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Council of Whiskey Masters reveals 2024 exams

American education body the Council of Whiskey Masters will host its 2024 exams for Scotch and Bourbon at the Isle of Raasay Distillery.

Council of Whiskey Masters
Council of Whiskey Masters will host its 2024 exams at the Isle of Raasay Distillery

From 17-21 April 2024, the whisky distillery on Scotland’s Isle of Raasay will host the council’s annual Master of Scotch and Master of Bourbon exams.

All candidates and judges will stay at Raasay House, a castle hotel located within walking distance of the distillery.

This year’s Master exams will be judged by a group of more than 12 examiners and overseen by the 2024 chairman of the board, Bernhard Schäfer, Master of the Quaich.

Whisky writers Charles MacLean and Dave Broom will also be involved in the examination process, along with other experts on American, Scotch and world whisky.

The examination judges are composed of members of the council’s advisory board, as well as previous candidates who have taken the Master of Scotch and Master of Bourbon exams.

The candidates, current masters and advisory board members will take part in a series of theory exams, practical tasting, hands-on distillation workshops at Raasay Distillery, spirits judge training and tasting dinners.

The Scotch and Bourbon exams are split into three parts: blind-tasting, oral theory and written theory.

Those who have completed the Scotch and Bourbon exams are also eligible to sit for the final level of the council’s study programme, the Master of Whiskey credential, which will be held for the first time in 2024.

This examination tests global knowledge of all types of whisky.

To enrol in the 2024 exams, candidates must pay a fee of US$6,500, which includes accommodation, all meals and whisky, plus examinations and an on-site programme.

Candidates become eligible for the Master-level exams after first becoming a Certified Scotch Professional or Certified Bourbon Professional, and after completing the level 2 Certified Whiskey Specialist exam.

The Council of Whiskey Masters named its five masters of Scotch following the inaugural global Master of Scotch exam.

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