Gin expert to host Edinburgh masterclass

A teacher and researcher at Heriot-Watt University with more than a decade of distilling to his name is preparing to launch a special masterclass for Edinburgh lovers of gin.

Matthew Pauley, a graduate of Heriot-Watt, has returned to the university as Research Associate and Teaching Fellow after years spent as a distiller of gins such as Bombay Sapphire and premium boutique brand Oxley. And now he brings his Distiller’s Nose tutorials to the Capital for the first time later this month.

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Having made his name as a master distiller working on production of the spirit, Matthew boasts the knowledge and experience of an ‘insider’ of the gin industry. He has successfully hosted both corporate and informal tastings in London and is set to impart his expertise and guidance to Edinburgh’s many gin fans and aficionados at Joseph Pearce bar on Elm Row on Tuesday, 15 December.

“Edinburgh was

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“Edinburgh was where I fell in love with distilling,” explains Matthew. “It all started when I began studying at Heriot-Watt University, so to pass on now what I’ve learned in my studies and career since then feels like a homecoming. It’s nice to come and share with the general public the passion and knowledge I have accrued during my time in the industry.

“Many people conducting tastings and masterclasses are ‘public-facing’ and don’t come from a manufacturing background, and many are paid to sell a certain product. Distiller’s Nose is an independent company, founded by me, and gives people an ideal opportunity to experience a broad spectrum of gin. Instead of getting the opinion of someone who is maybe paid to tout a product, you are getting educated guidance and an objective opinion from someone who has studied and made gin.”

Matthew – who teaches the next generation of distillers as part of Heriot-Watt University’s courses in brewing, distilling and malting – introduces guests of his tutorials to a range of popular and lesser-known gins, inviting questions and passing on guidance so that drinkers can enjoy a more informed and fulfilling sampling of the spirit.

“For starters, tasting gin is obviously a lot of fun,” he said. “In addition, you get industrial-grade experience but in a more informal, relaxed atmosphere. We use industry-standard tasting glasses and a flavour wheel similar to those used by industry to develop products.

“I like converting people who are ‘gin deniers’ or skeptics. If you are a borderline gin-drinker, I’m certain I can convert you to the ways of the juniper berry. Gin is popular just now, and I look forward to guiding the people of Edinburgh on a safari through the dense jungle of different types of the spirit.”

Distiller’s Nose gin tasting by Matthew Pauley, Joseph Pearce, Elm Row, Edinburgh, December 15, 7.30pm, £25, tickets available via .