What's special about Islay Whisky Academy?


We are based in the beautiful Scottish island of Islay – the world centre for peated whisky.

Our teachers and tutors, presenters, speakers and hosts are the top professionals in the Scotch whisky industry. 

Islay Whisky Academy are motivated by immense pride in Scotland and in our Scotch Whisky industry.

Over the course of 5 full days, IWA Diploma teaches each individual stage in the whisky making process. Each day begins with lectures about Barley, or Geology, or Peat or Blending or Coppersmithing – or a focus on how a new distillery has been created from the ground up. We teach a focus on ELEMENTS of the distilling process. Then, in the afternoons we go to an Islay distillery and focus practically on what we have learned theoretically in the morning.

Our students are hosted by distillery owners and production managers. Expert distillers, people who have worked for years in the Scotch whisky industry and really know what they are talking about. 

We want our students to think about whisky making in context of land, world economics, infrastructure, community, Gaelic consciousness and to understand the process from the inside out.

Islay Whisky Academy is founded and run by Islay local Rachel MacNeill, with help from other Ileachs and colleagues in Scotland.

Sign up for the experience of a lifetime. 

IWA DIPLOMA 2023 dates are Mon 23 – Fri 27 October inclusive. 

Book your place here.