The BCB Pouring Digital 'BCB Barweek' will take place from 12 - 18 October 2020, bringing together the Berlin, Brooklyn and Sao Paulo editions as part of a week long programme of digital and live content. WSET is delighted to continue its education partnership with Bar Convent and will be delivering a programme of tastings for its digital edition.
Digital trade show
Professionals from the global drinks industry will have the opportunity to come together digitally and experience a programme of WSET expert-led spirits tastings covering a range of categories from the comfort of their own homes or at selected ticketed bar locations.
To register for Pouring Digital, click here. You will need to register before you can attend any of the sessions.
To join any of our digital tastings visit the BCB Pouring Digital conference schedule under "Programme" - tuning in at 7pm UK | 8pm Berlin | 2pm NY.
Don't forget to add our sessions to your schedule!
Smoke is a characteristic associated with many styles of spirit, and yet it is often misunderstood. Join us for a celebration of the heat and the darkness, with a deep dive into just how those unmistakable smokey aromas end up in your glass. Session hosted by Charlie McCarthy, featuring special guest Billy Abbott.
Samples: Mount Gay Black Barrel – Char not smoke; Highland Park 12; Lagavulin 16; A Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
Do you need fruit to make fruity spirits? Join us as we explore the range of fruit aromas and flavours associated with some of our favourite spirits. No bananas were harmed in the making of this seminar. Session hosted by Charlie McCarthy, featuring special guest Hannah Lanfear.
Samples: Jack Daniels; Hamden Estate; Macallan 12 Sherry Cask; Voyer VS
We've all done it. Described a spirit as smelling or tasting sweet when we know full well that no sugar has been added. But can this figurative language do more harm than good? Join us for this session as we discuss the benefits of a clear, concise, universal vocabulary for describing spirits, helping us all to communicate more effectively. Session hosted by Rob McCaughey, featuring special guest Joe Cabassa.
Samples: Knob Creek Bourbon; Campari; Brugal Extra Dry; El Dorado 15
What is it that distinguishes a good spirit from a truly great one and what criteria can we use to assess quality whilst limiting our own personal biases? We'll explore these questions and more through the medium of Tequila. Session hosted by Rob McCaughey, featuring special guest Christina Veira.
Samples: Sauza Silver; Patron Silver; Fortaleza Silver; Fortaleza Anejo
Before spirits were ever consumed for pleasure, they took the form of herbal elixirs, crafted by monks and physicians to cure various ills. In this seminar we explore spirits and liqueurs that embrace the tradition of the herbs and spices to create liquids of distinctive character. Session hosted by Charlie McCarthy, featuring special guest Rose Brookman.
Samples: Hendrick’s Gin; Green Chartreuse; Foursquare Spiced Rum; Fernet Branca
There's so much more to fruit spirits than Cognac. Join us as we explore the pure expressions of fruit to be found in Grappa, Pisco and unaged fruit spirits. Session hosted by Rob McCaughey, featuring special guest Kellie Thorn.
Samples: St George Pear Eau de Vie; Schladerer Kirschwasser; Marolo Grappa di Brunello; La Diablada Pisco
Billy Abbott is a drinks writer and educator specialising in spirits. By day he is a writer, trainer and ambassador for The Whisky Exchange. By night he is a freelance writer and drinks consultant, organiser of Whisky Squad – a London-based whisky-tasting group – and writer of his own blog, Spirited Matters.
Rose is a WSET Level 3 Spirits Educator with 14 years’ experience in the hospitality industry working in both the on and off-trade. She is highly passionate about the drinks industry as a whole, with a specific focus on increasing inclusivity through education.
Since 1997, Joe Cabassa has worked as Brand Ambassador and educator for dozens of prestigious brands around the world. Over de course of his career, he has conducted well over 5,000 training and tasting events, in over 75 cities in 45 countries (in 5 continents) around the world; from Beijing to Buenos Aires, from Spain to New York. He is currently The Macallan Regional Brand Ambassador Lead & Head of Education for Puerto Rico, The Caribbean & Latin America.
Hannah Lanfear is a spirits educator at WSET School London and is the founder of The Mixing Class, a company dedicated to education within the drinks industry with a focus on fostering diversity and socially responsible hiring practices. Clocking in at 20 years of service to the cocktail & spirits industry, her journey took her from a teenager pulling pints and pouring rum in a harbour-side tavern in Cornwall, to making fancy drinks for the cognoscenti in some of the world’s elite bars. She has managed and trained bar teams (Milk & Honey, Bungalow 8, Boisdale); consulted on bar openings (Nimb Copenhagen, GloGlo’s); travelled the world as a global brand ambassador experiencing bar culture the globe over; as well as working for a distillery managing the sales, marketing and exports of a brand (Jensen’s Gin). She has written articles for industry press (Imbibe, Bar Life, Class, Drinks World Asia, Standart, Kanpai!); was a member of the Tanqueray Ten Martini Guild; winner of the London heat of Bartender Mastermind; and GVine’s Gin Connoisseurs’ Programme World Finalist 2013 and is Imbibe’s Educator of the Year 2019.
Kellie Thorn has been in the restaurant industry for nearly twenty years and bartending for the last seventeen. Kellie, born in Atlanta and raised in various cities along the Southern coast, has received considerable critical recognition for her talents and skills. In 2010, Kellie joined forces with star chef Hugh Acheson to open Empire State South, Acheson’s vibrant reimagination of traditional southern fare, to develop a creative program balanced by a reverent nod to the classics. Her success in this role led her to the position of Beverage Director for Acheson’s restaurants in 2013. Kellie is highly committed to furthering her education in spirits and wine, she has taken and passed the Introductory Course for Court of Sommeliers, participated in and passed the reputed BAR Five Day program in New York and most recently participated in the WSET Level Three Award in Spirits and received a Pass with Distinction. She believes that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, and she has turned her attention to utilizing her knowledge base to educate her peers. Kellie is a BNIC Certified Cognac Educator, passing the Certification in Cognac France in April 2015, as well as a WSET Certified Level Two and Level Three Educator. She has been a panellist for educational seminars at Tales of the Cocktail, Bar Convent Brooklyn, and Bev Con.
Christina was chosen as one of Imbibe Magazine’s 2019 Imbibe 75, selected as one of the 50 under 40 future influencers of the global drinks industry by WSET and IWSC and named one of 2020 Bar World 100. She has occupied every front-of-house position (and a couple in the kitchen) while pursuing certifications in wine and beer, even winning a cocktail competition here and there. Currently, she is Director of Programming for Toronto Cocktail Week, a Bar & Beverage Curator for Restaurants Canada, a national coordinator for Speed Rack Canada, a Spirits Educator with WSET and a consultant. Over the course of the last few years, she has been able to harness her skills while raising over $100k for charities, with a strong focus on womxn (especially WOC), LGBTQ communities, and food insecurity. Christina is highly recognized as an influential leader in the beverage industry and continues to leverage her platform and valuable experience to build out workshops and programming around rethinking hospitality - especially its management - in ways that centre intersectionality, empathy and safety as guiding business principles.
Spirits qualifications from WSET
WSET has three progressive levels of qualifications in spirits, ranging from a beginner level introduction to spirits that can be completed in one day, to our advanced-level qualification for professionals and enthusiasts wishing to acquire a detailed understanding of the spirits of the world.
Find out more here.