World's Top Whiskey Taster winner

Buy me bourbon: Preparing for the World’s Top Whiskey Taster competition

Back all the way in September, I was in a regional competition for the Bardstown Bourbon Company‘s “World’s Top Whiskey Taster” title.

Somehow I beat out a handful of talented and fierce competitors that evening, and now I plan to bring the title home to Kentucky as I compete against nine others from around the country on Saturday, Nov. 14.

To say I’m nervous and apprehensive is an understatement, but again, just like in the last challenge, I’m trying to harness the powers of confidence and raw bourbon tasting to give it my best.

And that’s where you come in.

If you see me out, please buy me a bourbon or whiskey of your choice (no need to break the bank or anything), but don’t tell me what it is. Make me guess the proof, or the age, or even what type of whiskey it might be. If you buy me Fireball, though, I might give you the evil eye from 6 feet away.

World's Top Whiskey Taster winner

Of course I’m not relying on the kindness of strangers (and friends) to prepare for this competition. I’ve been holed up in my bourbon bunker day and night practicing.

My brother who lives in Texas even sent me four blind samples — all from the Buffalo Trace family — and it was tough sorting them out.

If you have any ideas on other methods to practice, please feel free to reach out! Hell, I’ve been preparing for this competition since I turned 21 — OK, 19 — so I feel like I have a shot.

I just can’t let my nerves and second guesses get the best of me.

The competition won’t be broadcast live this time — to see my first competition, click here or watch below — but a video will be available later with the competitions and results.

Wish me luck!

Now back to tasting …

Sara Havens at a competition

Wish me luck and tune in tonight for Bardstown Bourbon Company’s Top Whiskey Taster competition

Whiskey Taster contest photo

Let’s go!

The time is here and the training is over. The World’s Top Whiskey Taster regionals for the Kentucky market will take place tonight at 6 p.m., and yours truly will be shitting her pants as she competes against five other badass bourbonites.

You can tune in for free at the Bardstown Bourbon Company‘s Facebook page or YouTube channel.

I’ve gotta answer four questions about mystery samples I’ve been sent, and then present a flight of three whiskeys to the judges with a three-minute time limit.

Just hoping nerves won’t get the best of me.

I’ve gotta go big, or else I’ll go home … well, I’ll stay at home actually. I’ll already be at home. OK, never mind.

Wish me luck!

Sara Havens at a competition

Drink up, y’all … I made it to Round 2 of the World’s Top Whiskey Taster!

Whiskey Taster contest photo

There’s my name!

Remember back in June when I posted a video about wanting to be the World’s Top Whiskey Taster? Well, turns out I made it to Round 2 of the contest, which is being run by Bardstown Bourbon Company.

Now, I have to prove my whiskey-sipping skills to a team of judges in a tough competition against five other Kentucky contenders. It all goes down Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 6-8 p.m., and you all are invited to watch, because it’ll be broadcast live via the Bardstown Bourbon Co. Facebook page and/or YouTube channel.

I could use some positive vibes and words of encouragement, because I know my competitors are fierce and fabulous.

I’ve been practicing just about every night for the past two weeks, and I’m concocting one of the best flights ever assembled in the whiskey world. (I’m also trying to work on my confidence, so that was a pretty good attempt at it.)

The competition will include four questions about various mystery samples we’ve been sent, and then we present our flights to the judges in three minutes or less.

This is the Kentucky finals round, and there will be similar competitions in nine other regions. So if I win this one, I still have to battle against the best nine. Yikes!

So what exactly are we battling for? Well, the winner will get $20,000 with a contract to represent Bardstown Bourbon Co. as a Distillery Ambassador at some of the country’s top whiskey festivals in 2021, including WhiskyFest and Whiskies of the World. The winner also will receive a scholarship to Moonshine University’s Executive Bourbon Steward program and will get to blend a custom product with Bourbon Hall of Famer and Master Distiller Steve Nally.

The latter is what I’d be most excited about, well, besides the cash money.

Anyway, wish me luck, and tune in Wednesday night if you can!