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Stave & Thief Society: Executive Bourbon Steward

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Stave & Thief Society: Executive Bourbon Steward

21feb9:00 am5:30 pmStave & Thief Society: Executive Bourbon Steward

Event Details

Spend a day at our hands-on learning center and have the time of your life as you attain a real working knowledge of bourbon and bourbon production as you become an Executive Bourbon Steward (EBS). Designed for industry professionals and bourbon enthusiasts alike, this day-long workshop offers state-of-the-art classroom training, hands-on distilling, and advanced sensory training, along with plenty of bourbon to enjoy throughout the day (for educational purposes, of course).

You’ll gain a strengthened understanding of the technical side of bourbon production, its history and relationship to other whiskeys, and the variety of aromas and flavors found in different expressions, giving you all the tools you need to build creative flights and guide your own engaging sensory experiences. In addition to joining the 2,500+ Bourbon Stewards from around the world who have graduated our program, you’ll also gain the ability to speak with knowledge and confidence when sharing your appreciation for Kentucky’s signature spirit.

For more information, visit the course page.

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Course Objectives

To provide a standardized bourbon education, along with the tools and techniques to further participants’ study and understanding of bourbon; to strengthen participants’ skills in guiding their staff in various aspects of Bourbon Stewardship and customer relations; to provide training and materials which will allow participants to develop and expand in-house bourbon programs, and build bourbon lists to grow sales.

Course Description

  • Bourbon 101 covers the basic history of whiskey in the United States, leading to the evolution of bourbon. From there the course will detail the technical aspects of whiskey classifications, the science of distilling and aging, and types and brands of bourbon.
  • Distilling & Aging 101 is a hands-on walk-through of the bourbon-making process where each class will actually distill bourbon. This section not only goes over the process for the managers but how to explain the different steps to consumers and how each step affects the overall product.
  • Advanced Bourbon Sensory Training breaks down and examines the array of aroma and flavor components of bourbon and how specific decisions during the production process determine those attributes.
  • Flight Building dives into how to conduct a sensory evaluation of bourbon and how to walk staff and consumer alike through the process. Assessing the customer efficiently “on the run” and making recommendations according to cues are also covered here.
  • Kentucky Bourbon Trail Proficiency covers the distilleries and brands on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (KBT) experience. Students will build familiarity with the products and locations of attractions in order to advise guests and answer questions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the standards of identity for whiskey and for bourbon and be able to identify the differences between the two distillates.
  • Explain the basic science of the distillation process.
  • Define and explain the different bourbon classifications and Bottled in Bond, and be able to identify bourbons belonging to each class.
  • Identify Kentucky’s heritage brands and which distilleries produce them.
  • Identify basic differences in proof, age and mash bill in a blind sensory evaluation.
  • Build a flight of 3 bourbons, demonstrate the relationship among the products, and describe their characteristics and nuances.
  • Understand the distillation and aging aspects of bourbon.
  • Be able to use hands-on knowledge of bourbon production to train and answer advanced questions from consumers.
  • Be able to perform advanced sensory of bourbon and be able to walk their staff and consumers through how to conduct bourbon tastings.
  • Be able to facilitate Certified Bourbon Stewards’ training.

What to Expect

We’ll start the day with some breakfast and refreshments, and provide lunch around noon. The rest of the day will consist of informative learning led by our awesome staff, a tour of the distillery as we brew up a batch of distiller’s beer from scratch, and activities as we explore grains and barrel chars. At the end of the day, we’ll take a test and everyone who passes will earn the title Executive Bourbon Steward in the Stave & Thief Society until the end of time. They’ll also take home:

  • Their very own spirit sensory training kit
  • The training guide
  • A very special challenge coin

Structure at a Glance

  • Day-long workshop
  • Classroom instruction and demonstrations
  • Hands-on production in distillery
  • Advanced sensory training

Tuition: $500.00 USD for Individual Members • $1,000.00 USD for Establishment Members

Tuition Includes

  • All class-related materials
  • Breakfast, lunch and refreshments
  • Lifetime membership in Stave & Thief Society
  • Exclusive sensory aroma kit


Christin Head | 502-305-8596 |

Register Now

View all Moonshine University Courses here.


(Friday) 9:00 am - 5:30 pm EST


Moonshine University, Louisville, KY

Distilled Spirits Epicenter, 801 South 8th Street, Louisville, KY 40203, United States

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