IWC News & Press

The New Course in Town: WSET Level 1 Spirits

IWC News & Press

Earlier this year, IWC debuted its newest WSET course: WSET Level 1 Spirits. We spoke with inaugural instructor and spirits expert, Scott Rosenbaum about why this foundational course is extremely valuable for those seeking in-depth knowledge on spirits and cocktails or simply wanting to drink better.

Who should take the WSET Level 1 Spirits class?

In short, anyone who wants to drink better. When you know more about spirits and cocktails, you have the information necessary to make informed decisions. Inversely, those who are starting out in the trade and want to get a firm grasp on the principles of distillation and mixology would take away a lot from the course as well.

What can they expect to learn and taste?

Students will learn about spirit production including distillation and maturation, various spirit styles – from whisk(e)y to rum to gin and brandy – and the rudiments of spirits tasting and cocktail making. Students will have the opportunity to compare and contrast via tasting about 9 different spirits and 1 or 2 cocktails.

Why shouldn’t those in the industry be put off by the term ‘foundation’?

Spirits knowledge doesn’t build off wine knowledge so starting from the beginning helps. Also, spirits knowledge is broad and someone who knows a lot about cocktails might have gaps about what they know with regard to production techniques or laws governing appellations. This class fills those gaps.

What else do you want people to know about the class and spirits education at IWC?

With the growing interest and business opportunities in the spirits end of the alcohol trade, having a solid understanding of spirits – their styles, production and tastes – is a more valuable than ever. Additionally, the same way we can better appreciate wine when we know a little more about it, so too with spirits.

Tell us about you, how long have you been teaching about spirits and can you give us some of your credentials?

I’ve been teaching about spirits for almost eight years. I hold an MA degree in Food Studies from NYU and my DWS from International Wine Center. My full-time job for the past five years has been Spirits Strategist at T. Edward Wines.

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