WSET Level 3 Award in Spirits

The WSET Level 3 Award in Spirits is an advanced-level qualification for professionals and enthusiasts wishing to acquire a detailed understanding of the spirits of the world and develop the tasting skills required to accurately describe and evaluate a spirit.
This qualification is intended to build on knowledge and skills gained from the Level 2 Award in Spirits. You’ll acquire a deep theoretical understanding of the techniques used in spirit production, from the processing of raw materials to post-distillation operations. Through a combination of tasting and the application of theoretical knowledge you will learn to explain confidently why spirits look and taste the way they do and how and why they differ from each other.
"In a market flooded with new spirits and brands it is imperative to be able to differentiate style, quality, and price for our customers. This qualification does a great job preparing sales professionals, bar managers and buyers with this skill."

Travis Gislason, Director of Learning and Development, Breakthru Beverage, USA

What you'll learn

Unit 1

  • A detailed understanding of the techniques used in spirit production:
    • Processing of raw materials
    • Alcoholic fermentation
    • Distillation
    • Post-distillation practices
  • Factors affecting the style and quality of spirits, studying eleven core spirit categories in detail:
    • Scotch Whisky
    • Bourbon
    • Rye Whiskey
    • Tennessee Whiskey
    • Cognac
    • Armagnac
    • Caribbean rum
    • Tequila
    • Mezcal
    • Vodka
    • Gin
  • An overview of 23 additional spirit categories, focusing on:
    • Principal production methods
    • Key styles
    • Key labelling terms



Unit 2

  • How to taste and describe spirits using the WSET Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting Spirits®(SAT)

Course delivery

This qualification has a minimum requirement of 84 hours* of study time:

  • 30 hours delivery time with a WSET course provider
  • 51 ½ hours personal study and revision
  • 2 ½ -hour examination

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


The 2½ hour closed-book examination is made up of:

  • Unit 1: a two-part theory examination
    • Part 1 is made up of 50 multiple-choice questions
    • Part 2 is made up of short answer questions


  • Unit 2: a tasting examination of two spirit samples tasted blind

You will need to pass both parts of the theory examination (Unit 1), and the tasting examination (Unit 2), to achieve the qualification.

On successful completion of the examination you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin, and will be able to use the associated certified logo.

Entry requirements

It is recommended that you hold the WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits or can demonstrate the equivalent level of knowledge. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you are attending the course and exam to participate in any alcohol tasting. However, this is not a barrier to successfully completing Unit 1. Requirements may vary by course provider.

Course Information

For more information and full details on the course requirements, please download the Specification below.

Launch of the Level 3 Award in Spirits

Although the Level 3 Award in Spirits is available to book now from some of our course providers, it will not be possible to sit the examination until after the 1 August 2019.


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