants must be over 21 (Id will be checked). Couples are welcome.

barrel aged cocktails


"I thoroughly enjoyed this class.  I learned a lot about the science behind distilling and aging whisky, as well as tasting and identifying different flavors.  And now I have a new hobby (and some great whisky) to enjoy at home."  Jeremy Archer

What You'll Get Out of the Class

  • An understanding of how the wood interacts with the alcohol and other ingredients in the barrels
  • Recipes for barrel aged cocktails
  • A chance to create your own gourmet cocktail
  • A 2-litre oak barrel to take home and reuse
  • 5, 375 ml bottles of your creation to take home

Your Instructor: Kurt Toenjes

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 five recipes for barrel aged cocktails. After selecting one you will need to purchase the alcohol and other ingredients and bring them to the first class.

Who Should Attend

Anyone who is curious about how the process works and likes to experiment. Participants must be over 21 (Id will be checked).

Contact Information

 To find out more about this and other training programs, please call:

MSU Billings Extended Campus