Class is in session: enroll in the whiskey school nearest you

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Listen up, Scotch connoisseurs: thanks to the Council of Whiskey Masters in Los Angeles, you now have a chance to officially prove your whiskey prowess and earn your whiskey stripes. According to the Council’s official website, it was inspired by the world-famous Master of Wine qualification system:

“The Council of Whiskey Masters (CWM) was established in 2018 to define and uphold an elevated set of standards among sommeliers and spirits professionals, and to offer classifications in the field of whiskey that are equivalent to the well-established credentials in the world of wine.

“Prior to the founding of CWM, there had been no worldwide education and certification body or program specifically dedicated to whiskey—the finest and most complex of all spirits.”

The first-tier credentials are Certified Scotch Professional (CSP) and Certified Bourbon Professional (CBP). All these acronyms remind me of the ranking system created by the Church of Scientology (COS) for its members: Operating Thetan (OT), levels 1 through 8. Tom Cruise is believed to be OT 8, or Truth Revealed. But I digress.

Some details of CWM’s testing protocols are provided by The Drinks Business. The Council will offer CBP courses quarterly at exam centers in the US, Canada and Europe. “The one-hour exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. To pass, students must score over 80%. Successful students will receive a CSP or CBP ‘diploma.’”

Level two is the Certified Whiskey Specialist. Courses will reportedly commence toward the end of 2019. Next is the Master of Scotch course, due to begin in 2020, and then the Master of Whiskey program, with an expected launch in 2021. The courses include blind tasting and a whiskey theory exam. According to one course provider:

“With growing interest in Scotch and Bourbon, drinks professionals can demonstrate their dedication to and expertise in whiskey through a demanding course and examination from anywhere in the world.”

In the meantime, the CWM is working to get patent protection on the terms “Master of Scotch” and “Master of Whiskey.” On that note, I’m going to go and see if “Church of Whiskey” is taken yet. It could be lucrative.