LINCOLN SQUARE — Who knew heading back to school could be so intoxicating?
Fountainhead's School of Spirits will acquaint "students" with the basics of American and Irish whiskeys, along with Scotch whisky. One assumes whiskey vs. whisky will be part of the discussion.
The weekly sessions will run from Feb. 11 through March 25, with classes ranging from introductory explorations of terminology and production methods to deep dives into specific distilleries. Each session will also include a tasting of four or five spirits.
Chuck Cowdery, author of "Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey," will lead the sessions on American whiskey. Martin Duffy, co-producer of the Chicago Independent Spirits Expo, will handle the Irish and Scotch classes.
The cost is $30 per class per person; $40 for "Intro to Scotch Whisky." Tickets can be bought online for individual sessions — sign up for a single class or complete the cycle.
Feb. 11: American 101 — Intro to Bourbon and American Whiskey. Guests will sample a variety of whiskeys from different distilleries. Buy tickets here.
Feb. 18: The Whiskeys of Heaven Hill. Taste the diversity of American whiskeys bottled by the third-largest producer in the U.S., from straight rye to straight wheat. Buy tickets.
Feb. 25: The Whiskeys of Wild Turkey. There's more than one whiskey produced by the father-son distillers at Wild Turkey. Sip 'em all. Buy tickets.
March 4: The Whiskeys of Jim Beam. Craft distilleries are gaining in popularity, but Jim Beam is still selling plenty of whiskey. This session will compare the distiller's bourbon recipes, which contain varying amounts of rye, or, in the case of Maker's Mark, no rye at all. Buy tickets.
March 11: Irish 101 — Intro to Irish Whiskey. Home to some of the biggest names in whiskey, Ireland produces a surprisingly wide range of spirits for such a small country. Buy tickets.
March 25: Scotch 101 — Intro to Scotch Whisky. The Scots produce some of the most complex whiskys around, and were not just talking about those hard-to-pronounce names — Auchentoshan, we're looking at you. This session will take a journey through blended and single malts and Scotland's various whisky-producing regions. Buy tickets.