WSET Level 3 Award in Spirits
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WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits

The diploma of excellence in spirits.

The WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits is the ultimate qualification to gain theoretical and technical training in the spirits industry. It provides a global view of the international spirits market and allows you to explore all production styles, and marketing trends. The WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits is the most technically advanced spirits qualification in the world today. WiSP is the only training organisation in France to offer the WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits . Our educators are true experts in the spirits sector and WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits graduates.

This expert-level qualification is delivered in English in an exceptional setting, La Maison du Whisky in Paris, to be at the heart of the training topic. The certification course combines theoretical content, sensory training practice and group discussions.


Upon successfully completing the WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits, you will be able to advise your customers with expertise and professionalism confidently. 


Please be advised that the gap between Level 2 and Level 3 is substantial. The WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits covers many spirit families, from Asian spirits to agave spirits to French eaux-de-vie. An extraordinary journey into the world of spirits and a unique opportunity to taste rare spirits! 


A rich and complete educational programme to become an expert and passionate member of the spirits community. 

The WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits  

is in a blended learning delivery mode comprising face-to-face and distance learning sessions in English only. To best prepare for your course, you will receive an invitation to an introductory videoconference with your educator, followed by 5.5 days of in-class training to become a confirmed expert in spirits. During the five-day course, expert trainers from the spirits sector will join the group session to allow you to ask all your questions and clarify specific complex points. 

Accessibility of training to people with disabilities. Contact our disability advisor on 05 57 71 75 61 or by email in order to study together the necessary arrangements.


How will the WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits be conducted ?

I validate my registration with the support of the WiSP team.

Seven days after my registration validation, I receive the necessary textbook for my pre-course preparation. Self-study time recommended: 52 hours.

Fifteen days before the course start date, an e-mail will invite me to attend the introductory webinar and provide all the necessary information for the group sessions.

I attend the introductory webinar and then, three or four weeks later, the classroom group sessions. The in-class mode alternates between theory, consolidation and tasting practice.

The last half-day of training is entirely dedicated to the exam. First, the theoretical test (2 hours) and then the analytical tasting test (30 minutes).

Twelve weeks after the exam, I will receive my results by e-mail. If I successfully pass my exam, I will receive my WSET® certificate and lapel pin by post.

Who can benefit from the WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits?

WSET® Level 2 Award in Spirits holders looking to build on their acquired knowledge.

Industry professionals and spirits enthusiasts who wish to develop advanced tasting skills to evaluate a spirit accurately.

Sommeliers wishing to obtain true expertise in spirits.

Stakeholders in wine and spirits tourism.

Wine merchants who wish to master the minor details of spirits to improve their spirits selection skills.

Producers, wholesale distribution, import-export, and bar service professionals.

What will you learn in this WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits?

Describe and evaluate the characteristics of all spirits and flavoured wines with unparalleled accuracy.

Identify key factors influencing the production and taste of spirits and liqueurs.

Master the fundamental pillars of spirit production, such as starch conversion techniques or the physical separation process involved during distillation.

Understand the biological and thermodynamic phenomena of the distillation process.

Have an in-depth knowledge of the global and local spirits and liqueur markets.

Accurately describe the world's spirits and liqueurs.

Master the WSET® Systematic Approach to Tasting® (SAT) and produce tasting notes.

Recommend, advise and serve suitable spirits to your clients.

WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits: Course Syllabus

WSET issue 2.1, 2022

  • Processing of raw materials
  • Alcoholic fermentation process
  • Distillation
  • Post-distillation practices

  • Scotch whisky
  • Bourbon
  • Rye whisky
  • Tennessee whiskey
  • Cognac
  • Armagnac
  • Caribbean Rum
  • Tequila
  • Mezcal
  • Vodka and gin

  • Main production processes
  • Main styles
  • Key labelling terms

Your Educators

WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits: Study Materials

Upon registration to the WSET® Level 3 Award in Spirits, you will receive the essential study materials to optimise your learning experience.‎ ‎
WSET recommends a 95-hour pre-exam preparation comprised of 52 hours of study time. Before the first training day, you must thoroughly read the WSET® textbook UNDERSTANDING SPIRITS: EXPLAINING STYLE & QUALITY and take notes on all the topics covered. This preparation will allow for more dynamic and interesting group sessions and richer participant interactions.

