WSET ‘advanced’ spirits course goes live

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has launched its Level 3 Award in Spirits in response to demand for “advanced” and “brand neutral” spirits knowledge.

Bookings in the UK and US are now open for the WSET Level 3 Award in Spirits, plans for which were first announced last year.

Building on the WSET’s Level 2 Award in Spirits, the course will cover a “broader spectrum of world spirits”, including shōchū, baijiu and soju, and will “provide greater detail” on production processes in spirits and their impact on style and quality.

The course, which requires a minimum of 84 hours of study time, will offer “in-depth coverage” of the Scotch, Cognac, Armagnac, Caribbean rum, Tequila, mezcal, vodka and gin categories.

The exam will include a blind tasting and written paper comprising multiple choice and short written answers. The course is being led by Nick King, WSET product development manager, spirits and sake.

He said: “The spirits industry has been crying out for a more advanced qualification in spirits. Candidate numbers for WSET spirits qualifications (Levels 1 and 2) have grown significantly in the last 10 years, from 540 in 2009 to 6,600 in 2019, and are now taught in 33 countries worldwide, reflecting growing global demand.

“We are delighted to now be able to offer the industry a Level 3 Spirits qualification that develops candidates’ knowledge and understanding of the category in great depth and also builds their tasting skills, teaching them to identify the structural and aromatic elements that make up a spirit and to make a compelling quality assessment.”

The WSET recommends that Level 3 candidates first complete the Level 2 Award in Spirits.

The Level 3 Award will take place at WSET’s London school on 21-26 October 2019, 10-15 February 2020, and 22-27 June 2020.

WSET’s Chicago school in the US will hold the course on 26-31 August 2019, its Las Vegas outpost on 4-9 November 2019, and its New Orleans office on 20-25 April 2020.

In the 2017/18 academic year, the WSET witnessed a 21% increase in diploma graduates, who collectively hailed from more than 40 countries. The WSET celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

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Author: Amy Hopkins {authorlink}