Master of Scotch (SM)

In addition to a rigorous written exam, candidates for the Master of Scotch™ designation must demonstrate the ability to recognize classical selections in a rigorous blind tasting—including their region, aging and finishing. Candidates’ blind tasting findings are presented orally to a panel of examiners, which also assesses the candidate’s communication skills and use of appropriate terms.

Those who would like to specialize in Scotch only will have reached their final designation after passing the Level III exam. For those who would like to reach the pinnacle of CWM’s certification programs, the Master of Scotch credential serves as the prerequisite to the broader Level IV: Master of Whiskey program.

All master-level examinations are in-person and on-site in Lexington, Kentucky, or close to Inverness, Scotland.

Master-level study programs will be offered starting in 2022 (both Level III and IV). For the first two years of the program, exam panels will be overseen by Keepers and Masters of the Quaich, who have earned significant honors in the world of Scotch, plus other respected Advisory Board members of the Council. Once the first ten Masters of Scotch have been certified, they will join the Council of Whiskey Masters and lead subsequent examinations.

The first “Master of Scotch” Examination will take place in 2022 in the Scottish Highlands and in Bourbon County of Kentucky. Those interested in getting ready for that exam please inquire with the Council at this time. The exam panel will consist of some of the most known authorities in the world of whiskey, testing for theoretical knowledge as well as blind-tasting skills.

Enrollment for the 2021 Master of Scotch Examination is open now. The total fee, including on-site examination, social program, room and board are USD 5700. Travel to reach the exam location, as well as exam preparation materials are not covered by that fee.

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