All Things Nice, one of India’s leading wine, spirits and luxury consultancy run by CEO Nikhil Agarwal, has partnered with the Edinburgh Whisky Academy (EWA) and is all set to introduce the first course called ‘The Fundamentals of Scotch Whisky’.
We asked Agarwal about the upcoming session and the association with EWA and learnt quite a few details that got us excited. Excerpts from the interview:
1) Tell us about the association with EWA and how it came about
Nikhil Agarwal: We were looking to add education to our portfolio of services and were seeking partners that we felt would be right for the Indian market. It just so happened that EWA was looking to do the same in India and we were introduced to them by a common friend from the wine and spirits business who lives in Hong Kong.
2) Tell us about your own EWA whisky diploma certification
Nikhil Agarwal: I was amazed by the detail and quality of the program. Of course, being in Edinburgh was fantastic as well. The Diploma covers a lot of what we will cover in the Fundamentals of Scotch Whisky but in more detail. I have been hosting tastings and masterclasses on whisky for over a decade and felt that the Diploma added so much more to what I knew, especially in the modules concerned with the process to make whisky.
3) Who do you feel are best suited to attend this course?
Nikhil Agarwal: Whisky enthusiasts and fellow members of the HORECA (hotels, restaurants and cafes) and wine and spirits trade members who wish to enhance their knowledge. I would especially recommend the course for those who want a world-class certification that will enhance their resume.
4) What should participants expect from the day-long session?
Nikhil Agarwal: The course starts with us sending pre-reading material which will cover Historical Development and The Business Of Scotch Whisky.. On the day we will cover the following modules – Raw Materials, Production Process, Batch Distillation, Maturation, Bottling, Grain Distillation and Blending. This theory will be followed by a test and a tasting of whiskies to discover the art of whisky tasting. We will break for lunch which is part of the course fee and snacks in the morning and afternoon.
5) As a primarily whisky-drinking nation, why do you think it’s important for Indian audiences to understand the process of whisky making?
Nikhil Agarwal: As with the pursuit of anything that we are passionate or interested in, the more we learn about whisky, including the process of making it, the better we are able to communicate with fellow enthusiasts. Each whisky is unique because of the many tweaks to the production method used and hence understanding the processes that makes whiskies different from each other is important.
6) Describe your plans with EWA going forward
Nikhil Agarwal: Our plan is to roll out the course in Mumbai and then in Delhi and Bangalore. We are already gaining a lot of traction from hotels/restaurant and bar chains who want to use this program for their teams. Members of whisky clubs, sommelier and writers have shown interest in the program too. We will also be doing the courses for companies that are either in the business of producing whiskies or importing whiskies into India.
The inaugural session is scheduled to be held on December 7, 2019 in Mumbai. Priced at INR 30,000 AI for the day-long session, it includes day-long refreshments, lunch and of course whiskies for the Art of Tasting module. To sign up call on 9820698883 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.