Master America’s Finest Spirit.

Curriculum for the Certified Bourbon Professional™ (CBP) program:

The History of Bourbon

  • The Whiskey Rebellion

  • Mount Vernon Distillery

  • Prohibition

  • Small Batch Production

Modern Bourbon Production Methods

  • Grains: Corn, Rye, Wheat and Barley

  • Water

  • Sour Mash Process

  • Distillation

  • Stripping Run

  • Spirit Run

  • Oak: Ageing, Charring, Vatting

  • Filtering

  • Proofing

Bourbon Regulation and Terms

  • Age Statements

  • Straight and Blended Bourbon

  • Bourbon Name Protection

  • Production Statements

The Whisky Regions of America

  • Kentucky Bourbon

  • Tennessee Whiskey

  • Canadian Whisky

The Bourbon Distilleries of Kentucky

  • Overview of ~100 Active Distilleries

  • Tasting Character of the Main Bottlings

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Prerequisites & Fees

A Map of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

A Map of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

The Certified Bourbon Professional (CBP) certification program is the first level of certification within the Master of Whiskey program, and there are no prerequisites to enrolling in this program.

A parallel Certified Scotch Professional (CSP) certification program is also available. Having passed either the CBP exam or the CSP exam constitutes Level 1 certification in the Master of Whiskey program. Level 1 certification is the only prerequisite to proceed to Level 2, the comprehensive Certified Whiskey Specialist (CWS) certification.

Enrollment in the CBP study program is $395. This fee includes all necessary study materials and the exam. Retake fee is $140. The CBP exam is challenging: Only 72% of 1st attempt candidates pass.

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Exam Dates & Registration

Exams are offered every week on Fridays and Saturdays, with convenient timeslots currently available for all timezones.

The exam is taken online, anywhere in the world, through our remotely-proctored testing process. Reliable internet and phone connection are required.

Available exam dates and times are published HERE.

Before actually booking an exam date, please register for the program below. No refunds.

Registration Instructions:

What happens after you enroll? You will get a confirmation email from us within 24 hours, and will receive your welcome package with study guide / textbook within a few days via mail. The welcome package also clarifies the study curriculum and points you to the exact study guide sections that will be tested. After orienting yourself, you can book your test appointment anytime within 18 months of program enrollment.

You can take your exam in any location around the world, through our remotely-proctored online exam on your laptop or desktop computer, independent of your location. A few hours before your appointment slot we will send you an email with the exam link.

You can reach our office anytime via the email and phone number found at the bottom of this page.


Study Guide & Exam Details

Your study guide is structured to support the study curriculum outlined above. We use a well written and illustrated textbook that many hundreds of Bourbon experts and students have rated highly. All exam questions will be drawn from approximately 100 pages in the book. The expected study and preparation time for this exam is between 60 and 80 hours, depending on prior experience.

The exam consists 100 multiple-choice questions and takes exactly one hour, candidates have to get at least 75% of all questions correct to pass. The exam is remotely-proctored and fully online, so you can take it anywhere around the world. No study materials or other persons may be in the room during the exam period.

Upon passing of the exam, candidates receive their diploma certificate and their beautiful copper lapel pin to proudly wear at all occasions. If the exam is failed, the candidate can re-enroll to retake the exam for 75% of the initial enrollment fee by reaching out to the office.

Representative Sample Questions

Question 1: In Bourbon, corn must account for at least this percentage of the mash bill:

A. 50%
B. 51%
C. Majority of the grain blend
D. 70-80%

Question 2: The water used in Kentucky for Bourbon making is naturally filtered by…

A. Calcareous marl
B. Limestone
C. Sandy soils
D. Clay

Question 3: Distillation is the process of...

A. Evaporating away the alcohols from the mash blend
B. Concentration of methyl alcohols
C. Reaching the final alcohol level of the Bourbon
D. Separating various chemical compounds based on boiling points

Question 4: Which of the below statements is not true about oak used for Bourbon?

A. Oak trees from the Ozark mountains are cut into staves for Bourbon production
B. Charring and toasting refers to the same process
C. Charring of barrels is mandatory for Bourbon
D. Bourbon barrels that are used must be re-toasted

Question 5: Straight Kentucky Bourbon must be…

A. Flavored only to a degree of typical treatments in Bourbon County
B. Colored only with caramel, if needed
C. Stored for at least 2 years, in specific ways
D. From a maximum of 2 distilleries