A day in the life at Moonshine University


Every now and then, we all experience something that reminds us of childhood. Maybe it’s the smell of a long forgotten scent, or the sound of a favorite song on the radio. For me, it’s the angst that comes with having to take a test.

And it was the latter that filled my being when I earned the title of Executive Bourbon Steward at Moonshine University. Yes, that’s right. I went to Moonshine University. Where else does one go for in-depth learning on the art and science of distilling? Nowhere else, that’s where. These people are the cream of the crop. But I digress.

You’d think that after all these years I’d be less nervous about test-taking—that I’d have more confidence in my mental faculties and abilities. You’d think I’d be able to keep things in perspective—to appreciate the art of learning and lighten up about the testing. But I’m a test-taker’s test taker.

If I learned anything at Moonshine U—and I learned a lot—I’m still as conscientious about test grades as I was as a kid. In other words, I have (often unrealistic) expectations of perfection.

Considering it’s been years since I’ve taken a test, I figured my angst was warranted.

Not for the faint of heart, the Executive Bourbon Steward (EBS) program is a full-day immersion, complete with hands-on bourbon distilling and advanced sensory detection. At stake? Lifetime membership in the Stave & Thief Society as an EBS, not to mention the coveted Stave & Thief membership pin.

I’d need to bring my A-game. Which is exactly what I did, thank you very much.

While other people relaxed and relished in the wealth of information, I took copious notes like a woman gone mad. Pages of notes, I tell you. Because there’s a lot more that goes into every bottle of whiskey than meets the eye. In case I needed to recall every single detail, I wanted to be ready.

Luckily, as the day wore on, the edge wore off, thanks in no small part to the sensory training. I was more concerned with what I was tasting than what I’d be testing on. At least until they passed out the tests.

I’m happy to report, though, when all was said and done I passed the test with flying colors earning my title of Executive Bourbon Steward and lifetime membership in the Stave & Thief Society.

The whole experience proved all that pre-test worry was for for naught. That maybe it’s okay to lighten up and enjoy the learning process. And, thankfully, it proved I’m still a test-taker’s test taker. 😉

If you’d like to further your distilling education, visit Moonshine University for class curriculums and registration.