EWA Academy Specialists

The EWA Diplomas in Scotch whisky have been developed with the close involvement of notable experts within the whisky industry. Each expert provided content for the individual modules according to their specialisms, ensuring the relevance and high standard of the Diplomas.


Vic Cameron

After 23 years of industry experience with Diageo, in operations and laboratory management, process support and cereal procurement, Vic left for a ‘’higher’’ calling. Affectionately known as ‘The Whisky Minister’, Vic combines his own whisky consultancy, Discerning Of Spirits, with running a church. Vic is currently Lecturer of Whisky at the UHI, committee member of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky School, Technical Manager for the UK NIR Grain Network and founder of Discerning Spirits. He has taught at a variety of events including the Orkney Science Festival and Holland’s first ever whisky school. Vic is the course lecturer for our diplomas and has also contributed his vast industry knowledge to their content.

Gavin D Smith

Gavin is a Keeper of the Quaich and one of the world’s leading authorities and writers and on whisky. Editor, author and journalist, he contributes feature material to a wide range of specialist and general interest publications. He is also the author of more than 20 books, including the A-Z of Whisky, The Secret Still, The Scottish Smuggler, The Whisky Men and Goodness Nose (with Richard Paterson). Gavin is co-author of Eyewitness Companion Whisky (2008) and World Whisky (2009), and he co-revised and updated Michael Jackson’s seminal, best-selling volume The Malt Whisky Companion for a 6th edition, published in 2010, and a 7th edition, which appeared in 2015. Additionally, he was a major contributor to the 2012 title “1001 Whiskies You Must Try Before You Die”, and he revised and updated “World Whisky” in 2016.

Pete Robson

A qualified Master Maltster, Pete has over 33 years of experience in the UK Malting Industry in both Senior Production Roles and Senior Sales Roles. He has also been the Chairman of the Industry Exam Committee, the Examiner for the Malting Industry Exam, the Chairman of the Malting Diploma Association, a member of the Maltsters Association of GB Technical

Gordon Steele

Dr Gordon Steele has spent over twenty two years in the Scotch Whisky industry as Director of the Scotch Whisky Research Institute. During that time he has worked on development projects for all the major Scotch whisky distillers both in Scotland and abroad. His work has encompassed all parts of whisky distilling, from grain development, processing and mashing through to distilling, maturation, blending and bottling. As well as manufacturing of whisky, Gordon has worked on Industry wide issues such as distilling environmental impact or anti-counterfeiting strategies. Gordon was educated at Aberdeen and Oxford Universities, is a Keeper of the Quaich, Freeman of the City of London and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, Fellow of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and was appointed a visiting Professor at Heriot-Watt University. He has also been a Director of AIRTO, the representative organization for independent research organizations and has served on a number of committees of the SWA.

Blair Bowman

Blair Bowman is an in demand whisky writer and consultant specialising in Scotch whisky.  He is passionate about introducing the world to whisky.

Blair has been involved with the whisky industry since he was of legal drinking age, firstly as a co-founder of a whisky society and latterly as the founder of World Whisky Day.  He has been actively promoting whisky for over 8 years, writing professionally about whisky as well as sitting on judging panels at whisky competitions and tasting panels.  He now acts as a consultant to the whisky industry on a wide variety of matters.  More information about Blair can be found on his website: www.blairbowman.com

Geraldine Coates

Geraldine Coates is a professional writer and editor who has been reporting on the world of drinks, in particular gin, for almost twenty years. Over that time she has written regularly for a number of national and international publications. Her books include Classic Gin (widely regarded as THE gin bible), The Mixellany Guide to Gin and Gin, A Toast the Most Aromatic of Spirits. She is Founding Editor of the world's first website devoted to gin - ww.gintime.com - which she established in 2004. She travels the length and breadth of the country talking about gin, hosting gin Master Classes for consumers as well as writing training programmes and other specialist material for some of the UK's biggest gin brands.  She is also a judge for the Scottish Gin Awards.


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