Next sessions

WSET Level 3 in Spirits / English


June 2024

+ details
  • Language

  • Session Type

    Physical / Online
  • City

  • Period

    03 Jun 2024 at 09H 00
    14 Jun 2024 at 12H 00

WSET Level 3 Award in spirits / ENGLISH


June 2024

+ details
  • Language

  • Session Type

  • City

  • Period

    25 Jun 2024 at 09H 00
    10 Jul 2024 at 17H 30

FAQ WSET Level 3 in Spirits course
All the answers to your questions

The WSET Level 3 in Spirits course requires prerequisites to be validated with the WiSP team.
This course is accessible to students and professionals who have already obtained the WSET Level 2 in Spirits certification or its equivalent. Also a good understanding and writing of English is required. Contact us for more information.

This course is suitable for professionals in the spirits industry, sommeliers, professionals in spirit and wine tourism, wine merchants, spirit producers, hospitality and restaurant professionals, international spirits salespeople, bar service experts, or simply spirits enthusiasts holding the WSET Level 2 in Spirits certificate.

It’s important to note that the WSET Level 3 in Spirits course is not a “career” course but rather a “product” course. The course covers detailed knowledge of spirits products. However, you can advance in the spirits industry as a sommelier, wine merchant, spirit and wine tourism operator, international spirits salesperson, bartender, mixology expert, and cocktail specialist.

The courses accommodate up to about 10 students.

Indeed, it’s important to know that the gap between Level 2 and Level 3 is significant. The WSET Level 3 in Spirits is very demanding, and the program is dense. It covers a wide range of spirits categories, from Asian spirits to agave spirits to French eaux-de-vie. The level of detail is significantly higher than Level 2.

The program includes the in-depth study of numerous categories of spirits, including Scotch and Irish whiskies, Bourbon Rye, Tennessee and Canadian whiskeys, Japanese whisky, Cognac, Armagnac, other brandies (Jerez, Pisco, grappa, etc.), Calvados, Caribbean Rum, Cachaça, Tequila, Mezcal, Vodka, Gin, Asian spirits (Shochu, Baiju, Soju). You will also explore flavored and liqueur spirits such as Genever, flavored vodkas, anise spirits, aquavit, bitters, and other liqueurs. After completing the course, you will be able to explain in detail the style and qualities of each.

You will be able to taste 60 spirits during the tasting sessions, creating unforgettable moments of sharing.

The course consists of 6 days in total, divided into two parts. The training begins with a half-day introductory video conference 1 month before the in-person sessions. Then, you will have 5.5 days of in-person training, scheduled 3 to 4 weeks later.

It is recommended that you prepare individually for approximately 52 hours before the start of the course. This preparation will give you a foundation that will facilitate your learning during the 5.5 days of training.

The “Study guide” you receive upon enrollment is your most valuable tool for exam preparation. It will provide you with the pure exam technique, which is fundamental for Level 3 because a portion of the exam consists of complex open-ended questions. Through these questions, not only your knowledge will be tested, but also your ability to convey and explain it. Additionally, at WiSP, everything is planned and organized for you to take the exam with confidence. The last half-day of training is entirely dedicated to the exam. You will be prepared for 2 hours for the theoretical part and 30 minutes for the tasting part.

Depending on your status at the time of application, funding for your course is entirely possible. You can find all the details of available funding on this page.

The exams consist of 3 parts: a multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ), open-answer questions, and a blind tasting of 2 spirits.

The WSET Level 3 in Spirits course offers retake sessions, and there is no maximum number of attempts. You can inquire about retake options here.

You will study with Didier Ghorbanzadeh, a spirits expert and a certified professional trainer (CP FFP). Didier Ghorbanzadeh develops the Nikka Whisky brand in Europe and is also the author of the book “Le Nuancier des Alcools” with LMDW and Flammarion. He regularly writes for Whisky Mag & Fine Spirits.

WiSP’s pass rate for the WSET Level 3 in Spirits exam is one of the highest in Europe, at 80% in 2021/2022.
You will be welcomed for 5 days at the beautiful Lab at La Maison Du Whisky facilities in the Madeleine district of Paris. This Lab is equipped for tasting and has a bar for mixology, featuring the most prestigious bottles of the group.
Considering that the WSET Level 3 in Spirits course requires pre-course preparation, you will receive the books in the week following the completion of your enrollment.

Yes, the price includes the book “Understanding Spirits” as well as the “systematic approach to tasting” sheet.

It depends on your status at the time of enrolment. VAT does not apply to professional training. So, if you are an employed or job-seeking French individual, you pay the HT price. If you are a student (initial training), retiree, or a non-French resident, you pay the TTC price.

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