Membership has its privileges, and being a Whisky Chicks’ Bourbon Badass certainly does!
The Whisky Chicks pride ourselves on being libation liberators, whisky educators and friendship facilitators. We think we delivered on all fronts when we hosted our first Stave & Thief Certified Bourbon Steward training for our newest Bourbon Badass members.
The Stave & Thief Society is the only industry backed bourbon certification program. This level of education has traditionally been reserved for the hospitality industry, but the Whisky Chicks are honored to be the only group able to offer the Certified Bourbon Steward program to our members.
In Whisky Chicks fashion, the evening started with a welcoming cocktail and light appetizers. After everyone settled in, we began making our way through the presentation as we followed along in the Certified Bourbon Steward Handbook. It was a very attentive group who were not afraid to ask questions. We had women who’d been drinking bourbon for over a decade and some who had just been introduced in June!
One of our newest members, Charissa O’Holleran, a Sales Manager at The Galt House Hotel, said this about the class. “I LOVED the training. It was very informative and a great introduction for anyone who is wanting to learn more about Bourbon/Whiskey. For someone who is a “newbie” to the bourbon and whisk(e)y industry, I found that the training was easy to follow and the study guide that comes with the training is very easy to read.”
On the contrary, Velma Watkins, Executive VP of Burdorf Interiors, was much more familiar with bourbon. “I learned so much, but I think the how and why Whisky/Whiskey is spelled with or without the “e” was interesting. I thought I should know the answer, but I didn’t. I thought it was a regional thing (Kentucky/Tennessee), not based on the country of origination.”
To make the evening even more interactive and educational, members were granted access to the Whisky Chicks private selection of bourbons. This hands-on experience allowed them to take a closer look at the labels, the bottles and the subtleties between different spirits on the market. The evening wrapped up with the group creating their own tasting lineup. This group of Bourbon Badasses chose an impressive lineup of higher proof bourbons with strong flavors and diversity in styles, including two different Barrel Select batches and a 114 proof Noah’s Mill.
After the training, each member went online to complete their Stave & Thief certification exam. Once they have passed, they will become official members of the Stave & Thief Society and receive a Stave & Thief lapel pin.
By the end of the course, almost every woman was interested in continuing education by taking another course and getting more involved. It just proves that everyone will take something away from this course and there is so much more to the bourbon industry than most people even realize. Wherever you are on your journey with the amber spirit, there is always more to learn!
Our next Stave & Thief Certified Bourbon Steward training will be scheduled in mid to late August. Become a member, sign up for the next class and begin your journey to becoming a Bourbon Badass!
Become a Whisky Chick HERE.
Stave & Thief Society was founded in 2014, and is the first bourbon certification program recognized by the bourbon industry and the only to be recognized by the Kentucky Distillers Association as its “Official Bourbon Education Course.” The programs were developed by professional distilling and spirits educators and advised by a panel of experts in the bourbon and hospitality industries to provide a premium, standardized bourbon education that is accessible and holds real value.
Members can expand their training by attending the Executive Bourbon Steward program. This day long program will help elevate your bourbon education to the next level, giving you a deep dive into all things bourbon, from history to classifications to hands-on bourbon making and honing your nosing & tasting ability. Not only will you get the bragging rights of being an Executive Bourbon Steward, but you will also get a 36 scent sensory kit, a Stave & Thief lapel pin, a Stave & Thief challenge coin and a continuing education on all things bourbon.
Want to learn more? Check out Moonshine University, the US’s first custom built distillery and education center. They offer professional training for those who are looking to enter the distilling industry. They offer everything from a 5-Day intensive industry overview workshop where 35 different experts teach you how to open and run your own distillery, to 2-Day and 3-Day workshops that do a deep dive into fermentation, whiskey, gin, absinthe, nosing for faults, route to market, distilling operations and much more. Their courses have helped over 130 distillers around the world get open and running.