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    Eat & Swig

    How To Become A Whisk(e)y Sommelier
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    Don’t tell anyone, but did you know there are actually other whiskeys than bourbon?  We tend to focus on bourbon here in Kentucky because it’s our native spirit, but not everyone who comes to town for tourism purposes likes bourbon that much.  Many of our best bourbon bars boast extensive Scotch selections, but bourbon is what we all know best.

    Enter the brand new Whisk(e)y Marketing School at the Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas.  Sure, we’ve got all kinds of classes, schools, and certifications for bourbon right here in Louisville.  But think of how much you could step up your game with a full whisk(e)y certification.

    “It’s the kind of place that encourages the free flowing of ideas but they’re also very serious about learning,” says Tom Fischer of Bourbon Blog, one of the founding educators.  “Whiskey is all about bringing people together. It’s not about being stuffy and saying we think you should drink this or that. It’s about educating bartenders, proprietors, and anyone in the business and helping them become experts in leading their own tastings.”

    Fischer explains it’s about promoting your establishment as a destination to those in the know.  He wants to see people able to call ahead and make a reservation for a private whiskey tasting instead of just a 5 minute discussion about what you’ll be drinking tonight.  It’s all about passing the knowledge and the passion on.  “We want bartenders to become whiskey experts to raise the bar so these establishments will become whiskey destinations.”

    The Academy is held in 5 classes over 2 years, but throughout that time there will be plenty of support available to students.  “We’re taking the elegance, rituals, and traditions of wine sommeliers and applying that to whiskey.  So much of what sells whiskey is the story and the history of the distillery, so a lot of it will be communication and storytelling.  It’s all about giving the customer the greatest experience,” says Fischer.

    Click here for more information about the Whisk(e)y Marketing School at the Wizard Academy.

    Photos Courtesy of Tom Fischer

    Maggie Kimberl's picture

    About Maggie Kimberl

    I'm a Louisville native with a passion for traveling and homegrown tomatoes. I write the bourbon news, which keeps me plenty busy since Louisville is the center of the bourbon universe. See bourbon news happening? Contact me on Twitter @LouGirl502!

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