WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits

A beginner level introduction to spirits for those starting a career in the industry or pursuing an interest in spirits.
For individuals new to the subject, this qualification offers a hands-on introduction to the world of spirits. You’ll explore the main styles and types of spirits through sight, smell, and taste to develop an understanding of the key factors affecting flavours and aromas. Upon successful completion you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin.
It was such a brilliant experience! From my point of view it was great to taste so many products in an unbiased and marketing-free environment.

Kristiane Sherry - Editor, The Spirits Business

What you'll learn

  • The basic principles of spirit production
  • The main types and styles of spirits
  • How to serve spirits
  • Factors affecting the flavour of spirits
  • How to describe spirits using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Spirits® (SAT)

Course delivery

This qualification has a minimum requirement of six-and-a-half guided learning hours with a WSET course provider.*

Available to study in these languages:

*Delivery will vary by course provider; however, this is the minimum requirement that should be met.


Assessment is by a closed-book exam of 30 multiple-choice questions.

This qualification is regulated by Ofqual.

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this qualification. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you are attending the course to participate in any alcohol tasting. However, this is not a barrier to successfully completing the qualification.

Requirements may vary by course provider.


Course Information

Please see below for the specification for the Level 1 Award in Spirits.

You will see that there are two versions, 2015/16 and 2016/17. This is due to our rolling cycle of updates for all of our qualifications. The 2015/16 will be withdrawn on the . Please confirm with your course provider which version they will be using for the duration of your course.

At present, the 2016/17 version is being made available in English only, and will be used for English language taught courses only