Master the fascinating world of Scotch.

Go HERE for Bourbon.

Curriculum for the Certified Scotch Professional (CSP) program:

The History of Distillation

  • Early Development in Europe

  • Beginnings of Whisky Culture

Malt Whisky History of Scotland

  • The Rise of Scotch

  • Malt Whiskey Rediscovered

Modern Scotch Production Methods

  • The Role of Water

  • The Main Ingredient: Barley

  • Blending and Single Malts

  • Yeast Selection and Function

  • The Malting Process

  • A Scottish Choice: Peat

  • Options in Mashing

  • Fermentation Details

  • Distilling Standards

  • Wood Selection

  • Aspects of Maturation

  • Warehousing and Storage

Scotch Appreciation Methods

  • Sensory Evaluation

  • Systematic Tasting Setup

  • Tasting Procedures

  • Scotch Tasting Descriptors

The Whisky Regions of Scotland

  • Highlands

  • Speyside

  • Lowlands

  • Islands

  • Islay

  • Campbeltown

The Scotch Distilleries of Scotland

  • Overview of ~100 Active Distilleries

  • Tasting Character of the Main Bottlings

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Prerequisites & Fees

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

A parallel Certified Bourbon Professional (CBP) certification program is also available, HERE. 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 Certified Whiskey Specialist (CWS) certification.

Enrollment in the CSP study program is $395. This fee includes all necessary study materials and the online exam. Retake fee is $140. The exam is challenging: Only 74% 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 immediately via email. 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 study guide that many thousands of Scotch experts and students have rated highly. The expected study and preparation time for this exam is between 60 and 90 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 may be taken online, independent of your actual locations. No study materials or other persons may be in the room during the exam period.

Upon passing of the exam, the candidate receives 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: Order the following distilleries by their traditional use of peat, from lightest to heaviest: (1) Lagavulin (2) Talisker (3) Laphroaig (4) Glenmorangie.

A. 1, 3, 4, 2
B. 4, 2, 1, 3
C. 3, 2, 4, 1
D. 2, 4, 3, 1

Question 2: Which of the following is not a desirable contribution from oak to Scotch aging?

A. Introduction of sulfur
B. Evaporation
C. Coloration
D. Imparting of flavor

Question 3: Which of the following is not a step in the malting process?

A. Kilning
B. Germinating
C. Tunning
D. Steeping

Question 4: Which of these terms refers to the 40 gallon size container traditionally used?

A. Barrel
B. Puncheon
C. Hogshead
D. Octave

Question 5: Which selection is accurate about the relationship between first and second distillation?

A. Some leading distilleries omit the second distillation for their main bottling.
B. The second distillation begins when the alcohol from the first distillation is at 5% or more.
C. The second stage further concentrates and purifies the spirit.
D. Only the second distillation uses worm tubs.