Second World’s Top Whiskey Taster Competition Launches

2020 World’s Top Whiskey Taster Winner Matt Porter

Bardstown Bourbon Co. is excited to launch the second annual World’s Top Whiskey Taster competition, presented in partnership with Moonshine University. The contest calls on whiskey connoisseurs, enthusiasts and fans to compete for a grand prize of $20,000, a scholarship to Moonshine University’s Executive Bourbon Steward program, the opportunity to create their own Whiskey Blend with bourbon hall-of-famer and master distiller Steve Nally and a sponsored block party in their hometown featuring the Bardstown Bourbon Co. mobile tasting bar. 

“We’re excited to bring the competition back this year and introduce more whiskey lovers to Bardstown Bourbon Co.,” said Bardstown Bourbon Co. marketing director Laurel Altman. “We always love connecting with fellow enthusiasts and this competition is the perfect opportunity to grow the community, while giving our fans a platform to demonstrate their knowledge and passion for whiskey.”

The competition consists of three phases, starting with an invitation to complete an online audition:

Casting Call: Nominate someone or enter online at Once the entry form is completed, entrants will receive a text and/or email with a link to complete the online audition. Casting calls will open July 15, 2021 and run through August 15, 2021.

Regional Qualifiers: Bardstown Bourbon Co. experts will select up to six winners per region to compete in live sensory challenges at some of the nation’s most prominent bourbon bars. Regional qualifiers will be held in the following cities:

  • Chicago, IL – Sept. 24 @ 7 p.m. Central
  • Dallas TX – Oct. 8 @ 7 p.m. Central
  • New York, NY – Oct. 22 @ 7 p.m. Eastern
  • Los Angeles, CA – Nov. 5 @ 7 p.m. Pacific
  • Atlanta, GA – Nov. 19 @ 7 p.m. Eastern

National Finals: One winner from each qualifier will be invited to compete for the top prize and title of “World’s Top Whiskey Taster.” The final event will take on December 11, 2021, at Bardstown Bourbon Co. in the Bourbon Capital of the world.

Regional competitors will be selected in August following the open online casting call, with the most knowledgeable or enthusiastic personalities invited to compete in their local regional competitions. Competitors will be tested in a series of bourbon sensory and tasting challenges, such as identifying a bourbon’s producer, age, mash-bill and proof, among others. Each contest will be hosted by prominent whiskey distillers, influencers and experts – including authorities from Moonshine University, the creators and curators of the Stave & Thief Society’s Executive Bourbon Steward training program in Louisville, Kentucky.

“The challenges contestants will face at these live events will truly put their sensory expertise to the test,” said Moonshine University’s director of spirits education Colin Blake. “Where many other competitions have showcased mixology skills, this contest is — to my knowledge — the first to put contestants’ palates to work. The ‘World’s Top Whiskey Taster’ challenge will ask bourbon lovers to apply much of what we teach in our Executive Bourbon Steward training to practice.”

The winner from each regional event will then travel to Bardstown Bourbon Co. this December and compete to be crowned the 2021 World’s Top Whisky Taster and awarded the grand prize.

“We’re looking for people who are all about exploring and sharing their bourbon experience,” said Bardstown Bourbon Co. national brand ambassador Samantha Montgomery. “We invite social media bourbon evangelists actively sharing photos of pours and pairings, bourbon explorers and home enthusiasts who love to share their whiskey journey to compete.”

The 2021 competition marks the second year that Bardstown Bourbon Co. will invite whiskey enthusiasts to compete and become the World’s Top Whiskey Taster. During the inaugural 2020 event, ten regionals were held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At an exclusive Finals event held at the distillery, Michigan native Matt Porter, the popular bourbon influencer behind ADHD Whiskey, took home the grand prize and title of 2020 World’s Top Whiskey Taster. Porter’s unique bourbon blend is being released as part of Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s Distillery Series this coming fall. 

For full contest information, including rules, terms, and conditions, please visit Candidates must be at least 21 years old to enter.

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