Bardstown Bourbon Company and Moonshine University search for  

World’s Top Whiskey Taster 

Executive Bourbon Steward scholarship, $20,000 cash prize and Distillery Ambassador contract up for grabs 


BARDSTOWN, Ky. (March 262020) - – –The Bardstown Bourbon Company, 1500 Parkway Drive, is excited to launch an online search for the “World’s Top Whiskey Taster, presented by Moonshine University. The contest calls on whiskey lovers, enthusiasts, fans and connoisseurs to compete for a grand prize of $20,000, scholarship to Moonshine University’s Executive Bourbon Steward program, and the opportunity to represent Bardstown Bourbon Company as a Distillery Ambassador at some of the world’s most preeminent whiskey festivals in 2021 

The competition consists of three phases, starting with an invitation to submit an audition video showcasing the contestants’ passion for all things bourbon: 

PHASE 1 – Video Submissions: Submit a 1-minute video to YouTube, Instagram or Facebook and be sure to tag #WorldsTopWhiskeyTasterShare your submission URL and contact information to Videos should showcase your passion for bourbon, interest in an ambassadorship and palate prowess. Online video submissions are now being accepted and will be open through June 15, 2020. 

PHASE 2 – Regional Qualifiers: Bardstown Bourbon Company and Moonshine University will select up to 10 submissions per market to compete in live sensory challenges at some of the nation’s most prominent bourbon bars. Regional qualifiers will be held in Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; San Francisco, California; Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Washington, D.C.; and Dallas, Texas. A complete list of these events will be announced at a future date. 

PHASE 3 – 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 place this fall at Bardstown Bourbon Company in the Bourbon Capital of the world. 

“Entrants are encouraged to be creative and have fun,” said Bardstown Bourbon Company Vice President of Sales & Marketing Herb Heneman. “Tell us what makes your palate as good as it is. Show us things like your favorite bourbon cocktail, your most impressive or underrated pairing, or pick the most amazing bottle in your stash and geek out on it. But most of all, tell us what representing Bardstown Bourbon Company as a Distillery Ambassador would mean to you.”  

Phase 2 contestants will be selected in June and invited to compete in regional competitions featuring bourbon sensory and tasting challenges, such as identifying bourbon’s producer, age, mashbill and proof, among othersEach contest will be hosted by prominent distillers, journalists and experts 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 Company during Bourbon Heritage month in September to compete for the national title. 

By the end of the competition, one champion will be crowned and awarded a cash prize of $20,000 with a contract to represent Bardstown Bourbon Company as a Distillery Ambassador at some of the country’s top whiskey festivals in 2021, including WhiskyFest and Whiskies of the World. The winner will also receive a scholarship to Moonshine University’s Executive Bourbon Steward certification program, and a trip to Bardstown, Kentucky, where they’ll blend a custom product with Bourbon Hall of Famer and Bardstown Bourbon Company Master Distiller Steve Nally. 

“We’re looking for people who are all about exploring and sharing their bourbon experience,” said Bardstown Bourbon Company National Brand Ambassador Sam Montgomery. “We invite social media bourbon evangelists who are actively snapping and sharing photos of pours and pairings, as well as travelers and bourbon explorers who love to share their tales.” 


Candidates must be at least 21 years old to enter. The winner will be considered an independent contractor of Bardstown Bourbon Company. This prize does not constitute an offer for employment. 

For full contest rules, terms and conditions, please visit: 


To upload an audition video or for more information, please visit: 


Click here for a high-resolution photo. 


About Bardstown Bourbon Company: 

Located in the heart of Bourbon Country on 100 acres of active farmland, Bardstown Bourbon Company is one of the country’s most modern and technically advanced whiskey distilleries. Celebrating the art of making high-quality and authentic whiskey, the innovative distillery produces custom rye, whiskey, and bourbon for prominent brands including Jefferson’s, High West, Belle Meade, Hirsch, and many others through its one-of-a-kind Collaborative Distilling Program. Bardstown Bourbon Company honors tradition and drives innovation with its exceptional destination experience for visitors, offering the only full-service restaurant located within a distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, The Kitchen and Bar at Bardstown Bourbon Company. The company was founded in 2014 by Peter Loftin. For more information, please visit bardstownbourbon.comor follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 


About Moonshine University:  

Founded by David Dafoe in 2012, Moonshine University is the nation’s premier educational distillery and the exclusive educational member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Located in the heart of bourbon country, Moonshine University offers comprehensive, hands-on spirits education courses and services to entrepreneurs and professionals from around the world. As of 2019, graduates of this course have gone on to successfully launch 165 distilleries worldwide and counting. Moonshine University also houses the Stave & Thief Society, a comprehensive, hands-on bourbon certification program established to promote Kentucky’s distinguished bourbon culture. For more information, please visit and 

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