The Council of Whiskey Masters, a U.S. education body dedicated to whiskey, has met on the campus of Buffalo Trace Distillery to conduct annual Master examinations and name the first Masters of Bourbon titleholders in history.
Judges and candidates underwent 3 intensive days of training, tasting and examination that led to the identification of an inaugural class of new masters on bourbon.
The examination included an intense blind-tasting exam, a detailed oral theory exam, and a wide-ranging 6-question essay exam. Candidates were reviewed on all aspects of the bourbon world covering history, production, all major distilleries, trade, tasting, laws and more.
The international judging panel consisted of Council board members, featuring only globally acclaimed whiskey authorities.
This year’s senior judges in residence were Steve Beal, Lew Bryson, Marty Duffy, Sebastien Gavillet, Tobias Gorn, Monique Huston, Arthur Nägele, and Bernhard Schäfer.
Judges evaluated all candidates independently and elected new Masters based on agreed-upon standards developed and upheld by the Council. To become a candidate in the Master’s program, individuals must first pass the Certified Bourbon Professional exam and, in a second step, pass the Certified Whiskey Specialist exam to demonstrate global knowledge. The study program is open to all individuals, from around the world, through enrollment at www.WhiskeyMasters.org.
The Council of Whiskey Masters congratulates the following professionals on their monumental achievement in whiskey:
CHASE HENRY, MASTER OF BOURBON
MARK RUCKER, MASTER OF BOURBON
TOM MCCORMICK, MASTER OF BOURBON
JAY JORDAN, MASTER OF BOURBON
JUSTIN STRUMPFER, MASTER OF BOURBON