Demanding Testing for Spirits and Specialists
The route to becoming a "World-Spirits taster" is long - and during training there are many challenges to be overcome. But only a perfectly trained jury, together with smoothly functioning procedures, can judge spirits as impartially as possible. In the case of "World-Spirits", it is not the name or reputation, but only the sensory abilities of the jurors and the responsibility to producers which are ensuring that a respected and comprehensible judgement of their products is handed down. The WOB rating system, developed especially for spirits, guarantees that this is taking place. Furthermore, "World-Spirits" is the only private organization which undertakes the classification of distilleries. Therefore, the results must be absolutely understandable for the submitting distilleries. Wolfram Ortner, with his personal commitment and sound WOB rating system, stands for care and reliability in the system's implementation.
Taster training sessions - basis for transparent rating
Within the framework of the "World-Spirits Academy" there are several all-day taster training sessions which are covering the individual categories, carried out over the course of a year. During the first part, the focus is on the products (with background information about origin, production, etc.), which are tasted, rated and defined in order to compile a joint "World-Spirits Ranking". In addition to dealing with the major categories (cognac, grappa/marc, rum, whisk(e)y, etc.), the tasters are also concerned with the definition of products derived from different varieties of fruit, such as apples, pears or cherries. In this training segment more than 30 products are discussed and rated.
Checking the tasters – a precondition for participating in the jury
The second part of taster training is a blind check with 40 samples. At question is the recognition of spirits and flaws in them, the scaled rating of strength and typicality of fruit, as well as the recognition and rating of six products according to the day's topic (including identification of their origin). The candidates are only allowed to deviate three points above or below the average of the group's combined rankings. After evaluation of the results, the graduates of the training are entitled to participate on the jury if their score exceeds 70%.
World-Spirits rating system – a tool for objective judgement
With the "World-Spirits Award" nothing is left to chance: according to regulations, the three ratings carrying the most weight out of the ten made – six single, three group and one assistant – are used for the overall assessment, specifically the assigning of points to a product. The tasters are dealing with the products from an uninhibited and unbiassed perspective, and the rating is expressed with precisely defined symbols which are supported by numbers. Only after this is the total rating derived from the 100-point system.
How can you become a World-Spirits taster, or essentially how can you be trained to become a spirits specialist?
The annual program of taster training is comprised of twelve training sessions during four weekends. Those interested can find further information regarding this (topics, dates, etc.) at www.world-spirits.com > Academy - or through the spirits information hotline at 0043-4240-760. Online-Registration